Uk Immigration Program | INS The Immigration Specialists Inc.

UK Immigration Program


The information contained in this section outlines the different categories provided for in the rules applying to Immigration Law in the United Kingdom.

Major Categories Sub - Categories
A. Visiting Visitors
Child Visitors
Private Medical Treatment
Sponsoring a Visitor
Getting Married in the UK
Group Travel
B. Studying Student
Student Visitor
C. Working Highly Skilled Workers, Investors & Entrepreneurs
Sponsored Skilled Workers
Temporary Workers
European Economic Area and Swiss Nationals
Other Categories: Clinical Attachments and
Dental Observer Post, Domestic Workers, Entertainers,
Film Crew on Locations, Overseas Qualified Doctors
taking the PLAB Test, Postgraduate Doctors and Dentist,
Sole Representatives of Overseas Firms
D. UK Residency UK Ancestry
Returning Residents
Partners and Children
Retired People
E. British Citizenship British citizenship
British overseas citizenship
British territories citizenship
British national ( overseas)
British protected persons
British subject

TIER 1 VISA: The Tier 1 (General) category allows highly skilled people to look for work or self-employment opportunities in the UK. Tier 1 (General) migrants can seek employment in the UK without a sponsor, and can take up self-employment and business opportunities here.

This category is now closed (As of July 2012) to applicants who are outside the UK, and to migrants who are already here in most other immigration categories.

You can apply to your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General) if you are already in the UK with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') in one of the following immigration categories:

  • highly skilled migrant
  • writer, composer or artist
  • self-employed lawyer
  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), if you are eligible to switch into Tier 1 (General)

If you are not in one of the categories above, you cannot apply to Tier 1 (General).

Points available are as follows:
  Points available
Age 5 to 20
Qualifications 30 to 50
Previous earnings 5 to 80
UK experience 5
English language ability * 10
Maintenance (funds) * 10

Your total points score must be at least 95 points if you currently have permission to stay in the UK as:

a Tier 1 (General) migrant under the Immigration Rules in place before 19 July 2010;

a highly skilled migrant;
a writer, composer or artist; or
a self-employed lawyer.

If you are in any other eligible category, your total points score must be at least 100 points (Your total score must include 10 points for English language skills and 10 points for maintenance (funds).

TIER 2 VISA: The Tier 2 (General) category is for foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

Limit on Tier 2 (General) workers applying from abroad

For the year from 6 April 2012 to 5 April 2013, a maximum of 20,700 skilled workers can come to the UK under Tier 2 (General) to do jobs with an annual salary below £150,000.

There is no limit on the number of workers coming to the UK to do jobs with an annual salary of £150,000 or above.

If you are a national of a country outside the EEA or Switzerland (except Turkey - see below), you will need to apply under Tier 2 of the points-based system. You must:

  • have a job offer from a licensed sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship; and
  • pass a points-based assessment.

To be able to apply, you must score a total of 70 points and meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.

If you are already in the UK in a different immigration category, you can find out whether you can 'switch' into Tier 2 (General) under 'More information' below.

Points for your attributes

You must score 50 points for having a Tier 2 (General) certificate of sponsorship, and for being paid an appropriate salary. These are known as your 'attributes'.

Points are available for your attributes as follows:
Attribute Points available
Assigned a certificate of sponsorship, because:
the job has an annual salary of £150,000 or more;
the job is on the shortage occupation list;
your sponsor has completed a resident labour market test (or an exemption applies); or
you want to extend your stay and continue working in the same job for the same employer
The Certificate of sponsorship page explains how you can score these points.
Appropriate salary and allowances 20

Points for your English language ability

You must score 10 points for English language ability.

The English language page explains how you can score these points.

Points for maintenance (funds)

You must score 10 points for maintenance (funds).

TIER 3 VISA (Low Skilled Migrants)

The third tier of the new points based UK visa service is designed to cater for people immigrating to the UK in order to perform temporary low skilled work. The new tiers immigration service has replaced the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) and the Sectors Based Scheme (SBS) and will grant leave to enter the UK to migrants from countries with which an effective returns arrangement with the United Kingdom is in place.

NOTE: As of July 2012, the Tier 3 scheme is currently suspended by the UK Border Agency. No date for implementation has yet been given.

TIER 4 VISA (Students)

The fourth tier of the new points based UK immigration service focuses upon overseas students who wish to gain entry clearance to study in the UK. Tier 4 visas replace the UK student visa service and place more emphasis upon the responsibility of the educational body in question for the applicants they permit to study. The aim of this tier immigration service is to provide a more user-friendly, transparent route to studying in the UK.

NOTE: however the Tier 4 scheme is not yet in use. If you have been offered a full-time place at a UK educational institution, you may be eligible to enter the UK on a Student Visa

TIER 5 VISA (Temporary Workers)

The Temporary workers (Tier 5) are available to those want to come to the United Kingdom to undertake short-term, temporary work. This category accommodates certain categories of temporary workers immigrating to the UK who do not qualify for a Sponsored Worker (Tier 2) visa.

There are five subcategories of Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting, Charity Workers, Religious Workers, Government Authorised Exchange and International Agreement.


Tiers 1 and 2 of the system offers potential routes to settlement in Britain and may lead to the opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR), often known as permanent residency.

In tiers 2-5 applicants will need to obtain a certificate of sponsorship from the relevant sponsoring body. For tier 2 visas this would be a sponsoring British company, for tier 3 visas the operator of a specific worker scheme, for tier 4 visas the educational institution and for tier 5 visas the home Government of the candidate