UK Points-Based Immigration System (Updated 2021) Explained

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Points-based Immigration System in the UK – Updated 2021

It is the dream of every optimistic and bright student to pursue his higher education or job abroad once in a while. The dream destination for any student in the United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, Japan, etc.

UK’s first points-based immigration system

If you want to study or work in the UK, first apply for a visa if you are under the subject of immigration control. Because now the UK uses five tiers points-based system. These tiers are further categorised into different segments of various types of work or study visa applications. 

This UK’s first points-based immigration system was launched in 2008 February by the Labour government. It was loosely based on the Australian system.

What is the Points-Based System?

The points-based visa system is an immigration route for the candidates outside of the EU to come to the UK to study, work, train, invest, etc., and they are divided into five tiers to be explained below. 

For being a potential candidate, you have to pass a points-based assessment. Every tier has different conditions, eligibility requirements, and entry requirements. Every tier will allow you to have a sufficient number of points to gain entry clearance or leave to settle in the UK. Points are allocated upon such variables: age, qualification, earnings, language, funds, etc., you also must be able to fund yourself in the initial stay, and your English-speaking ability matters a lot too. 

Those who cannot support themselves of their dependents in the UK and those who have some medical conditions that the UK does not explicitly grant will not be given any of these five visa tiers.

Points-based calculator

You can easily find a points-based calculator on the internet to check whether you qualify for the visa or not.

Point basis required for every tier

The candidate has to allocate himself necessary points as per the requirement of the tier he/she wants to apply for. The points basis required for every tier are below:

  • Age: 5 to 20 points are allocated for age. This system, however, prefers young applicants to older ones. 
  • English language: every candidate must get 10 points for English language ability. Nationals of countries where English is an official language automatically get 10 points. Otherwise, they have to take English ability tests. 
  • Qualification: Education level differs from tier to tier. For some, it has points 30 to 50, and for some, it has points from 5 to 15.
  • Earnings: candidate must have financial means assessed between 15 to 45 points or 5 to 20 points. 
  • UK experience: If anyone has experience in the UK, they may assess 5 points.
  • Certificate of Sponsorship: CoS is assessed with 30 to 50 points.

Tier 1 Visa

This tier is for highly skilled individuals, entrepreneurs, investors, and graduate students from outside of the EU who can offer growth and progress in the UK. The candidate does not have to have a job offer to apply, just assessing points required for this tier. This tier has 3 routes:

  1. Graduate Entrepreneur: This route permits recent graduates to open a business in the UK.
  2. Investor: This route permits people who want to invest a minimum of 2000000 pounds in the UK.
  3. Exceptional Talent: This route permits people who have exceptional talent in their field of expertise.

The visa holder can apply for a family visa if he can provide for them easily. The stay’s length is 3 years and 4 months and can be prolonged up to 2 years.

Tier 2 Visa

This visa is for skilled workers, professionals, sportspeople, and clergy members outside of the EU with a job offer so they can fill the labor gap in the UK. It has 4 main routes:

  1. General Visa: This is for those who have job offers within the UK.
  2. Intra-company transfer visa: This is for overseas companies who can transfer medium or high skilled staff to the same company within the UK.
  3. Ministers of religion visa: this is for migrants who have a pastoral role in taking employment in the UK in their religious community.
  4. Sportsperson visa: This is for sports personnel and coaches.

This tier needs at least 70 points.

Tier 3 visa

This visa is for low-skilled workers who want to fill a specific labour shortage within the UK. But now it has been removed by the Uk government. 

Tier 4 visa

This one is for students overages 16 who want to study in the UK. Candidates must have a place in a UK university to apply. It has 2 routes:

  1. Child student visa: This is for children of ages 4 to 16 who want to apply to independent schools.
  2. general student visa: This is for post 16 education in the UK.

The candidate must have at least 40 points for this visa tier.

Tier 5 visa

This visa has 6 sub-tiers of temporary workers, such as creative, sporting, charity, religious workers, youth mobility schemes, etc. It has 2 routes:

  1. Youth mobility scheme: this is for young migrants who can become familiar with the culture of the UK while temporarily working.
  2. Temporary workers visa: This is for other temporary workers. 

The candidate must have 40 points in this tier.


How do you apply to work in the UK?

The applications may start online but one needs to visit the visa office for further document verification. The documents include a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer and proof of knowledge of English. 

Can I get a PR in the UK after the study?

Yes, you can get a PR but it is quite challenging. For PR, you need to work for five years and then you can apply for permanent residence in the UK. For getting it, you need to pass the English Proficiency Test and Knowledge Test.

Is it difficult to get a get job after completing the course in the UK?

Well, getting a job at any place is not a piece of cake. A recent survey showed that only 2.4% of applicants get a job in the UK. But the award is for those who try! So, no need to lose hope.

Related posts

Are you planning to study in the UK? Contact us today for FREE university admission consultancy at one of our offices around the world.

Pin It