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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Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible

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Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline

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Appeal Package

Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any hearings/tribunals

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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:

Harrison: Entrepreneur Visa

Harrison wanted to expand his Singapore-based business to the United Kingdom. He contacted IAS and worked closely with one of our lawyers who advised him to apply for for a… Read More

Helen: Long-term Visits to the UK

Helen, a Canadian National, wanted to stay in the UK for six months when visiting her friend in the UK.
She knew the maximum time she was permitted to spend… Read More

Joginder: Tier 2 to Tier 4

Joginder is a Kenyan National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa.
Although he was given the option to extend his Tier 2 Visa, he… Read More

Ajay: Family Visit Visa Appeal

Ajay’s Mother, a Nepalese national, wanted to visit her son who lived in the UK and applied for a Visitor Visa but was refused.
They contacted IAS and emailed the… Read More

Derek: Fiance Visa Application Assistance

Derek is a US national who is in a long-distance relationship with his fiance, who is based in the UK. He contacted IAS for advice on how to join his… Read More

Linda: Visitor Visa for Fiance

Martin is a UK national who met Linda, his partner, in Nigeria while he was traveling.
The pair quickly hit it off and decided to get engaged.
Linda applied to enter the… 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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