The UK is a very popular destination for people wanting to live and work in a new country. However, the UK’s immigration system is complex. Since 2008, most work-related visa applications, as well as many study visa applications, have been made through a five tier, points-based system which measures applicants against various criteria designed to assess their eligibility for a UK work or study visa.
Tier 1 : High Value Migrants
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) For people with at least £50,000 to invest in the UK by taking over or setting up a UK business
- Tier 1 (Investor) For people who want to invest in the UK and have at least £1m to invest in a UK investment opportunity
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) For graduates of UK universities who are endorsed by their university. Limited to 2,000 a year.
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Only open to truly exceptional people working in the arts and sciences. Limited to 1,000 a year.
Tier 2 : Skill Workers
- Tier 2 (General) For workers who have an offer of skilled work and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. The job on offer must be one that cannot be filled by a worker already resident in the UK. Since 2011, there has been a cap of 20,700 visas that can be issue in this category every year
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) For employees of multinationals who are being transferred to the UK branch, Applicants must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from their employer. There are four sub-categories
- Long-term staff
- Short-term staff
- Graduate trainee
- Skills transfer
- Tier 2 (sportsman) For sportspeople of international calibre intending to stay in the UK for a lengthy period
- Tier 2 (minister of religion) For missionaries, monks, ministers of religion and the like.