UK Visas and Immigration

The United Kingdom’s points based 5–tier visa system is the main UK immigration route for migrants outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to the UK to study, work or invest. In order to be eligible for a visa in any of the five tiers you must pass a points–based assessment. The minimum number of points required varies for each tier.

The five tier visa system consists of the following:

  • Tier 1 Visa: This is for high-value migrants from outside the EEA and covers investor immigration to UK with visas such as the UK Start Up Visa, Innovator Visa UK and the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa, and those who have “exceptional talent”.
  • Tier 2 Visa: This is for skilled workers from outside the EEA, who have a job offer in the UK & satisfy all UK visa requirements. It includes skilled workers who are transferred to the UK by an international company, skilled workers where there is a proven shortage in the UK, ministers of religion and sportspeople.
  • Tier 3 Visa: This is for low–skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages & meeting all UK visa requirements.
  • Tier 4 Visa: This is for students aged over 16 years from outside the EEA, who wish to study in the UK. For a UK Visa application, students must first seek and secure admission in a registered UK educational institution & meet all UK visa requirements.
  • Tier 5 Visa: This contains 6 sub–tiers of temporary worker visas including creative and sporting, charity, religious workers and youth mobility scheme. About 55,000 people are able to work in the UK every year under this category. The visas are awarded to people from countries that have reciprocal arrangements with the UK.

Apart from the above 5-tier system, the following visas fall outside the preview of the 5-tiers:

  • UK Visitor Visas
  • UK Family Visas
  • UK Business Visas

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