2008 and 2009 saw the biggest overhaul of the UK’s immigration system for over 45 years with the launch of the Points-Based System. Under the new Points Based System the previously established routes of entry into the UK have been replaced with a system that allows entry under one of 5 Tiers.
Our team is able to assist both employers and individuals with applications under the Points Based System, as well as assisting employers with sponsor registration. The key categories under the Points-Based System include:
- Tier 1 (General), catering for highly skilled migrants. Tier 1 (General) was launched worldwide on 30 June 2008 and replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. Although Tier 1 has now been removed for new applicants, those who are already in the system and have limited leave to remain under the old Tier 1 category can still benefit from the opportunities it offered.
- Tier 1 (Investor), catering for high net worth individuals making a substantial financial investment in the UK. Tier 1 (Investor) was launched on 30 June 2008 and replaces the previous investor category. The Investor category starts from a £50,000 investment by certain graduates and rises to £5 million investments involving complex business plans and banking and investment products.
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), catering for individuals investing in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the UK. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) was launched on 30 June 2008 and replaces the entrepreneur category.
- Tier 1 (Post-Study Work), This category no longer exists and has been abolished by the Government.
- Tier 2 (General), catering for sponsored skilled workers from outside if the EEA. Tier 1 (General) replaced the existing work permit scheme from November 2008
- Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion) catering for those coming to the UK as a religious worker with recognised religions and intending to preach to their community or perform a pastoral role.
- Tier 2 (Sports People) catering for elite sports persons or coaches who intend to base themselves in the UK, are internationally established at the highest level, and whose employment will make a significant contribution. Tier 2 (Sports People) was launched in November 2008 and replaced the work permit scheme for sportspersons.
- Tier 4, catering for international students. Tier 4 was launched in December 2009 and replaced all of the previous student categories.
- Tier 5 (Youth Mobility scheme), catering for young people seeking to temporarily come and experience life in the UK. Tier 5 (Youth Mobility scheme) was launched in November 2008 and replaced the Working Holidaymaker category.
Tier 5 (Temporary Workers – Religious Workers), catering for ministers of religion coming to the UK on a temporary basis as a religious worker in a non-pastoral role, where duties include performing religious rites, but not preaching to a congregation.