Work permitsPoints based System

How we can help with your Tier application

We can represent you at any level of your UK residence and citizenship application.

We offer our clients two different services:

The first option consists of a comprehensive service including advice about the procedure, documents required, assistance with completing the form, collation of evidence and representations outlining to the Home Office how the requirements are satisfied.

The second option is for those applicants who are confident with their applications and who merely want us to double check the application form and documents to ensure everything is in order and to advise of any potential weaknesses of the application so as to minimise chances of refusal.

The provisions in British immigration law relating to people coming to work or set themselves up in business radically changed with the introduction of a points-based system in 2008 and 2009. Different tiers within that system correspond to previous categories for workers and self employed individuals in the immigration rules.

The present government has made further radical changes abolishing applications for Tier 1 (General) applications from outside or from within the United Kingdom. They have also set upper limits on the number of Certificates of Sponsorships that are available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors.

Tier 1 (General) – formerly the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

This category was closed to applicants from outside the United Kingdom on 23 December 2010 and to applicants from within the United Kingdom on 5 April 2011.

There may be other ways in which you can come to the United Kingdom on the basis of a business or self-employment and you should always seek legal advice about your particular situation.

Individuals who already hold Tier 1 (General) status may still apply for further leave to remain in the United Kingdom or indefinite leave if they meet the necessary requirements.

Tier 1 (Enterpreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor)

These separate categories have been set up in the points-based system to replace the former provisions in the immigration rules relating to individuals who want to come to the United Kingdom either to set themselves up in business or to invest a substantial sum of money. Those wishing to set up in business need a minimum of £200,000 (or in certain specific circumstances £50,000) available for the establishment of that business and those who wish to come as investors need a minimum of £1,000,000 available for such investment. Various other requirements apply to each of these categories and, with respect to the Tier 1 (Investor) category, the speed with which an applicant may acquire indefinite leave to remain and British nationality will vary according to the level of investment. On the UK Border Agency website you can read more about the Tier 1 (Enterpreneur) category and about the Tier 1 (Investor) category.

Tier 2 – formerly the Work Permit Scheme

The Government has announced upper limits on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship that will be available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors under Tier 2.

Tier 2 allows a UK-based employer to employ an overseas national in a particular job so long as certain conditions are met. Only employers who have obtained a sponsor license from the UK Border Agency to employ Tier 2 workers are eligible to take advantage of this system. An employer who has obtained such a sponsor license may then hire overseas nationals but must usually demonstrate that they have attempted unsuccessfully to hire someone from the resident labour market. An employer must further demonstrate that there is a genuine vacancy for an employee and that the designated candidate has suitable experience and/or qualifications. Employers employing Tier 2 workers also have a continuing responsibility to report to the UK Border Agency any relevant changes in the circumstances of such workers. If an employer issues a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’, the employee will still need to obtain either a visa or permission from the Home Office to remain in the UK.

Different rules apply to many Europeans: those from countries in the European Union and certain other countries with special treaty arrangements with the European Union. See the European Union page on our web site.

The main working visa categories are included under what is known as the “Points Based System”. This will allow you and your family to live and work in the UK.

This section contains details of the immigration routes available to exceptionaly talented and highly skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs wanting to work in the UK. You should read the eligibility requirements for your category in full before making an application.

The points based system comprises five Tiers (although implementation of Tier 3 – for unskilled workers to fill temporary labour shortages – is currently suspended indefinitely):

TIER -1 for which the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) was a forerunner, enables highly skilled individuals to enter the UK to contribute to its economic wealth and productivity.

TIER 2- is for skilled workers who have been offered employment in the UK. It has replaced the previous Work Permit scheme.

TIER -4 is for those wishing to study in the UK. It has comprehensively replaced the Immigration Rules relating to students.

TIER 5- is for youth mobility and temporary workers. Their reasons for coming to the UK are non-economic.

Eligibility for entry under the Points Based System is heralded as being genuinely objective. A key feature of this is the absence of any discretion exercisable by the UKBA’s staff when considering applications for entry clearance and for leave to remain. To this end applicants must prove their entitlement to leave to enter or remain by the production of documents specified by the Secretary of State in guidance published on the UKBA’s website. The Immigration Rules point out that if an application is not accompanied by these specified documents it will not meet the requirements of the Rules.

The requirements for eligibility under each Tier are frequently varied by the UKBA. Since eligibility depends not only upon the terms of the Immigration Rules – but also upon criteria contained in the applicable policy guidance, which is subject to frequent amendment – anyone making any application under the points based system is strongly advised to obtain professional legal advice.

Tier 1 (Highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors and graduates)

Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 863, which was laid before Parliament on 16 March 2011 extensively recast Tier 1. By these changes:

Tier 1 does not require applicants for leave to enter or remain to have a job offer in the UK. It comprises four categories: General, Entrepreneur, Investor and Post-Study Work.

Tier 1 (General)

This immigration route replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme in 2008 for highly skilled migrants. Until 23 December 2010 it was open to people to apply for entry clearance to come to the UK as a Tier 1 (General) migrant. Thereafter it was closed to overseas applicants, and as indicated above applications from those within the UK are restricted to a dwindling class of people.

To qualify for leave to remain applicants require 80 points for a combination of attributes – made up of their qualifications, age and previous earnings. Details of how these points are scored are set out in Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. A reduction to 75 points applies for people who had previously been granted leave to remain under the HSMP or under two other now deleted immigration categories.

The age criterion operates to award more points to younger applicants and less to older applicants.

Applicants also need to have 10 points for English language. These points are awarded by reference to the criteria listed in Appendix B of the Immigration Rules which are (alternatively):

Lastly applicants require 10 points under Appendix C which is concerned with the applicants’ ability to maintain themselves.

If successful, applicants for leave to remain under the Tier 1 (General) subcategory will be granted leave to remain in the UK for two years if their previous grant of leave to remain was under Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 or for three years if their previous grant of leave was after this date. They will have free access to the UK labour market, with one exception – which is that they are not allowed to take employment as a doctor in training. At the end of this period they can apply for further leave to remain in the same category or in any other Tier or subcategory of the points based system. If successful they will be granted leave to remain for up to a total of five years.

Following completion of a total of five years’ leave to remain applicants can apply for settlement in the UK – in the form of indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant. They must meet the additional requirement at this stage of satisfying the Secretary of State that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. If successful they can then apply after 12 months for UK nationality.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

This route, which has existed since April of 2011, is for “those who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts and who wish to work in the UK” to be granted entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK. To succeed applicants must be economically active in their chosen field, and this must be certified by a “Designated Competent Body”. However no details of such bodies have been provided by the UKBA.

There is a limit on applications of 1000 for the year to April of 2012. Most of these limited visas will be issued to those active in science.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

This subcategory of Tier 1 is for business investors seeking to establish, take over or be actively involved in the running of a business. As they did under the old business Immigration Rules, applicants must have at least £200,000 to invest in a new or existing UK company, although as noted above the new Prospective Entrepreneur visitor Immigration Rule enables people to come to the UK if they have substantially less than this but have arranged financial backing for a business project with UK-based interests. Prospective Entrepreneurs are entitled to apply to “switch” into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category after they reach the UK.

The £200,000 provides the necessary 75 points required by Appendix A of the Immigration Rules for entry clearance as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), and the migrant will initially be granted leave to enter for three years.

The requirements under Appendices B and C (English language and Maintenance) for Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are identical to those for Tier 1 (General) Migrants.

By the time their leave expires applicants in this subcategory will have to show that their activities have created at least two new full time jobs for UK employees. Meeting these requirements will gain applicants the necessary points needed for further leave to remain, which will be for two years.

Those with leave to enter or remain as Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are not allowed to work outside the business or businesses they have set up, taken over or joined and are not allowed to claim public funds.

The number of years for which a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) must remain in the UK – under the newly relaxed conditions brought in since April of 2011 – in order to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain can be as low as three, if the business has created at least ten new jobs in the UK, or can show an income from its activity of at least £5 million.

Otherwise, Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants can apply for indefinite leave to remain after five years. They must meet the additional requirement at this stage of satisfying the Secretary of State that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. If successful they can apply for UK nationality after they have had indefinite leave to remain for 12 months.

Tier 1 (Investor)

Tier 1 (Investor) migrants are high net worth individuals, who are capable of making a substantial financial investment in the UK. Again the requirements are very similar to those which were stipulated under the previous Investor route.

To qualify for entry clearance applicants must have net assets of at least £1 million. This will gain them the necessary points under Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. They are not required to meet any English language requirement (Appendix B) nor do they need to satisfy any requirement as to maintenance (Appendix C).

After their entry to the UK Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants need to invest at least £750,000 in the UK. This money needs to be invested in UK government bonds, share or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies – but not in those principally engaged in property investment. Appendix A of the Immigration Rules provides details of how an applicant’s assets can be taken into account to prove entitlement for entry clearance and how the necessary investment is to be made and maintained.

It is a crucial feature of the Tier 1 (Investor) subcategory that the investment of at least £750,000 must be made within three months of a successful applicant’s arrival in the UK. Failure to do so will not only jeopardise the applicant’s application for further leave to remain – it also entitles the UKBA to curtail leave to enter granted in this subcategory.

In contrast to their predecessors – Investors – Tier 1 (Investor) migrants are entitled to work if they wish to do so but not as a doctor in training.

Leave to enter the UK is granted for an initial period of three years, and further leave to remain – upon satisfaction of the requirements which are outlined above – for a period of two years.

As with other Tier 1 migrants, those with leave to remain in this subcategory can apply for indefinite leave to remain. They can do so as a Tier 1 (Investor) migrant after completing the number of years of continuous residence in the UK which is commensurate with the level of their investment. For example, those who invest as much as £10 million can apply for indefinite leave to remain after just two years.

Although they are not required to do so at any earlier stage of their route to settlement – Tier 1 (Investor) migrants must then meet the additional requirement of satisfying the Secretary of State that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK.

Tier 1 (Post-Study Work)

International graduates who have studied in the UK (under Tier 4) can apply for entry clearance or for leave to remain as Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrants. (This subcategory of Tier 1 replaced the International Graduates Scheme and the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme.)

The Post-Study Work subcategory is scheduled to be closed in April of 2012. Following this it is understood that it will only be possible for Tier 4 (General) Students to apply to stay in the UK as Tier 2 (General) migrants.

To succeed applicants need to obtain 75 points for their attributes (Appendix A of the Immigration Rules) – which are scored against the qualification they have gained and the institution at which they studied for it. The necessary qualifications are a degree or a postgraduate diploma or certificate from a UK institution or a Higher National Diploma from a Scottish institution.

Additionally applicants need to have knowledge of English language (Appendix B) at the same level as that required by Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants – although this requirement is met automatically by their UK qualification.

Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrants must also meet the maintenance requirements of Appendix C, which it has in common with those in the General and Entrepreneur subcategories.

These are £2,800 when applying for entry clearance and £800 when applying for leave to remain. Applicants must show that they have possessed this amount of money for a period of three months ending just before the date of their applications.

This subcategory is distinct from the other subcategories of Tier 1 in that it does not provide a route to settlement. Leave to enter or remain is granted for a maximum period of two years, but the Immigration Rules permit Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) migrants to apply for further leave to remain either in any of the other Tier 1 subcategories or as a Tier 2 migrant.

Family members of Tier 1 migrants

The family members of migrants in all of the subcategories of Tier 1 can apply to join their spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner or parent (if the applicant is a child under the age of 18) in the UK. They can also apply for settlement in the UK at the same time as the Tier 1 migrant to whom they are related – but if they are related otherwise than as his or her children they must have lived with the Tier 1 migrant in the UK for at least two years. If they do not meet this requirement they can apply for a further period of limited leave to remain of up to two years, after which they can apply for settlement.

Tier 2 (Sponsored skilled workers)

The Tier 2 regime was extensively restructured by Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 863. The changes took effect on 6 April 2011. They include the annual limit on applications for entry clearance to come to the UK under the Tier 2 (General) route and the requirement that all Tier 2 (General) Migrants must be employed in “graduate level” jobs. These new requirements are subject to transitional provisions, and all applications made up to and including 5 April 2011 will be considered by the United Kingdom Border Agency under the Immigration Rules as they were on 5 April 2011.

There are four subcategories of Tier 2 migrants. These are:

In common with all tiers of the Points-Based System other than Tier 1, all applicants seeking entry clearance or leave to remain under one of these routes must be “sponsored”. The Immigration Rules which apply to their applications require them to be issued with a “Certificate of Sponsorship” or “COS” by a sponsor licensed as appropriate by the United Kingdom Border Agency. Possession of a COS will provide the applicant with the necessary number of points for “Attributes” which are indicated at Appendix A to the Immigration Rules. Appendix A sets out detailed limitations on the award of points, and effectively defines what an applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship must represent.

All applicants for leave to enter or remain under any subcategory of Tier 2 must score points for competence in the English language (Appendix B of the Rules), and must show that they have the ability to support themselves for the first month of their stay in the UK (Appendix C). If their Sponsor is A-graded the necessary points for Appendix C can be scored by the sponsor’s issuing a guarantee to maintain and accommodate the migrant if this is necessary.

Tier 2 (General)

Tier 2 replaced the Work Permits regime in November of 2008. It enables UK-based employers to sponsor people from outside the EEA to come and work in the UK.

Applicants for entry clearance are subject to an annual limit. This is achieved by the UKBA’s limiting the amount of COSs which sponsors can issue in any one month. The limit for the year ending on 5 April 2012 is 20,700 Certificates of Sponsorship.

The limit is broken down into monthly allocations. Employers wishing to sponsor Tier 2 (General) applicants therefore have to apply to the UKBA for a proportion of the monthly allocation. A further points-scoring system has been established to determine which employers will succeed in obtaining Certificates of Sponsorship at each monthly allocation.

Applications for leave to remain in the UK are not subject to any limit. Neither are applications for entry clearance if the applicant is to earn £150,000 or more annually.

To succeed in their applications all applicants must be sponsored to do work for which they will be paid a minimum salary of £20,000. Moreover the level of salaries must be consistent with the UKBA’s published codes of practice relevant to defined areas of work.

The UKBA also publishes a list of “shortage occupations”. People who intend to work in these areas do not need to satisfy a “resident labour market test”.

Certificates of Sponsorship issued to applicants seeking to work in the UK in areas outside the shortage occupations must indicate that a resident labour market test has been carried out to demonstrate that there is no domestic labour available to fill the proposed employment. The UKBA’s published codes of practice determine the salary level at which any job must be advertised in order to comply with the necessary resident labour market test.

The codes of practice also stipulate the organs of the trade press in which a particular job must be advertised, although since April of 2009 the UKBA has required all jobs to also be advertised in Jobcentre Plus.

Tier 2 (General) migrants seeking to extend their leave to remain and who are continuing to work for the same employer similarly do not have to satisfy a resident labour market test.

All applicants must also satisfy an English language requirement, demonstrating that they have a command of English at an “intermediate” level. (Until the changes in April 2011 Tier 2 (General) applicants only needed to have a command of English at a basic user standard.)

All applicants must satisfy a maintenance requirement. Applicants for entry clearance must show that they have funds of £800 or more at the time of their applications. Applicants whose Tier 2 sponsors certify in the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will if necessary maintain and accommodate the applicant for the first month of the applicant’s employment are exempt from this requirement, as are applicants seeking to extend their existing leave to remain under Tier 2.

There are detailed transitional arrangements whereby Tier 2 (General) migrants, and those in the immigration categories which preceded Tier 2 (such as Work Permit Holders) who are already in the UK under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2011 are able to apply to extend their stay without being subject to the annual limit, the new graduate-level job requirement, the new salary threshold, or the new English language level. This applies whether they are extending with the same employer or changing employers.

Successful applicants for entry clearance will be given leave to enter the UK for the duration of their employment plus 1 month, up to a maximum of 3 years plus 1 month.

The amount of leave to remain given to successful applicants for further leave to remain varies according to the nature of the applicant’s previous leave to remain. Applicants who previously had leave to remain under the immigration categories which preceded Tier 2 will generally be given sufficient leave to remain to take their aggregated leave to remain to a total of 5 years. Where the applicant is a Tier 2 migrant and is working for the same employer and doing the same job as he or she was doing when previously granted leave, the amount of leave to remain will be for the period of employment plus 14 days up to a maximum of 2 years. Everyone else will get leave for the period of their employment plus 14 days, up to a maximum of 3 years.

Applicants granted leave to enter or remain must not have recourse to public funds and must not work for any other employer other than their Tier 2 sponsor.

Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer)

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants are skilled workers moving from an overseas branch of a company to a UK branch.

Certificates of Sponsorship issued to applicants in this category of Tier 2 do not have to include any resident labour market test. Neither is there any limit in force relating to the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category.

There are 4 subcategories of Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer). Applicants in the Short and Long Term Staff subcategories must have been working for the company for a period of not less than 12 months prior to their applications. These subcategories are for people coming to work in the UK in a capacity which could not be filled by a recruit from the company’s UK workforce. Short Term Staff come to the UK for less than 1 year, and Long Term Staff for more than 1 year.

Long Term and Short Term Staff are themselves subcategories of the “Established Staff” subcategory of Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer). The Established Staff subcategory was subdivided in this way in the changes which came into force in April of 2011.

Applicants in the Graduate Trainee subcategory have to have been working for the company for a period of not less than 3 months. Skills Transfer applicants only need to show that they are employed by the company at the time of their application.

Applicants in the Long Term Staff subcategory must be paid the appropriate UK-equivalent annual salary for their job, which must be at least £40,000. They are admitted to the UK initially for a maximum period of 3 years and 1 month. This period may be extended, on application, to a maximum period of 5 years, after which the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrant must leave the UK. He or she cannot return as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrant for a period of 12 months. (There is however no bar on making other applications for entry clearance.)

Annual salaries for Short Term Staff must be at the appropriate UK level for their job and must not be less than £24,000. Short Term Staff are admitted to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months, after which they must leave the UK, with a bar on their returning in the Short Term Staff subcategory for a further period of 12 months.

Applicants in the Graduate Trainee and Skills Transfer subcategories must also be paid an annual salary of at least £24,000. They are admitted to the UK for a maximum period of 12 months and 6 months respectively, after which they must leave the UK. They are not allowed to return in either of these subcategories or as Short Term Staff for a period of 12 months.

However, a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrant who has previously had leave in one of the Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer subcategories will not be required to spend 12 months outside the UK before they can return in the Long Term Staff subcategory.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants who are already in the UK under the Rules in place before 6 April 2011 will be able to apply to extend their stay without being subject to the new graduate-level job requirement or the new salary thresholds. Those who are currently here in the Established Staff subcategory can continue to apply to extend their stay beyond five years.

There is no language requirement to be met by applicants in the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) category unless their leave in the UK exceeds 3 years in total. As with Tier 2 (General), the requirement is for a command of English language at level B1 of the Common European Framework.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants have to meet a maintenance requirement. Applicants for entry clearance must show that they have funds of £800 or more at the time of their applications. Applicants whose Tier 2 Sponsors certify in the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant for the first month of the applicant’s employment are exempt from this requirement, as are applicants seeking to extend their existing leave to remain under Tier 2.

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)

Those applying as Ministers of Religion must satisfy an appropriate resident labour market test and must have a command of the English language higher than that for applicants under the other subcategories of Tier 2. Complicity with these requirements will gain applicants the necessary points under Appendices A and B of the Rules.

Tier 2 (Sportsperson)

This subcategory is for people whose employment in the UK will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK. The class of applicants is effectively defined by their sponsors, which generally will have been approved by the sport’s governing body.

Indefinite leave to remain

With the exception of Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants whose initial grant of leave postdates 6 April 2011, all Tier 2 migrants can apply for indefinite leave to remain after they have completed a period of 5 years’ lawful residence in the UK.

However the sponsor that issued the Certificate of Sponsorship that led to the applicant’s last grant of leave must certify in writing that the applicant is still required for the job the applicant does and, in the cases of applications for indefinite leave to remain made by Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants and Tier 2 (General) migrants, that the applicant is paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job as stated in the codes of practice for Tier 2 sponsors published by the UK Border Agency.

In all cases applicants for indefinite leave to remain must have sufficient knowledge of the English language and must pass the UKBA’s life in the UK test, unless they are either under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 when applying for indefinite leave.

Family members of Tier 2 migrants

As with Tier 1 migrants, a Tier 2 migrant’s family members can accompany the migrant to the UK. Each family member must satisfy a maintenance requirement under Appendix E of the Immigration Rules.

Tier 4 (Students)

There are two subcategories Tier 4 (General) Student and Tier 4 (Child) Student. Those in the General subcategory are students aged 16 or over. The Child subcategory is for children aged from 4 to 17 who wish to be educated in the UK.

Tier 4 (General)

The necessary points for attributes under Appendix A of the Immigration Rules are awarded to applicants seeking entry clearance on the basis of their “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” which is issued by the applicant’s sponsoring education provider.

Students are not required to score points for command of the English language under Appendix B, but must be proficient in English to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference if they are studying at degree level or above, or to level B1 if they are studying at below degree level.

There are stringent requirements to obtain the necessary points for maintenance under Appendix C, particularly if the student’s course of study is in inner London.

Entry clearance is issued to applicants in the Tier 4 (General) student subcategory for the duration of the course, with a flexible period of additional leave for the period before the course.

Tier 4 (Child)

In the case of applicants in the Child category who are under 16 years old they must be studying at a fee paying independent school. For other applicants the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies will, as with applicants in the (General) subcategory, itself provide the necessary 30 points for attributes.

Children under the age of 16 will be granted up to six years’ leave to remain or the duration of the course, plus one month before the course starts and one month after it ends. For children aged 16 or over the maximum period of leave granted is two years.

If children are to be looked after by a foster carer or a relative in the UK instead of by their parents the arrangements for their care must meet the requirements for their care which are published in the UKBA’s guidance.

Family members of Tier 4 (Migrants)

Tier 4 (General) students can only be joined in the UK by their family members if they are studying at postgraduate level on a course lasting longer than 12 months, or if they are sponsored by their own national governments on courses lasting at least 6 months. This restriction applies to any new student and his or her family members after 4 July 2011. There are transitional provisions for those already in the UK with leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) student or as his or her dependant.

Tier 5 (Temporary workers)

This Tier of the points based system provides two routes for people to come to the UK to work temporarily. The first sub category is youth mobility – the other sub category is for temporary workers.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility)

Like the Working Holidaymaker route which it replaces this sub category enables people from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand, as well as British Overseas Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens or British Nationals (Overseas) who are aged between 18 and 30 to experience life in the UK for up to two years. Successful applicants have unlimited access to employment in the UK during this period.

Nationals of the listed countries have to be sponsored by their national governments but this sponsorship is deemed to have taken place by an applicant’s possession of a national passport. Fulfilling these criteria will get them the necessary points for Attributes under Appendix A of the Immigration Rules. There is no requirement for any command of the English language.

Tier 5 (Youth mobility) Migrants must show that they can support themselves. Currently the requirement under Appendix C is for savings of at least £1,600.

This sub category does not lead to settlement. It is not possible for people with leave as Tier 5 (Youth mobility) Migrants to apply to switch into any other area work or study route.

Tier 5 (Temporary Workers)

This sub category enables people to come to the UK for:

These periods of leave can be made up of consecutive shorter periods, each of which must be of not more than three months.

Family members of Tier 5 Migrants

The Immigration Rules do not provide for entry clearance or leave to remain to be granted to the family members of Tier 5 (Youth mobility) Migrants, but Tier 5 (Temporary Workers) Migrants are entitled to be accompanied by their family members, subject to their satisfying a maintenance requirement (Appendix E of the Rules).

Family members of migrants under the points-based system

If you are the partner or dependent child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK under most categories of the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here.

If you are the partner or dependent child under 18 of a migrant who is in or coming to the UK in most work categories outside the points-based system, you can apply for a visa to join them here.

The migrant worker will need to prove that they can support you and themselves without needing state benefits or other public funds. You will need to show that:

you intend to live with the migrant worker during their stay, and your relationship is genuine (not a ‘marriage of convenience’), if you are their partner; or

you have not formed an independent family unit and are not leading an independent life, if you are their child aged under 18.

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