There are four divisions under the Tier 1 Points Based System (PBS) for UK immigration. The Tier 1 category is designed for non EEA nationals who are intending to work in the UK. Different to the rest of the tier immigration system, the Tier 1 visa application does not require any sponsors and is solely dependent on the applicant successfully meeting the minimum points threshold of 100.

Tier 1 visas are designed to attract the brightest and best individuals to the UK, and are unlike the Tier 2 visas which are also relevant to individuals who are setting up a long term business or looking to be employed by a particular company. Also unlike the Tier 2 visa, the tier 1 does not require an offer of employment from a UK based company. The requirements for Tier 1 visas are based more around the points requirement of the old Highly Skilled Migrant Programme also known as the HSMP.

The role of PBS in streamlining UK immigration
The Tier 1 category of the Points Based System (PBS) is directly replacing eight immigration categories from the previous system and has replaced them with a more streamlined four subdivisions. Excluding the Post Study Work category, any time spent in the UK will count towards the candidates minimum residency requirement of five years for the permanent settlement status within the United Kingdom.

The Previous UK Immigration Services (Changed as of March 2009)

  1. Business persons
  2. Fresh talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
  3. Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  4. Investors
  5. International Graduates Scheme
  6. Innovators
  7. Self Employed Lawyers
  8. Writers, Composers and Artists

Under the Tier 1 Category applicants may apply via one of the following categories:

Tier 1 General Visa
The Tier 1 General category applies to those highly skilled candidates who desire to enter the UK in order to find and undertake employment.

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs Visa
The Entrepreneur category of the Tier 1 allows applicants to invest in the UK economy by starting or assuming control of a business. Potential applicants must also be involved in the day-to-day running of the company or business.

Tier 1 Investors Visa
The Investor category is designed for individuals who are going to make a substantial investment in the UK.

Tier 1 Post-study work Visa
The Post Study Work visa category of the Tier 1 subdivisions has been made as a transitional route to allow the most qualified non EEA nationals graduating from UK universities to change their Post Study work visa into another work visa. Candidates in the Tier 1 General, Investors, or Entrepreneur categories will initially be granted a three-year visa, with the option to extend the visa by a further two years if the requirements continue to be fulfilled.

Tier 1 Visa assessment
Similar to the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme), the tier 1 system also requires the applicant to fulfil a minimum Points Based System requirement of 100 points. However the following requirements apply to candidates who may be applying for any stream of the Tier 1 visas:

English Language Proficiency - The PBS places emphasis upon competence in the English Language, especially in Tier 1. Self sufficiency - All applicants in any Tier 1 category must be able to support both themselves and any dependents accompanying them to the United Kingdom.

Applying for a Tier 1 Visa
Unlike other tier subdivisions in the Points Based System, tier 1 applications do not need a sponsor to be in place as a requirement for the Tier 1 visa. The tier 1 visa process is a single process whether it is initiated from outside the UK or within the UK. Applicants are required to submit a whole range of documents to support and substantiate their application.

We have assisted many individuals in this regard, please contact us today for more information.

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