The Points Based System or PBS brings a five tier visa structure to UK immigration services which simplifies and streamlines the options for foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to the UK in order to work. At present the tier 1 visa and the tier 2 visa UK are in use and Global Visas is fully equipped to obtain both.
Find out whether you qualify for a tier one visa, tier two work permit or any other UK visas now by visiting out online assessment area.
Tier 1 Visas
The Tier 1 UK visa for skilled migration to the UK is designed to attract the most talented migrants to the UK, and is the only tier which does not require candidates to have a sponsor. Applicants will be assessed on a range of criteria depending on which of the following four steams they apply for.
Applicants in the general stream will be highly skilled migrants who wish to work in the UK in order to take up a position of employment. Candidates who pass the points assessment will be able to relocate to the UK and begin looking for work. In this stream a 75 point threshold is required and applicants will be assessed upon their qualifications, previous earnings, and age.
In the entrepreneur category, applicants need to invest in the UK economy by either starting or assuming control of an existing UK business. The business concerned must also form the candidate’s sole employment and they must be involved in the day to day running of it. In this category the 75 point pass mark must be achieved through the candidate having access to at least £200,000 which is disposable to them in the UK.
Under this category, candidates must be able to make a substantial investment, significantly greater than that required in the Entrepreneur category. To successfully apply for a tier 1 investor visa, the 75 point pass mark must be achieved in one of the following ways.
- The candidate possesses a minimum of £1 million of their own money held in a UK financial institution and disposable in the UK.
- The candidate has personal assets to the value of £2 million or more.
This category is designed as a temporary solution allowing foreign nationals graduating in the UK to transfer into one of the other tier 1 visa categories or to obtain a tier 2 work permit . This category aims to retain the most talented EEA national graduates in the UK and offers a grant of two years during which the candidate may be employed and may switch to another category. Unlike all other tier 1 visas, the duration of the Post Study work visa does not count towards permanent settlement in the UK.
Applying for a Tier 1 Visa – General Eligibility Requirements
In addition to the specific requirements for each tier 1 category outlined above, UK immigration at this level also depends upon several general requirements. Firstly, with the exception of candidates applying for an investor visa, English language ability is an essential requirement for a tier 1 visa. Self sufficiency is also essential and although this is not directly assessed in the investor category, it is assumed that qualification for this stream removes the need to question an applicant’s financial stability.
Tier 1 Visas – Duration
With the exception of the Post Study Work category, tier 1 visas are issued for an initial period of three years. Beyond this, a tier 1 visa extension may be issued for a further two years provided that all requirements, both general and specific continue to be met. After five years in the UK applicants may apply for Indefinite Leave to remain in the UK (ILR) and ultimately they may pursue a grant of UK citizenship. Since tier 1 visas are specifically intended for those foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to the United Kingdom on a permanent basis, applicants may bring their spouse, partner and/or dependent children with them. Such applicants will be permitted to work in the UK.
Tier 2 Work Permits
Tier 2 work permits allow UK businesses to bring non-EEA nationals to the UK in order to take up a specific position of employment. A tier 2 visa does not grant the right to live and work in the UK per se and is valid only for the sponsoring employer and the specific position. A tier 2 work permit is applied for by an employer on behalf of a candidate and although not expressly intended as a route to permanent settlement in the UK, it may lead to the opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Applying for a Tier Two Visa
The key requirement for a tier 2 work visa for the UK is that each candidate must have a firm offer of employment from a UK firm. Under tier 2 immigration employers are responsible for the candidates they bring to the UK and may be penalised if they do not strictly adhere to the code of conduct employed under the Points Based System.
As with all tiers of the PBS, tier 2 applications are subject to a points assessment which focuses upon the candidates’ prospective earnings and qualifications. Like a tier 1 visa, candidates must achieve a minimum points threshold although in this tier the pass mark is 50 points.
Spouse Immigration and Dependent Immigration
Since candidates relocating to the UK on a tier two work permit may ultimately remain in the UK on a permanent basis, the spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner and/or dependent children of the main applicant may join them in the UK. Dependents will be granted the same period of leave as the main applicant however as a dependent they will not be able to begin working in the UK unless they obtain a UK work permit in their own capacity.
Every year Global Visas help many thousands of businesses and individuals to obtain the right visa for their needs. Our dedicated team of specialist immigration consultants are fully equipped to obtain visas and work permits under the tier immigration system and can provide full immigration compliance services for businesses who wish to act as sponsors.
To find out more about immigrating to the UK on a tier 2 work permit, visit our online assessment area today. Just take a moment to complete one of our assessment forms and a Global Visas immigration consultant will respond to your enquiry.