Tier 1 of the UK’s Points-Based System is intended for ‘high value’ migrants who make their applications outside of the UK. As highly skilled workers, Tier 1 visa holders are generally permitted to take up any job posting including self-employment without needing sponsorshipand are able to bring family (dependents) with them. Tier 1 visa holders cannot access public funds, work as a professional sportsmen or doctor in training (unless they hold a primary degree at bachelor level or above in medicine or dentistry from a UK recognised body or licenced sponsor under the Tier 4 category).
The Tier 1 route includes the following sub-categories: T1 General (extension only), T1 Entrepreneur, Graduate Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent. Points are awarded on the basis of age, earnings, qualifications, and UK experience.
Important if you are a holder of a T1 General/Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Worker visa: These are no longer issued to new applicants and extension applications will no longer be accepted from 6th April 2015. If you are unable to apply to extend on or before the 5th April 2015 you will need to either switch into another category or apply for settlement before your visa expires. Remember it is necessary to meet the same point’s threshold as was required on your previous application and that the maximum time allowed under Tier 1 (General) is 5 years. If you haven’t been granted leave in any other categories other than these under the rules in place since 19thJuly 2010, you must have 75 points from your attributes, otherwise 80 points are required.
Important if you are a holder of a T1 Post Study Worker visa: These are no longer issued to new applicants; you will need to switch out of the category before your visa expires. Please note that time spent in the UK on this visa does not count towards residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain. International graduates wishing to remain and work in the UK should make a Tier 2 or Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur application.
Important: Tier 1 General category Indefinite Leave to Remain applications will no longer be accepted from 6th April 2018. Applicants who wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the future must still ensure that they do not have excessive absences from the UK throughout the 5 years and can meet the specific ILR requirements.
Tier 1 Entrepreneurs: To apply for a visa in this sub-category, a minimum amount of £200,000 needs to be available for investment in an existing or new business in the UK. The amount may be provided by a third party or by the applicant who is actively involved in its set-up or running.
Tier 1 Investors: This sub-category is only available to high net worth individuals. The applicant must hold a minimum of £1 million disposable funds in an account of a regulated financial institution or have personal assets of at least £2 million, with £1 million accessible, disposable and which may be loaned.
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs:For non-European graduates acknowledged by UK higher education institutions as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills. Permission to extend their stay in the UK to such individuals would be granted in the form of endorsement after graduation to allow them to establish one or more businesses in the UK.
Tier 1 Exceptional Talent: This sub-category is intended for people who are recognised or have the potential to be recognised as world leaders in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the performing arts. Their talent would be endorsed by one of the UK Border Agency’s Designated Competent Bodies: Arts Council England; The British Academy; The Royal Society or The Royal Academy of Engineering.
Applications made under Points-Based System categories are subject to the Home Office’s General Grounds for Refusal meaning that other reasons (such as previous immigration history) may lead to a refusal of the application despite other qualifications.
As well as meeting all the other eligibility requirements, you’ll need to:
- provide your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP),
- provide your current valid original passport/travel document containing the last visa granted to you
- demonstrate the required 10 PBS points for English language although there are some exceptions (some UK based degree-level study and nationalities)
- demonstrate the required 10 PBS points for maintenance (funds available)
- evidence that you’ve had £945 in your bank account for 90 days (different if bringing dependents)
- score 95/100 points (depending on the category you were last granted leave under)
- show evidence of Tuberculosis screening (if coming from relevant country)
Call us on 0191 3862 327 for more information, a free initial assessment of your requirements, and for fee details.