UK's immigration and visa laws are unclear for now, but according to the authorities and experts, UK might take half a decade to get over with the EU effect. That means, the present Point-based Immigration system that was applied in 2008 will remain effective for indefinite time.
Inspired by the Australian immigration system, the new visa system was introduced by the Labour government of the UK to replace all the mazy immigration schemes and work permits that include over 80 different types of visas for migrants outside European Economic Area (EEA) and European Union (EU).
Administered by the UK Border Agency, this system has five tiers each having a minimum point limit. If you wish to work, study or live in the UK, then you have to apply for visa under one of these tiers. To qualify, you must score points above the minimum threshold mentioned for each tier. Even though, the system looks simple, it has many sub-categories such as Tier 1 (General), Tier 1 (Investor) or Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent). If you want to increase your points, it is advisable to seek expert assistance, as they know the right way to increase points and get a visa.
Tier 1: Visa under this category are given to 'high value migrants' including entrepreneurs, investors and applicants with exceptional talent from non-EEA and non-EU countries.
Tier 2: The category is specifically for skilled workers outside EEA and EU. Applicants with a job offer in the UK apply for Tier 2 visa for the UK.
To gain the entry clearance or to extend the leave, an applicant must score enough points in the related tier. Tier 1 and 2 applicants are awarded points for their qualification, level of English language proficiency, ability, experience, expected earnings, sponsorship and age. If you are lucky, you might get points to fulfill a certain skill shortage.
Tier 3: The category was designed for low-skilled workers to fulfill temporary labour shortage. However, the government never allocated any visa under this scheme because they never faced any shortage due to EEA and EU immigrants.
Tier 4: Exclusively for students above 18 years and outside EEA and EU.
To qualify under this category, students must have a valid confirmation letter from a recognized educational institute that is licensed to sponsor immigrants. They are needed to show a proof that states they can cover for fees and living expenses.
Tier 5: This visa for temporary workers is divided in six sub categories - creative and sporting, charity worker, religious worker, government authorized exchange, international agreement and youth mobility scheme.
The points are awarded for a valid certificate of sponsorship for creative and sporting, charity worker, religious worker and government authorized exchange categories. Applicants from countries that have reciprocal arrangements with United Kingdom are awarded points under youth mobility scheme.
· A Certificate of Sponsorship from a registered sponsor is must for most applicants.
· You don't need a sponsorship when applying under Tier 1 - High-value migrants, entrepreneurs and investors.
· Applicants under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) need endorsement by Designated Competent Body.
· Tier 2 applicants need a Certificate of Sponsorship from the prospective employer stating that the migrant fills a genuine vacancy in the UK, which cannot be filled by a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker.
· Applicants under Tier 4 require acceptance letter of admission confirmation from the educational institute he is intended to study.
· All applicants other than those applying under youth mobility scheme need Certificate of Sponsorship under Tier 5 category.