The United Kingdom's Tier 1 visa immigration scheme is part of the new points based system designed for High Value Immigrants.
Tier 1 visas are presently available to exceptionally talented migrants, entrepreneurs, investors, and foreign graduates of UK educational institutions.
A person must successfully score 75 points under a points based system to come to the UK under Tier 1.
Tier 1 Migrants are initially granted leave to remain in the UK for three years with a maximum possible extension of two more years.
WHO MAY QUALIFY
Tier 1 is meant for a variety of high value individuals and is broken up into many sub-categories, four of which are currently open to applicants -
- Migrants with Exceptional Talent
- Post-Study Work
The Exceptional Talent sub-category is for highly educated migrants who have been endorsed by a ‘designated competent body’ in UK.
Entrepreneurs who plan to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over a business, and being actively involved in running the business fall under the Entrepreneur sub-category of Tier 1.
For Entrepreneur Tier 1 sub-category, at least £200,000 of disposable capital held in a regulated financial institution is required.
Wealthy individuals who plan to make a substantial financial investment in the UK can come under the Investor sub-category of Tier 1.
At least £1,000,000 of disposable funds is required under the Investor sub-category of Tier 1. Investors are exempt from the English language requirement and the requirement to prove the ability to support themselves and any dependants.
The Post-Study Work sub-category of Tier 1 is meant to retain the brightest foreign students who have studied in the UK. However, it is only designed to be a ladder to highly skilled or highly talented sub-category of Tier 1 visa.
To encourage individuals to switch over, leave is granted under Post-Study Work for a maximum of 2 years only and is non-renewable.
Time spent in the UK under Post-Study Work will not count towards permanent residence.
Students must apply for the Post-Study Work sub-category within 12 months of receiving their qualification.
THE POINTS BASED SYSTEM
In each sub-category of Tier 1, points are earned according to three sets of criteria:
- Criteria specific to each sub-category, such as age and past experience in regards to the General Highly Skilled Migrants sub-category. Migrants will need to score at least 75 points to pass.
- English language ability. Migrants will be required to score 10 points in an assessment of their English language competency.
- Ability for migrants to support themselves and any dependants, otherwise called Maintenance. Migrants need to score 10 points in this area by demonstrating that they have sufficient funds for their stay in the United Kingdom until they find employment. Sufficient funds are judged against the latest standard of living figures.
Migrants will be required to score minimum 75 points in order to gain entry under Tier 1 and again when seeking renewal of their Tier 1 visa after three years. Documentary evidence for a migrant's ability to claim sufficient points will be required.
As per the Immigration and Asylum Act of 2006, migrants applying from abroad will have no right of appeal when denied entry, so it is important to make sure the documentation is in order.
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