UK immigration is a thriving field and immigrants largely move to Britain for either education or work. The UK has a Points Based System (PBS) for immigration.

The process of immigration starts with migrants outside the EEA (European Economic Area) file an application to any one of the 5 tiers available. The tier will be decided on the basis of how you want to study, work, train, or invest in the UK.

You have to pass an assessment on the basis of points. There are conditions and requirements specific to each tier that you will have to meet. You as an applicant will get points based on factors like earnings, qualifications, age, funds, and language skills. Based on the assessment and points, you will get clearance to enter into or remain in the UK.

The following are the 5 tiers:
  • Tier 1: Tier 1 visas are intended for graduate students, highly skilled workers, investors, and entrepreneurs living outside the EU and EEA. If you are one fitting this profile, you won’t require a job offer to apply.
  • Tier 2: Tier 2 visas are aimed at professional sportspeople, clergy members, and skilled workers outside the EEA. If you are one, you can apply for a visa when you have a job offer. You must be capable of filling gaps in the UK’s labor force.
  • Tier 3: Tier 3 visas are intended for workers who are low-skilled, selected for temporary labor. However, since the Government of the UK made a decision to not accept immigrants who are not from the EU for positions of tier 3 these visas have been removed.
  • Tier 4: Tier 4 visas are aimed at students above the age of 16 years from outside the EEA. They should apply for a tier 4 visa if they desire to study at a university, college, or school in the UK.
  • Tier 5: Tier 5 visas belong to a category that has 6 sub-tiers of workers chosen for temporary tenures, who have to do with charity, sporting and creative job positions, religious workers, and young people who work in UK on working holidays.
Visa requirements for the UK Work Visa

The visa requirements change according to the Tier under which the application is filed. All applicants of work visas, in general, need to have a licensed sponsor or an employer.

The most common requirements include:

  • A filled application form
  • Proof of financial means to cover the cost of living in the UK
  • Result of Tuberculosis test
  • Payment of UK visa fees
  • 2 photographs in color not older than 6 months
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Biometric information
  • Certified translations of any document in a non-English or Welsh language
  • A valid passport
  • Detailed itinerary for travel
  • An invitation letter for the visa in case you are staying with a family member or friend
Alternatives for traditional ways to getting the UK Work Visa
  • Commonwealth citizens who have a British grandparent can go for an ancestry visa so that they can work in UK provided they meet other criteria for eligibility.
  • If you are an employee who left the UK for over 2 years on an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain), they may require only a Returning Resident Visa to arrive back and work in UK.
What is the Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker Visa came as a replacement for the Tier 2 general sponsored worker visas. With this visa program, businesses in the UK could sponsor European and non-European nationals to work in UK from January 1, 2021.

When will the Skilled Worker Visa route open?

The Skilled Worker Visa route has been open since December 1, 2020. Simultaneously, the Tier 2 General route was closed to new applicants.

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