UK Immigration, Work Permits and UK Visas
The United Kingdom offers a range of immigration categories. The type of UK Visa for which you should apply will depend on the purpose of your entry to the UK or reason for continued stay in the UK.
UK Visas - The Points Based System
Most immigration categories are covered by the Points Based System. This is comprised of 5 distinct Tiers:
Tier 1 Visas
There are a number of UK Visa categories within Tier 1, including the Tier 1 General Visa category (formerly HSMP) and the Tier 1 Post Study Work (PSW) category (formerly known as the International Graduates Scheme). These visas are intended to allow highly skilled workers to work for any employer in any capacity in the UK without needing the employer to sponsor them. BOTH of these categories are now closed to new applicants.
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and the Tier 1 Investor Visa are available to those wishing to establish a business or invest in the UK.
Tier 2 Work Visas
The Tier 2 category is the replacement for the old Work Permit scheme, including Intra-Company Transfers (ICT), Sportspersons and Ministers of Religion. You need a Certificate of Sponsorship (offer of employment) from the UK employer before you can apply for your Tier 2 Visa.
Tier 4 Student Visas
The Tier 4 Visa category is the replacement for the previous Student Visa category, allowing individuals to study in the UK the potential to extend into Tier 1 of the points-based system if they are successful at a suitable level in their studies.
Tier 5 Visas - Youth Mobility (Working Holidays)
Tier 5 Visas (Youth Mobility) replaced the previous Working Holiday Visa and allow for up to 2 years working in the UK for those between the ages of 18 and 30 from qualifying countries.
We can also help if you need to bring your family or dependants to the UK, perhaps to join you after you have gained your UK work permit or Tier 1 Visa and settled in the UK. You can also find further information on Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and British Citizenship in the UK Immigration section of this web site.