Migrating to the UK as a non-EU citizen for work, study or investment purposes involves the Points Based System (PBS) and the various tiered categories.
Tier 1 – Entrepreneur, Investor
Tier 2 – General, Intra-company transfer
Tier 4 – Student
Tier 5 – Youth Mobility Scheme, Temporary Workers
Migrating as a worker
For a non-EU citizen to move to the UK as a worker, the most common route is as a skilled worker under Tier 2. Skilled, employer-sponsored workers, under Tier 2, are the largest category of work entry visas.
What is Tier 2?
You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK. A Tier 2 visa requires sponsorship, in the form of a Certificate of Sponsorship, from a licensed sponsor.
This visa is subject to the employer meeting standards set by the Home Office and the position itself must be appropriately salaried and is subject to the Residential Labour Test. The prospective employee must also meet financial and other requirements.
There are also restrictions in place regarding ties or connections that a prospective employee may have to a sponsoring employer.
The recent changes to Tier 2
The biggest change in recent years to this category has been the increase in the earnings threshold required for settlement in this visa category. The financial requirement now stands at earnings of £35,000. However, if you have an occupation on the Government Shortage Occupation List, you may be exempt from the financial threshold.
Can I stay or settle under Tier 2?
It is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settlement following completion of a Tier 2 Visa. You will be required to have complied fully with your current visa requirements and to meet the conditions for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Are there likely to be more changes to Tier 2?
The Points Based System forms part of the UK Immigration Rules and domestic British law. Unlike immigration under EEA laws, which provide slightly more flexibility, the PBS is determined wholly by the UK government and is very strictly applied and, in the current climate, subject to change.
We would advise anyone considering coming to the UK under the Points Based System, or extending a stay in the UK, to seek specialist advice. If you would like further advice from the team at Alrose Legal, please contact us via email@example.com or on 02035812620.
This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and represents the opinion of the author only.