Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
The UK Tier 1 Visa is designed to allow highly skilled workers to migrate to the UK for work or self-employment opportunities. This UK Visa replaced the previous UK Skilled Migrant Visa - the Highly Skilled Migration Programme (HSMP) - in 2008. Like the old UK Skilled Migrant Visa, the UK Tier-1 Visa uses a points-based system to determine your eligibility.
The UK Tier 1 skilled migration programme allows visa holders to settle in the UK and work without restrictions for an initial period of two years, which can then be extended by another three years. After five years visa holders can apply for permanent residence. The UK Tier-1 points-based system does not require sponsorship by family or an employer and is different from a work permit because it does not require an employer to obtain a permit for you.
You can apply for this UK visa only from within the UK (unless you are on a tourist or visitor visa). From 23 December 2010 Tier 1 (General) is closed to overseas applicants. Still, there are other streams and Visa First will assist you to migrate to the UK.
Complete the registration form here and then Visa First will asses you situation and send you all the necessary forms to apply for your UK Tier 1 Visa.
Note: Once you have been approved for a UK Tier 1 Visa you should apply for either entry clearance to come to the UK (if you are out of the UK) or leave to remain (if you are in the UK).
To be eligible for a UK Tier 1 Visa, you need score 75 - 80 points in the test. Points are awarded to skilled migrants based on:
- Past earnings;
- UK Work Experience;
- UK Qualifications;
- English language ability;
- Available funds to support yourself in the UK.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the visa valid for?
What are applicants awarded points for?
- 75 points for your attributes (age, qualifications, previous earnings, and experience in the United Kingdom).
- 10 points for English language.
- 10 points for available maintenance (funds).
Are there any additional requirements I need to meet?
- Proficiency in English.
- Proof of your will to continue working in your chosen field of employment.
- Proof that you can support yourself without using UK public funds.
- Proof of your intention to make UK your main home.
- Evidence you have never been convicted of any criminal offenses.
- Evidence you have never gone bankrupt.
Are there any age restrictions on the Tier 1 Visa?
Are there any nationality restrictions on the Tier 1 Visa?
What documents do I need to apply for this UK Visa?
You will need to provide documents in support of each of the requirements of the Tier 1 Visa. All the documents should be originals and be relevant and directly appropriate to the particular criteria they are supporting. If any documents are issued in another language, they should be translated by a certified translator recognised by the British High Commission or Embassy.
You will need to provide:
- The UK Visa application form completed and signed by you.
- Your application fee.
- Documents showing your qualification(s).
- Documents showing relevant work experience. The position(s) held should demonstrate either graduate, senior or specialist level experience. Only full-time employment qualifies.
- Documents showing your earnings and salaries.
- Documents showing your English skills level.
- Documents proving that you have enough funds to support yourself in UK.
What is “leave to remain”?
What is “entry clearance”?
Will I get back the originals I send in with my Tier 1 application?
Is the MBA provision still an option under the Tier-1 Visa category?
What are the points granted under the MBA provision?
You can score 75 points under the MBA transitional arrangements. These points are available to initial applicants only.If you are making a UK Visa application under the extension requirements of the Tier-1 (General) System you are not eligible to claim points under the MBA transitional agreement even if you are already in the UK under the:
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme; or
- Self-Employed Lawyers' concession; or
- Writers, Composers and Artists provisions of the immigration rules.
What if I have graduated from an MBA programme from an institute not on the list?
What if I have graduated from one of the eligible institutions prior to the list being published?
What if I have graduated from a different course from one of the eligible institutions?
What if the list has been updated and the institute I graduated from is no longer on it?
Can I apply while in the UK?
Do I need to send my passport in with my UK Visa application?
How long will my visa take to process?
All skilled workers, both in the UK and abroad, can apply for Tier 1 (General) skilled migration.
UK Tier 1 Points Score Criteria
- 75 points for your attributes (age, qualifications, previous earnings, and experience in the United Kingdom); and
- 10 points for proficiency in English; and
- 10 points for available funds to support yourself.
Applicant must score 95 points to be eligible.
Skilled workers currently in the UK who want to extend their stay can apply for the Tier-1 points-based visa. This includes:
- People in the UK on student/graduate visas, Tier-1 (Post-Study) work visas and work permits who want to extend their stay.
- People currently in the UK on an HSMP visa who want to extend their stay.
- People already on the UK Tier 1 Visa who want to extend their stay.
Skilled workers currently outside of the UK who wish to migrate to the UK can also apply for the Tier 1 skilled migration visa.
Under the new system, applicants with very high previous earnings (£150,000 or above) are allowed to come to the UK under Tier 1 (General), even if they have no formal qualifications at a high level.
Available Settlement Funds
You need to score 10 points for available funds in order to be eligible for the UK Tier 1 Visa. To do this you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds available to support you and any dependents applying with you in the UK without using public funds.
English Language Ability
If you do not have a degree taught in English you will need to sit and pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS measures your ability to listen, read, write and speak English and you need to score at least 6.5 in each of these four components to get your 10 points for the UK Tier-1 Visa.
If you are from any of the following countries you will automatically score 10 points for English language ability: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, United States of America.
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George I would just like to thank you and your team for everything you guys have done for me and Alana. You have made our dream of returning to Australia possible and for that we are so grateful. You have changed our lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for all your hard work and time you guys put in to helping us to make our dreams come true. Peace and love and happiness to you and yours. Take care George! Over and out my friend. Australia here we come...
Thank you for checking in and thanks to all in Visa First for all your help for my initial move to Sunny Australia in 2014. Have recommended you to all my friends planning to do the same. Thanks again, Lisa-Marie
Hi Daisy, Just to confirm that David only arrived in Sydney this morning. He will organise an email address early next week and let you have it himself. Can I take this opportunity to thanks Visafirst for all their help and co-operation over the last few weeks regarding his emigration. He had no delays or disruption to any of his flights and was delighted with the service provided. I would highly recommend your service to other people looking to emigrate. Regards Fiona Farrell (Mother)
Just a short note to thank everyone at Visa First for the very efficient and prompt way that you have processed Philip Derby's Russian visa. I will most certainly contact you again as requirements arise for various visa applications. Kind regards
Dear All, Many thanks to you for all your help and advise in helping me get my Skilled Migrant Visa. I'm absolutley delighted! My intention is to head down to Brisbane in May this year and I'm really looking forward to it. I have no hesitation recommending VisaFirst / MigrationAbroad to anybody and a friend has already taken my advise and is applying for his visa with yourselves. Thanks again, Stephen
Hi Maria, How are you? I never got a chance to say thank you for all the work you did for me in getting my residency. I'd be delighted to recommend you to anybody looking to get their residency.
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