Before the new system was introduced there were more than 80 routes for a non-EU national to enter the UK. The present, much more simpler framework consists of 5 tiers, which help people find the right path to the UK.
Tier 1 is for highly skilled individuals willing to practice what they do best in the UK
Tier 2 is for skilled workers (nurses, teachers, engineers, etc.) who already have a job offer to work in the UK
Tier 3 is for a very limited number of low skilled workers needed to fill temporary labour shortages for a specific project
Tier 4 is for students, continuing their education in the United Kingdom
Tier 5 is for Youth Mobility and temporary workers (people who are allowed to work in the Uk for a limited time)
For each tier there is a point target that the applicants need to meet. Points are awarded according to an objective and transparent criteria, allowing applicants to assess themselves.