Guest Post: The UK 5 Tier Visa System: Everything You Need to Know

Today’s guest post is curtesy of Ryan Duffy who shares his knowledge on the UK’s 5 tier work visa system!  As a Brit that went through the USA visa process, it’s interesting to see how it is for people wanting to move to my home country from overseas (and for those outside the EU…although no one really knows how that’s panning out at the moment…)!

If you’re in the position where you are going to be moving to the UK from a foreign country, you are going to be embarking on one of the most exciting moments of your life. During the process of moving over to the UK you will probably be caught up in getting everything ready, but it is vital that you are covered on the legal side of things, as obtaining a UK visa can be a slightly complex process. This is because of the 5 tier visa system which is in place in the UK.  The system – which came to fruition in 2008 – is a way for the UK government to actively control migrants from outside the EU who wanted to invest, work, train or study in the UK.

The way your tier is decided is through a points system, which is put together based on your age, experience and ability as a worker. The number of points you accumulate then decides which tier you fall into; the following below goes into further depth on what each tier includes.

Tier 1

With the tier 1 visa, there are four categories which include: entrepreneurs, graduate entrepreneurs, investors and people who are classed as having exceptional talent. The people classed as entrepreneurs are the ones coming from another country who are willing to invest £50,000 in a new business situated in the UK. A graduate entrepreneur is someone who studied at a UK university and are wanting to remain in the UK. The only way this is possible for them is if their university endorses them as someone who can a have ‘a positive impact on the UK economy’. If an investor is wanting to enter under a tier 1 visa, they must have at least £2,000,000 to put into a UK business. Lastly, the exceptional talent category is for people who work in the medicine, science, engineering, humanities, and arts (actors & musicians) industries.

Tier 2

As the case with the tier 1 visa, there are also 4 categories for applicants who want to enter under the tier 2 visa. These are workers who are sponsored by a UK business, workers who have been transferred to a UK branch of their company, religious ministers and sportspeople. The first two categories are only possible to obtain if the applicant has been sponsored by their business and the business can prove that they are an integral member of the business. The ministers have to be part of a religion which is recognised in the UK, and the sportsperson has to be a professional who is classed as ‘elite’ and is registered with the sport’s governing body as a participant in the sport.

Tier 3

The tier 3 visa is a tier which was actually removed in 2013. When first created, it was initially made for workers who were classed as unskilled. However, the UK government saw no reason to allow unskilled workers from outside the EU to enter the country as it rarely had a positive impact on the country.

Tier 4

The tier 4 visa is designed for students who study at a UK institution. This type of visa is very easy to obtain, as long as the applicant has the funding for a course which requires upwards of 20 hours of work per week.

Tier 5

An applicant who will be granted a tier 5 visa is somebody who is coming to work in the UK on temporary basis. This essentially means that anyone who is able to gain one of the other visas if they were to be working full-time will be able to get the tier 5 visa if they are going to be working for a pre-determined amount of time.

Author Bio:

Ryan Duffy is a freelance writer who is a recent university graduate in Media Studies. His passion for people and writing has encouraged him to pursue this career full-time. He enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and this is where most of his work has taken him.

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All words (other than the intro and the featured image) are written by Ryan.  Thanks again for sharing your knowledge!


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