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Tier Visa Update
Today in this special edition of the workpermit.com newsletter we will be providing an update on the UK Tier Visa categories.
General Highly Skilled Migrants - Tier 1 (General)
On 30 June 2008 the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was replaced. This category is for highly educated and highly skilled migrants who can score enough points on their qualifications, previous earnings, age, and UK experience. There are new maintenance requirements that mean that you need to show a certain level of funds over a three month period. Your salary will probably need to be quite high compared to the local market to come under this category.
Individuals who plan to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over a business, and being actively involved in running the business can come to the UK under the Entrepreneur sub-category of Tier 1. At least £200,000 of disposable capital held in a regulated financial institution is required.
Wealthy individuals who plan to make a substantial financial investment in the UK can come under the Investor sub-category of Tier 1. At least £1,000,000 of disposable funds is required.
The Post-Study Work sub-category is meant for foreign students who have studied in the UK and wish to remain in the UK to work (under current rules or the Tier 4 system, once implemented). It is part of Tier 1 because successful applicants will be able to find work after graduation without having a sponsor. This category replaces the international graduates scheme and the "Fresh Talent – Working in Scotland" scheme. There are also maintenance requirements similar to Tier 1 (General) to come under this scheme.
It is only designed to be a bridge to highly skilled or skilled work, much like the previous International Graduates Scheme it replaced. Those with student visas in the UK under Post-Study Work are expected to switch into another part of the points system (whether Tier 1 or another Tier) as soon as they are able to do so.
Tier 2 Visa Overview - work permit scheme no longer exists!
Tier 2 was implemented on 27 November 2008 and offers an entry route into the United Kingdom for skilled workers who are citizens of countries outside of the European Economic Area. In all cases people applying for entry under this scheme MUST be in possession of a JOB OFFER and fulfill other requirements as detailed for the different categories. It should be noted that there are specific maintenance requirements to come under Tier 2. Employers PLEASE NOTE that you now need to be a licenced sponsor to apply under this category! So far only about two thousand employers have applied.
Tier 2 has four categories:
General: for people coming to the United Kingdom with a job offer to fill a gap that cannot be filled by a settled worker which may or may not be on the Shortage Occupation List.
Intra Company Transfers: for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a UK-based branch of the organization.
Sports People: for elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level .
Ministers of Religion: for those people coming to fill a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order.
Tier 5 - Working Holidaymaker Scheme Ends
This tier introduced on 27 November 2008 is for youth mobility workers, who wish to work in the UK for a temporary period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives. Previously under the working holidaymaker scheme all young commonwealth nationals could apply. Currently, the new scheme is limited to nationals from a small number of Countries:
- Japan; and
- New Zealand.
You can also gain entry under the scheme if you are:
- a British overseas citizen; or
- a British overseas territory citizen; or
- a British national (overseas)
Tier 4 Students
The replacement for the student visa category is expected to be implemented in March 2009. Students will need to gain enough points to come under this category. Full details of the points based system is yet to be announced. Colleges and Universities should apply for sponsorship as soon as possible.
Tier System Overview
The Tier system represents a significant change to the UK system. The new maintenance and sponsorship requirements may put off some people. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for people to be able to live and work in the UK.
Thank you for reading our immigration newsletter,
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