If you are looking to move to the UK from the US for work or to study you will need to apply for a UK visa using the UK Visa Points System, known as the five-tier points-based system.

The Home Office uses a visa tier system for various types of Work or Study Visa options. Tier 1 is for high-value migrants, Tier 2 for skilled workers, Tier 4 students and Tier 5 for temporary skilled workers. Tier 3 is for temporary unskilled workers but is currently suspended.

For more information on each points-based assessment, as well as category-specific information under Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5. See High-Value Migrant Tier 1 Visas, Skilled Worker Tier 2 Visas, Student and Tier 4 Visas and Temporary Worker Tier 5 Visas. Tier 3 of the UK visa system is currently suspended.

Please see below for more information on the categories that make up the five-tier points-based UK visa system.


What are the requirements for the Tier 1 Visa?

The Tier 1 visa is for Entrepreneurs, Investors, Highly Skilled and Exceptionally Talented workers. These applicants can apply to enter the UK without a job offer but still must pass a points-based assessment. For more on the four Tier 1 categories:

  • Exceptional Talent
  • Entrepreneur
  • Investor
  • Graduate Entrepreneur

What are the requirements for the Tier 2 Visa?

Tier 2 of the UK visa system allows skilled workers to enter the country to work with a job offer from a licensed UK sponsor. The sponsor will have to provide them with a Certificate of Sponsorship and they will also have to pass a points-based assessment. The four categories of skilled worker are:

  • General Skilled Workers
  • Sportspeople
  • Ministers of Religion
  • Intra Company Transfer Staff (ICT)

What are the requirements for the Tier 3 Visa?

Tier 3 is currently suspended. The employment of low-skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) is not permitted.

What are the requirements for the Tier 4 Visa?

The Tier 4 Visa allows child students between four and 17 years old, as well as adult students over 18 as a child or student visitor. There are four categories of Student Visa:

  • Tier 4 (Child)
  • Tier 4 (General)
  • Child Visitors
  • Student Visitors

What are the requirements for the Tier 5 Visa?

Under Tier 5, temporary skilled workers can apply to enter the UK for short periods of time, usually sponsored by a UK employer. There are five categories of temporary worker, as well as the Youth Mobility Scheme (note, this is not an employment route):

  • Creative and Sporting
  • Charity Workers
  • Religious Workers
  • Government Authorized Exchange
  • International Agreement
  • Youth Mobility

If you currently have to leave to stay in the UK, you can switch to or from your category inside the UK. Although, this will require a fresh assessment under the five-tier points-based system.

What services does IAS offer?

The expert lawyers at IAS can advise you on the right visa for you and ensure your application is completed to a professional standard.

We understand that the points-based system can be difficult to navigate. Our services are tailored to your specific situation and take into account all your circumstances.

Our services include:

  • Consulting in person, over the phone or via Skype at a suitable time for you
  • Determining your eligibility for a visa under the UK visa system
  • Ensuring you have correct and organized documents
  • Producing a Letter of Representation. This describes your application, references your documents and cites relevant UK case law to support your case
  • Communicating with the Home Office for the duration of your application
  • Completing all your application forms to a professional standard

Using our services will give you the best chance of getting a successful result on your application. Contact us on +1844 290 6312 today or use our online contact form to get in touch with your personal immigration lawyer.

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Case studies

We are very proud that we have changed so many of our client’s lives for the better. Here are a few of their stories:

Sherif: Tier 1 Investor Visa

Sherif was a UAE national who had been making large investments in the UK. He contacted IAS and the lawyer he spoke to looked at his circumstances and determined that… Read More

Joginder: Tier 2 to Tier 4

Joginder is a Kenyan National who had been working in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa.
Although he was given the option to extend his Tier 2 Visa, he… Read More

Adbenour: Legal Aid and Asylum help

Abdenour had arrived in the UK after a long and dangerous journey from his home abroad.
His home country was in the middle of a devastating conflict, and he had… Read More

Marta: EEA PR

Marta is a Polish national who arrived in the UK to study four years ago and came close to fulfilling the requirements for Permanent Residency. However, she was unaware of… Read More

Harrison: Entrepreneur Visa

Harrison wanted to expand his Singapore-based business to the United Kingdom. He contacted IAS and worked closely with one of our lawyers who advised him to apply for for a… Read More

Romy: British Citizenship

Romy was a French National who had been living in the UK for 14 years.
Due to Brexit, she wanted to secure her life in the UK by acquiring British Citizenship… Read More

Latest reviews

Communication was speedy, all staff I interacted with were friendly and professional. The appointment with Danielle Blake was informative and… Read More
IAS was incredibly professional and helpful. They answered all of my questions and I would definitely recommend their services to… Read More

Superb Service all Questions Answered to the point :)

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