UK Immigration Services
To help you understand the services we offer and the kinds of visas available, we have put together a little guideline that should help you determine which visa you could opt for and how we can help you.
Feel free to contact us if you have any queries about the visa process or any of our services.
For updates about visa and immigration policies, please visit: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/
Types of Visas
The United Kingdom uses a Tier system to sort the various types of visas into a more transparent and easier to understand system. These tier categories are based on the duration of validity, and the skill type of the applicants.
- Tier 1 Visa: Migrants with desirable professional skills
- Tier 2 Visa: Skilled workers with an offer of employment
- Tier 3 Visa: Temporary, low skilled workers
- Tier 4 Visa: Students
- Tier 5 Visa: Youth mobility schemes/temporary workers
Tier 1 Visa: Migrants with Desirable Professional Skills
The Tier 1 Visa for migrants with desirable professional skills was formerly known as the Highly Skilled Migrant Program visa. It includes four subcategories, namely the General Visa, the Post Study Work Visa, the Entrepreneur Visa, and the Investor Visa. This tier is suitable for individuals that have professional skills, qualifications, and experience in specific fields and can contribute positively towards the society in the United Kingdom. Tier 1 visa applications do not require a job offer.
If your application is approved, you will be able to immigrate to the United Kingdom and can seek employment, start your own business, invest in an existing business, or be otherwise self-employed, without any restrictions.
- No job offer requirement
- Opportunity to apply for permanent residency in the UK
Applicants require a minimum of 95 points to qualify for this visa. Below are the some of the specific requirements for application.
- Access to at least £200,000 – 25 points
- Funds must be held in one or more recognized and regulated financial institute – 25 points
- Funds are disposable in the United Kingdom – 25 points
- English language skills – Minimum of 10 points
- Maintenance funds availability – Minimum of 10 points
Under the new Points Based System, applicants can bring dependents and spouses to the UK with the relevant visas.
Tier 2 Visa: Skilled Workers with an Offer of Employment
The tier 2 visa applicants require a valid job offer to submit a successful application. Similar to the work permit scheme formerly used by the Home Office of the United Kingdom, this tier is for people with relevant qualifications or experience in a wide range of industries ranging from health care to white-collar jobs.
Tier 2 visa subcategories include General UK Work Permits, Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits, and Visas for sportspeople.
Potential opportunity for permanent residency application after spending five years in the country as a tier 2 visa holder.
Tier 2 visa applicants must have a minimum score of 70 points, should meet the English Language Proficiency requirement, and have a sponsorship certificate from the employer. Some of the specified requirements for application are mentioned below.
- Job Offer Category:
- Job on the shortage occupation list – 50 points
- Job that has met the resident labour market test 30 points
- Switching from the tier 1 post-study worker category – 30 points
- NVQ3 = 5 points
- Bachelor’s Degree = 10 points
- Master’s Degree = 10 points
- PhD = 15 points
- Prospective Earnings
- £17,000 – £19,999 = 5 points
- £20,000 – £21,999 = 10 points
- £22,000 – £23,999 = 15 points
- More than £24,000 = 20 points
Under the new points-based system, spouses and dependent children will be permitted for immigration.
Tier 3 Visa: Temporary, Low Skilled Workers
Tier 3 visas are designed especially for people immigrating to the UK for temporary, low skilled jobs such as labour. However, this tier is currently suspended.
Tier 4 Visas: Students
The tier 4 visa is suitable for students that are paying for tuition and education in the United Kingdom. Universities and colleges generate a lot of revenue from overseas students, and this visa is designed specially to accommodate those students. There are three subcategories of the tier 4 visa.
This category is for students undergoing more than 15 hours of study per week, with an allowance to work for 10 to 20 hours a week during terms and full-time during holiday periods. Dependents will be allowed to join you in the United Kingdom if you are studying in a university in the UK.
This category is for full time students of an independent school, up to the age of 18. While work hours are the same as General Students, dependants are not permitted into the country.
Study through Work Student
This category is for students who have been placed within organizations for work hour experience or internships. The work hours will be the same as the General Students category, and dependants will be permitted into the country if the applicant is to stay for more than 12 months.
Tier 5: Youth Mobility Schemes/Temporary Workers
Tier 5 visas are specially designed for cultural exchanges, temporary workers, or youth that visit the UK for working holidays. The temporary workers allowed in this tier include professional artists and sports people that come to the United Kingdom for specific events such as a concert or the Olympics. Tier 5 visas can be subcategorized into the following:
Youth Mobility Scheme
Visas issued under the Youth Mobility Scheme are only available for countries participating in the program and are aged between 18-30 years. The maximum validity of this visa is 24 months, and is a temporary entry route. This visa does not lead to permanent residence in the UK, and you cannot be self-employed while you are here. You cannot bring any dependents with you either.
Temporary workers are allowed to visit the UK for a maximum period of 24 months. This visa is good for workers that do not qualify for a tier 2 visa. Dependents are allowed on this visa but only if the principle applicant’s visa is valid for more than 12 months.
Creative artists and sportspeople can enter the UK through this visa, provided a sponsor guarantees that the applicants pose no threat to domestic workers.
Volunteer and charity workers can visit the UK through this visa, but require a sponsorship from a charity organization. The sponsor must guarantee that the activity is not permanent and is relevant to the organization.
Religious workers can visit the UK through this visa, provided the faith community sponsors them. However, workers authorized to conduct religious worship and preaching do not qualify for this visa.
Government Authorized Exchange
Individuals can enter the country as part of an accredited, development or knowledge sharing or exchange scheme through this tier 5 visa. However, the organization running the scheme must sponsor the applicants.
Tier 5 visa requirements include a sponsorship certificate issued by your home country’s government.