The UK is one of the World's most popular immigration destinations for people wishing to live and work in a new country. However, the UK immigration system is restrictive. Following the EU referendum result of 23 June 2016 and the decision to leave the EU further changes have been made to the UK visa system. Recently the UK Innovator visa and UK Start-Up visa scheme have been introduced.
In many cases you need to come under the UK tier points-based visa system which measures applicants against various criteria designed to assess their eligibility for a UK work or study visa. Most work-related visa applications such as the Tier 2 visa scheme, as well as Tier 4 study visa applications, are now made through this system.
Since 2010 the UK government has made a series of changes to UK immigration law in order to restrict immigration to the UK, especially from outside of the EEA.
Please see the links below for detailed information on each visa type.
UK Tier Visa System
The UK tier visa system consists of the following:
- Tier 1 Visa: This visa category is for 'high-value migrants' from outside the EEA and covers the £2 million Tier 1 investor visa scheme, and those very few people who come under the Tier 1 exceptional talent visa and Tier 1 Exceptional Promise visa. On 29 March 2019 the UK Innovator visa scheme replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme.
- Tier 2 Visa: This category is for 'skilled workers' from outside the EEA with a job offer in the UK from a Tier 2 Sponsor. It includes skilled workers who are transferred to the UK by an international company via the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa route, skilled workers where there is a proven shortage in the UK, ministers of religion and sportspeople.
- Tier 3 Visa: This category was designed for low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages. The Government has so far never allocated any visas under this scheme. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot apply for the Tier 3 visa scheme.
- Tier 4 Visa: This category is for students from outside the EEA who wish to study in the UK. Applicants must have a place at a registered UK educational establishment before they can apply.
- Tier 5 Visa: This category contains six sub-tiers of temporary worker including creative and sporting, charity, religious workers, and the youth mobility scheme which enables about 55,000 young people every year to work in the UK on working holidays.
Other UK visas
The UK tier visa system covers most work, study, and investment visas. But visitor visas, family visas, and some UK business visas fall outside of the five tiers.
- UK Business Visas: This section covers a number of long term business visas which fall outside of the UK visa tier system.
- UK Visitor Visas: This section has the information you need to enter the UK as a visitor, whether for business or pleasure
- UK Family Visas: Whether you want to bring your family to the UK, or join a family member already living there, this section covers the main UK visa options for families.
Further information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com's team of specialists has over 30 years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. We work under Section 84 of the 1999 immigration act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.