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 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, Tier 2 visas, Student Visas and Temporary Worker 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.
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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:
Under Tier 2, skilled workers can apply to enter or remain in the UK with a job offer in the UK from a licensed sponsor, a valid certificate of sponsorship and by passing the points-based assessment. Tier 2 of the visa points system contains four categories of skilled worker:
Tier 3 of the points-based system is currently suspended preventing the employment of low-skilled workers from outside the EEA (European Economic Area).
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.
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.