UK visas are awarded in accordance with the level of professional specialization of a citizen. This is an important aspect to be taken into consideration when applying for a UK visa. British visas are comprised of several tiers, classified by the level of expertise of a person; for example, Tier 1 is issued for persons with a high degree of specialization, while Tier 5 visa refers to persons seeking for temporary employment in UK. Our immigration solicitors in London can offer assistance to persons who are interested in relocating on a work basis in UK.
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Tier 1 visa in UK
Persons who want to relocate to London on a Tier 1 visa basis should know that this type of document is issued only for highly trained persons. Tier 1 (General) is no longer available for general purposes, as it was closed to applicants living outside UK. The British visa issued on a Tier 1 basis is still available for entrepreneurs or investors or for post-study work in UK. The visa is available only for persons with a high degree of specialization, who must obtain at least 75 points in an MBA program or by meeting the following criteria:
- qualifications (25-45 points);
- previous earnings (5- 75 points);
- UK experience (5 points);
- age (5-20 points).
Please note that the Tier 1 visa is available only for citizens outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Here is a video presentation with more details:
Tier 2 visa in UK
Citizens outside EEA can apply for a Tier 2 visa if they are skilled workers who have received a job offer in the UK, which could not have been managed by a local employee. At the same time, the person must also provide documentation on the fact that he/she has received a certificate of sponsorship before applying for a UK visa. Tier 2 is issued for persons who have a score of minimum 60 points (available for intra-company transfers) or 70 (general purposes), which is comprised of:
- the presence of a sponsor and a certificate of sponsorship (50 points);
- English language skills (10 points);
- available funds (10 points).
Persons who want to receive a Tier 2 visa can receive assistance on this matter from our UK immigration lawyer.
Tier 3 visa in UK
The Tier 3 visa was designated for low skilled employees needed on the British labor market when shortages of employees are created in a particular sector, but at the moment, the program has been shut down. If you would like complete information and legal advice for wide immigration matters, you should discuss with one of our immigration solicitors in London.
Tier 4 visa in UK
This type of visa is available for persons with an age above 16 years old who are enrolled in an educational institution. The Tier 4 visa is available for students outside the EEA area who can speak and write in English. Students must also prove that they have received an invitation to participate in a course in UK. The students can also work in UK under this visa and our London immigration lawyer can provide you with the employment conditions imposed by the British legislation for students.
Tier 5 visa in UK
Tier 5 visa is issued for a large category of persons, such as those involved in a youth mobility program (in this particular case, the students are not required to receive a job offer in UK). Other categories, such as persons working in creative industries or sports and charity domains, do require a job offer and a sponsorship from a UK organization. As a general rule, the visa is issued for temporary workers living in UK for up to two years.
Details about the Tier 1 visa for entrepreneurs
A foreign businessman who wants to relocate to UK and set up a company must comply with the requirements in this matter. For instance, one should provide at least GBP 50,000 representing the minimum share capital for its business. Besides that, the applicants must own most of the shares in the company and need to create full-time positions for future employees, from which at least two workers from the EEA (European Economic Area) are necessary. The knowledge of the English language is also a mandatory request once a candidate applies for a Tier 1 visa for entrepreneurs. It is good to know that this type of document allows the entrepreneur to relocate to the UK with his/her family members.
Details about the Tier 2 visa for skilled workers
A Tier 2 visa for skilled workers is granted for five years and it is necessary for citizens outside EEA or from Switzerland. This type of visa is issued to persons who need to fill certain positions if there is a lack of workers in UK in varied areas. In order to obtain a Tier 2 visa for skilled workers, one should know that details about the sponsorship must be provided. Furthermore, information about the financial situation needs to be offered in form of bank statements to see if the candidate can support himself/herself during the stay in the country. We remind that this kind of visa allows a worker to perform activities in accordance with the position mentioned in the sponsorship certificate and also the possibility of having a second job in the country. He/she can also relocate with the family in the UK, with the help of a Tier 2 visa for skilled workers. Please consider that you cannot have access to public funds with this type of visa and you cannot work until this document is issued by the Immigration Office. The sponsor can apply for a Tier 2 visa for skilled workers on your behalf, but it is suggested to ask for complete legal assistance from our UK immigration lawyer.
Details about the Tier 4 visa for students
Great Britain is acknowledged for its varied and high standard colleges, where numerous people from EU (European Union) or outside EU decide to attain. Future students who want to join the well-known colleges in UK must apply for a Tier 4 student visa and they need to provide details about their sponsorship, be over 16, and offer details about the financial status to see if they can support themselves during the courses in UK. We remind that the foreign students in UK have the possibility of working in the country, but for no more than 20 hours per week. A Tier 4 visa for students does not allow students to ask for public funds or join a funded school in the UK.
Details about the Tier 5 visa for temporary workers
The Tier 5 visa for temporary workers is available for foreign citizens who come to the country only for a temporary job. This kind of visa comes in varied forms like an international agreement for persons with contracts protected by the universal regulation, for instance, diplomats or employees of foreign governments. The Youth Mobility Scheme is available for citizens from Canada, Japan, Monaco, or Australia who are interested in changing experiences in the UK. A Tier 5 visa is also available for religious workers who come to the UK for pastoral or non-pastoral work for only a few days or months. We remind you that this type of visa is available for no more than 24 months, but if for varied reasons you might want to prolong your stay in the country, it is necessary to apply for a different type of visa.
What is the Exceptional Talent Visa for UK?
The exceptional talent visa for UK has been replaced with the Global Talent Visa. Yet, persons who already have the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa can settle in UK, bring family members, and extend the visa. In the case of extension, the Global Talent visa will replace the Exceptional Talent visa for UK. The application for settlement can be made by foreigners who have already lived in UK for 3 or 5 years with an exceptional promise endorsement in digital technology, arts, or culture. One can also bring the family members with the help of this visa, but he/she must respect the regulations and conditions imposed. You can discuss all the legal terms with one of our London immigration lawyers.
What happens to citizens living in UK after December 31st, 2020?
The EU settlement scheme enters the discussion, particularly for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens already living in the UK and who want to continue living here after June 2021. The EU settlement guarantees you the right to stay in UK, if you meet the criteria. The same rule is imposed on persons born in UK, but not a British citizen. In the case of children, the application must be made separately. Here are extra details you should pay attention to:
- UK citizens living in an EEA country needs to apply for settlement.
- Persons with indefinite leave to enter in UK or indefinite leave to remain in UK do not need to apply for UK settlement scheme.
- Foreigners with British citizenship remain with the same status, as there will be no changes for them.
- Frontier workers do not need to apply for UK settlement scheme.
If you need legal advice, please feel free to get in touch with our team of immigration solicitors in London. Our specialists can explain to you the new immigration rules that will be imposed after December 31st, 2020.
Changes for Tier 2 visa for workers in UK
The Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer sponsors will be granted automatically the new Skilled Worker license. A new Certificate of Sponsorship will be allocated. One should note that the Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT) will no longer be imposed on skilled workers in UK. In the case of non-EU workers under Tier 2 General visa for UK, the employers will have to pay the Immigration Skills Charge of GBP 1,000/year. Additional GBP 500 will be imposed for each subsequent 6-month period. Yet, small and medium companies in UK can benefit from reduced fees, under certain conditions. Here are other rules to consider for skilled workers in UK:
- The RQF3 is the minimum skill level for workers in UK, as the formal qualification is less important in this case.
- The English knowledge must be at an acceptable level.
- The sponsorship license for skilled workers will still be a valid requirement and probably one of the most important.
Leaving the EU comes with a new set of rules that must be understood from the start, as free movement will no longer be available in UK. The minimum salary also enters the discussion, so additional legal advice should be solicited from our team of immigration lawyers in London.
Students in UK after Brexit
The new points-based student scheme in UK will be based on the actual Tier 4 system, and the authorities will continue to encourage foreign students to come to UK and attend courses of the most prestigious colleges in the world. An improvement in this matter refers to the implementation of the Graduate Route scheme for persons who completed a degree in UK and who want to stay for extra two years for a Ph.D. that will help them obtain a great job in UK. Please feel free to discuss with our London immigration lawyer if interested in studying in UK.
Choosing our immigration lawyers in London
The new immigration rules enter into force in January 2021, except for the cases of visas that will expire a few months later. The freedom of movement will no longer be part of the UK, yet foreigners are encouraged to work in the country and enjoy the advantages offered in the labor market. Legal advice can be offered by our experienced immigration solicitors in London, so you can rely on professionalism, proficiency, and confidence at any time. Here are some facts and figures about immigration in UK for September 2019 – September 2020:
- Around 67 million passenger arrivals, including returning British residents have been registered during the above-mentioned period.
- More than 1,4 million visas have been granted in UK, among which, only 10% for work purposes, according to migrationobservatory.
- Around 176,000 Tier 4 student visas have been granted in UK during the same period.
If you need further information on the tier system in UK, please feel free to contact our team of immigration solicitors in London.