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 as the standard entry route for workers and students. Each tier is 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

Can I apply for a Tier 1 Visa?

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:

What is a Tier 3 Visa?

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

Can I apply for a Tier 4 Visa?

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:

Can I apply for a Tier 5 Visa?

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 visa 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 on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry online to speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers.

Our Immigration Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals

Select

Application Package

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

Select

Fast Track Package

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

Select

Appeal Package

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

Select

A few of

our experienced

immigration lawyers

Case studies

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

Aleksander: Fiance Visa Reapplication

Aleksander is a South African National who was in long-term and long-distance relationship with his Fiancee in the UK.
He applied for a Fiancee Visa but was refused and the days until… Read More

Visiting the UK as the spouse of European

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

Moira: Tier 2 and Dependant Extension

Moira was an Australian National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa with her husband as a dependent.
Her Work Visa was about to… Read More

Marcus: Returning to the UK After Overstaying

Marcus is a Dominican Republic national who overstayed in his previous Spouse Visa when last in the UK due to a relationship breakdown.
He wanted to return to the UK… Read More

Luke: Indefinite Leave to Remain

Singaporean citizen Luke studied in the UK and then went on to be an NHS doctor. After building his life and his career in Britain, he was eager to stay.… Read More

Sherif: Tier 1 Investor Visa

Sherif was a UAE national who had been making large investments in the UK. He contacted IAS and the lawyer he spoke to looked at his circumstances and determined that… Read More

Latest reviews

Sophie
IAS took me through the whole process of getting my residence visa. Jean Paul handled my entire case and he… Read More
Anonymous
Applying for a visa, any kind of visa is an arduous process. IAS was recommended to me by a friend… Read More
Anonymous

IAS evaluated my situation properly and successfully tailored my application to secure a happy result

Latest news

How to complete the SET O Form (ILR Application Form) Read More

Homeless refugees on the rise due to flaws in the asylum process Read More