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

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Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals

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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:

Joe: Student Visa

Joe, a Japanese National, was accepted into a UK university on a Tier 4 Visa at short notice and needed help to gain entry to the country as soon… 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

Teri: Proposed Civil Partner Visa

Teri is a Malayasia National who met her partner Linda online. The couple met up for the first time in the UK and shortly became engaged. Linda was unsure about… Read More

Fiance Visa for Thai partner

John (a UK national) met Vitchita (a Thai national) online and stayed in contact with her for many months.
After they met in person, they decided that there was something special… Read More

Tomas: Child Dependent Case

Tomas had come to the UK to start his life before bringing his daughter to join him. Although not an easy application, a creative idea by his lawyer at IAS… Read More

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

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
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Applying for a visa, any kind of visa is an arduous process. IAS was recommended to me by a friend… Read More
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IAS evaluated my situation properly and successfully tailored my application to secure a happy result

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