Five Tier Points-Based System

If you are a foreign national wanting to work or study in the UK but you are subject to immigration control, you must first apply for a UK visa.

The Home Office uses a five-tier points-based system with each tier divided into various categories for different types of Work or Study Visa applications. Tier 1 is for high-value migrants, Tier 2 for skilled workers, Tier 3 for temporary unskilled workers, Tier 4 for students and Tier 5 for temporary skilled or youth mobility workers.

For more information on the different points-based assessments and category-specific requirements under Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 see High-Value Migrant Tier 1 Visas, Skilled Worker Tier 2 Visas, Student & Tier 4 Visas and Temporary Worker Tier 5 Visas. Tier 3 is currently suspended.

Please see below for more information on the different categories which make up the Five Tier Points-Based system. 

FAQs

Tier 1 Visas: what are the requirements?

Under Tier 1, Entrepreneurs and Investors, Highly Skilled and Exceptionally Talented Workers can apply to enter or remain in the UK without needing a job offer but must pass a points-based assessment. Tier 1 of the points-based system currently contains four categories:

Tier 3 Visas: what are the requirements?

Tier 3 of the points-based system is currently suspended preventing the employment of low-skilled workers from outside the EEA (European Economic Area).

Tier 4 Visas: what are the requirements?

Under Tier 4, students can apply to enter the UK as a child student between four and 17 years old, as an adult student over 18 or, alternatively, as a child or student visitor. There are four categories of Student Visa:

Tier 5 Visas: what are the requirements?

Under Tier 5, temporary skilled workers can apply to enter the UK for a short time although generally, they will need to be sponsored by an employer in the UK. There are 5 categories of temporary worker here, plus the youth mobility category (note, the Youth Mobility Scheme is not an employment route):

  • Creative and sporting;
  • Charity workers;
  • Religious workers;
  • Government authorised exchange;
  • International agreement; and
  • Youth Mobility Scheme

If you currently have permission to stay in the UK you may be able to switch to or from your category and/or tier from inside the UK although this will involve a fresh points-based assessment. An application for a Worker or Student Visa can be complex and using the services of an immigration expert is highly recommended.

How can IAS help?

IAS have some of the best immigration lawyers available advise you on the right visa for your situation as well as helping to ensure that your application is filled out correctly.

At IAS, we understand how complicated it can be to work out which tier is right for your situation. This is why we offer a variety of services and packages which can be completely tailored to you.

Our services include:

  • consulting with you in person, via phone or Skype at an available time for you;
  • determining whether you are eligible for a UK visa;
  • making sure you have the correct documents for your application;
  • preparing a Letter of Representation. This is submitted alongside your application and provides details of the merits of your case as well as any related immigration laws;
  • liaising with the Home Office while your application is processed; and
  • ensuring your application form is completed to the highest standard.

With IAS, your chances of having a successful visa application will be maximised. Get in touch to speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers.

Our Immigration Packages

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A few of

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Case studies

We are proud to have changed lives for the better. Here are some of their stories:

Remy: Working in the UK

Remy was a French national living in the UK who had found employment in the UK.
However, his employer was unsure whether or not Remy was eligible to work in the… Read More

Visiting the UK as the spouse of European

Matthias was a German National who was married to Glady, a Nigerian National.
Matthias was sure that he would be able to visit the UK without a problem. However, due… Read More

Marcelle: Visitor Visa

Marcelle contacted IAS about how to obtain a UK Visitor Visa as she was touring Europe.
The lawyer from IAS instructed her on the requirements of the UK immigration rules… Read More

Working in the UK after Brexit

Gosia, an EEA national, wanted to tour the UK while seeking work, however, she was unsure if she was permitted to do so.
Gosia contacted IAS and arranged a time… Read More

Moving a business to the UK

Gabrielle owned a successful business in Canada and she wanted to expand her business in the UK. She was able to focus on the business side of her expansion as… Read More

Yuma: Tier 4 Student Visa

Yuma, a Japanese National, was accepted as a student in her chosen UK university. She was unclear of the process of coming over to the UK so she contacted IAS… Read More

Latest reviews

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Great service you provided me with Nasreen. Thank you for all your help and support. I'll certainly come to you… Read More
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