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Immigration News

Immigration to England

United Kingdom has become an important destination lately for many immigrants and students moving to UK. As an Immigration Consultant Bilimoria & Associate offers the clients full range of visa services that suits the requirement towards obtaining respective visas while applying for a visa to United Kingdom.  UK Immigration has introduced a number of new UK immigration categories in the last few years. The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) to find an eligibility to process works on points based.

Applicants moved to  the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1922 has been in particular from Ireland and the former colonies and other territories of the British Empire - such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya and Hong Kong - under British nationality law.   About half the population increase between the 1991 and 2001 censuses was due to foreign-born immigration. 4.9 million people (8.3 percent of the population at the time) were born abroad, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of stay.

Provisional figures show that in 2009, 567,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 371,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 196,000. The number of people immigrating to and emigrating from the UK both fell between 2008 and 2009. The largest groups of people granted British citizenship were from India, Pakistan, Somalia and the Philippines. In 2006, 134,430 people were granted settlement in the UK, a drop of 25 per cent on 2005.


Immigration to and from Central and Eastern Europe has increased since 2004 with the accession to the European Union of eight Central and Eastern European states, since there is free movement of labour within the EU.  The UK government is currently phasing in a new points-based immigration system for people from outside of the European Economic Area.

Recently, the UK immigration system has been completely overhauled with old immigration routes made redundant and a new points based immigration system introduced.  The new system for UK immigration consists of five new tiers that are open to all citizens outside of the EU.  The Highly skilled immigration category was introduced in January 2002 and has been very successful.  Later on, a newly introduced five-tier points based system - Tier 1 (General) has replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and it includes all work, study, and training immigration routes into UK.

From April 2008 onwards, applicants located in India have been advised to file initial highly skilled migrant applications under the Tier 1 (General) rules and on 30 June 2008 the Tier 1 (General) scheme fully replaced the HSMP.   Applicants seeking extensions to their HSMP visa are required to extend their leave to remain under Tier 1 (General) for General Highly Skilled Migrants. United Kingdom is amongst the most popular and preferred European Union (EU) Immigration destinations, consequently magnetizing thousands of immigrants from all over the world. With its popularity, comes our expertise in catering to our ever-mounting UK client base with absolute adeptness.

With the introduction of the points based system, immigration to UK has been managed better, thanks to a new system to cope with the demand for skilled labour shortages. Immigrants who can demonstrate they possess certain skills that cannot be found in certain areas are understandably much sought after in UK.  Skilled workers from outside the EU whose jobs are on the Critical Skills Shortlist are especially attractive to the UK and will find their application for a UK visa will be looked upon more favourably towards obtaining their visa and we at Bilimoria & Associate assist clients for their UK visa.

Skills such as engineering, teaching, doctors and nurses are currently in demand and are required in the United Kingdom. The country is open to young people who might not already possess the skills and experience but would like to visit all the same.  The Youth Mobility Scheme is one such scheme targeted at 18-30 year olds. The UK visa is open for two years and entitles the holder to work for up to one year and this is the best time to apply.


UK  IMMIGRATION  TIER  SYSTEM

United Kingdom has changed its immigration law in 2008 and implemented a point based system for non-European Union migrants wishing to come to the UK to work and study.  The new immigration system is split into a five tiers that replaced the previous 80 different ways that existed. Each tier has different conditions, entitlements for an applicant to qualify and meet entry requirements for migrants wishing to work and live in the UK.

Under Tier 1 the highly skilled migrants, post-graduates, entrepreneurs, and investors are brought into the system.   Tier 1 was implemented in early 2008.

Enclosed is the overview of the points based tiered immigration system.  The five tiers are explained below.

Tier 1 - This is for highly skilled migrants, entrepreneurs, investors, and graduate students. This replaced the previous Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), the Entrepreneur and Investor schemes, and the International Graduates Scheme.

Tier 2 - This is for skilled workers who have a job offer in United Kingdom. This tier encompasses the previous UK Work Permit rules and also  for  Intra-Company transfers.

Tier 3 - This is for limited numbers of lower skilled workers to fill temporary shortages in the labour market.

Tier 4 - This is for Students.

Tier 5 - This scheme is for youth mobility and temporary workers, such as those who come under Working Holiday agreements with other countries.

Tiers 1, 2 and 4 will be eligible to change to another tier once they are in the UK if they can meet the requirements of that tier. Tiers 1 and 2 (excluding Intra-Company transfers under Tier 2) can potentially lead to settlement if the permanent residence requirements are met at the time of application.

With regarding to Tiers 3 and 5 are temporary migration visas and applicants who come under these tiers are not be able to switch to a different tier from within the UK. The UK has also suspended Tier 3 in favour of migrants from the EU; though, this may change depending on labor market demands.

POINTS STRUCTURE - An applicant has to score  sufficient number of points to gain entry clearance to United Kingdom or to extend his or her leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Points are awarded for various criteria specific to each tier. In all tiers, points are awarded for a criterion which indicates that an applicant is likely to comply with immigration requirements, when he applies.

In Tiers 1 and 2, points are awarded for criteria such as age, previous salary or prospective salary, and qualifications; a system similar to the current Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) which has proven very successful.

SPONSORSHIP - Applicants applying under Tiers 2-5 are required to have sponsorship from a licensed sponsor (an employer or educational institution). The certificate of sponsorship assures that the migrant is able to perform the particular job or course of study.

Highly skilled Tier 1 migrants do not require a job offer and thus do not require sponsorship.

DEPENDANTS - Family / dependants are allowed to come to the UK with the main applicant. However, they will not be allowed to work if they accompany a student under Tier 4 or a temporary worker under Tier 5 if -- in both cases -- the individual has been given less than 12 months leave to remain in the UK.

UK TIER 1 VISA FOR HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANTS

Tier 1 visas are for highly skilled migrants such as entrepreneurs, investors, and foreign graduates of UK educational institutions. Tier 1 was designed to attract top talent from outside the European Union who can contribute the most to the UK economy and also targets  Highly skilled individuals include doctors, scientists, engineers, MBAs, and other educated workers. The United Kingdom's Tier 1 visa immigration scheme is also part of the new points based system for employment-based immigration. The Tier 1 has replaced the schemes that cover these immigration categories as of early 2008.

There are four categories under which one could apply for UK Tier 1 visa.

• Exceptional Talent Visa 
• Entrepreneur visa
• Investors visa
• Post-Study Work VISA

According to the Tier 1 visa, migrants coming to the UK under Tier 1 visas do not need a job offer or a sponsor and are free to seek employment anywhere in the United Kingdom.   An applicant must score successfully 75 points under a points based system to come to the UK under Tier 1 visa. English language also plays an important role for the tire 1 visa and one should have  atleast the equivalent of a bachelors degree, and should show that an applicant  has  earned a relatively good income in the past to apply  under Tier 1 (General) scheme.

Applicants who are successfully granted visa  in the UK under Tier 1 can stay for three years and  after the three  years of stay,  the applicant can renew the Tier 1 visa.  UK has been actively encouraging skilled migrants to immigrate to the country -- first through the HSMP and then through its Tier 1 (General) visa for general highly skilled migrants. Tier 1 (General) replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) on 30 June 2008.   It is also advised that Skilled migration  visa to United Kingdom plays an important part  for the United Kingdom's economy globally.

The United Kingdom's  points based immigration system, Tier 1 (General) allows highly skilled individuals residing legally in the UK to receive a visa which allows them to remain in the UK without any kind of sponsorship from an employer.

Recently, the Government has introduced a cap that was imposed on skilled immigration, which particularly affects Tier 1 (General).  From April 2011, the UK Government has imposed a permanent cap on skilled immigration and will replace Tier 1 (General) with a new 'exceptional talent' visa.

The UK Government has stopped taking applications for Tier 1 (General) visas from applicants outside of the UK. Until Tier 1 (General) is replaced in April 2011, only applicants currently legally residing within the UK can apply under Tier 1 (General).

Applicants can apply, Tier 1 (General) is very similar to the previous HSMP, save for the notable exception of the removal of the MBA provision which allowed those with MBAs from a list of specific universities to claim an automatic 75 points. English language requirements are also more stringent.  Applicants can contact Bilimoria & Associate to check if they meet the pass mark to qualify. Holders of tier visas at this level are permitted to live and work in the UK, seek and undertake employment, set up a business or become self employed as they see fit.

Bilimoria & Associate as an UK immigration Consultant assists all our clients new & old a full range of services UK visa provide for all tiers on the new system. Our consultants can help you to establish which of the new UK visas is most appropriate for your application and help you to move to the United Kingdom.   Bilimoria & Associate can guide you at every stage and advice you on your initial application through to providing a wide-ranging package of on arrival services to help you adjust to living and working in the UK. Please contact us or write to us to assist you.

Applicants processing for the first tier visa do not require a UK work permit and the visa gives successful candidates the right to immigrate to the UK with full and free access to the employment market.  Applicants may apply for themselves and will be assessed against a points system based upon a number of criteria. In addition, along with Tier 2 visas, the first tier provides a route to settlement and unlike Tier 3 visas, Tier 4 visas and Tier 5 visas, the option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or permanent residency in the UK is provided.

Please be advised: The UK Border Agency has stopped processing applications for Tier 1 (General) made from outside the UK presently.

TIER 1 POINTS BASED SYSTEM

Under the Tier 1 the points based system is designed to allow a wider variety of candidates to reach the threshold based upon performance in the different areas of assessment.  An old applicant may lose points in terms of age; the balance may be recouped through points amassed for their previous earnings.  On the other hand, a younger candidate without an established career may not yet command high earnings but may be able to reach the threshold based upon qualifications and age.  The new system aims, like similar models in Canada and Australia to allow migrants and employers to benefit from a system which considers potential earnings rather than past earnings alone.   In addition to the points system outlined above, candidates will also be required to be proficient in the English Language.

Points are earned according to three sets of criteria on Tier 1 category:

 Applicants would need to look at the requirements into each category, such as age and past experience in the General Highly Skilled Migrants sub-category.  Applicants will need to score at least 75 points to pass to lodge a successful application.

 Applicants will be required to score 10 points in an assessment of their English capability on language competency.

 Applicants 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 Applicants should also support themselves and any dependants, otherwise called Maintenance. Sufficient funds are judged against the latest standard of living figures.

Applicants will be required to reach the pass mark for each of the criteria above as stated in order to gain entry under Tier 1 and to remain in the UK while seeking renewal of their Tier 1 visa after three years. Also, supporting evidence for an applicant on ability to claim sufficient points will be required before lodging an application. 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 this documentation is in order. Please contact Bilimoria & Associate to assess your eligibility prior to lodgment.

TIER 1 RENEWAL

On Tier 1 visa, after the applicant has lived for five years, the applicant is eligible to apply for settlement. However, time spent under the Post-Study Work category does not count towards the five-year requirement.  There are certain requirements and restrictions when renewing a Tier 1 visa is applied. Migrants must apply for the same sub-category under which they originally applied and score enough points again before an application can be made.

Applicant renewals of leave under the Highly Skilled General, Investor or Entrepreneur sub-categories will be granted for two years. It is not possible to apply for an extension of stay under the Post-Study Work sub-category. Individuals in the UK under the Post-Study Work sub-category are required to switch to another sub-category or a different tier.

Entrepreneurs must also show that an investment in business has been made and registration of the business was undertaken within three months of entry in United Kingdom.  The applicant must be actively engaged in the business and have created 2 full time job positions for at least 12 months on this visa. Investors must show that £750,000 was invested within three months of entry and that the investment has been maintained throughout the period of leave.

DEPENDANTS ON TIER 1

Under the new system, spouse immigration and dependant immigration visas will be provided allowing an applicant to bring their husband, wife, or unmarried partner to join them in United Kingdom. Provisions for family immigration under the new system will function in a similar manner to a UK Dependency Visa.  The existing marriage visa, unmarried partner visa and fiancé visa services will persist outside the tier system.

Migrants granted leave in the UK under Tier will be able to bring their dependants provided they can support them during their stay. Dependants include children, spouses, civil partners, same sex partners, and unmarried partners.  Dependants of migrants in the highly skilled Tier 1 will be able to work in the UK as well. However, they will not be able to switch into any points system tier other than as a dependant of the main applicant to switch.

Since tier 1 immigration is designed for skilled migrants immigrating to the United Kingdom for a long-term to permanent stay, a successful applicant may bring their dependants, including their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, and/or children with them. However, the main applicant must demonstrate their ability to support and maintain their dependents in the United Kingdom. These dependents will be eligible work, nevertheless, if they wish to be in the UK in their own right.

TIER 1 EXCEPTIONAL TALENT VISA

An applicant can apply for this Tier 1 without an UK work permit. The UK Exceptional Talent visa does not require a job offer or employer sponsorship to qualify. The applicant will be individually assessed according to their skills and talent. The UK offers a unique immigration pathway for migrants with exceptional talent or skills. The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa is designed to attract the best to Britain. Please contact us if you wish to apply under this category.

To qualify, the applicant must have recognition – or have the potential to receive recognition – as a leader in the fields of science, arts and humanities. This must be backed up by an endorsement from an accredited competent body in their field.  Initial Exceptional Talent Visas will be granted for a period of three years and four months. This may be extended for a further two years, and after five years the applicant can apply for permanent residence.  The number of visas granted under all categories of Tier 1 will be limited to just 1,000 each year. Applications will generally be processed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so it is vital that you make your application as quickly as possible.

Requirements for Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa

Unlike other of UK work permit, the UK Exceptional Talent visa does not require a job offer or employer sponsorship to qualify. Instead, the applicant will be individually assessed according to their skills and talent.  To qualify, the applicant must have recognition – or have the potential to receive recognition – as a leader in the fields of science, arts and humanities. This must be backed up by an endorsement from an accredited competent body in their field.

TIER 1 ENTREPRENEUR VISA

Bilimoria & Associate are fully able to help businesses and individuals alike to get the best from UK visa services and find the right UK immigration service for their needs. Our team of immigration specialists provide guidance for those who wish to relocate and we offer a full range of immigration compliance services for business applicants.

Individuals who plan to invest in the UK by setting up or taking over a business, and being actively involved in running the business can come to the UK under the Entrepreneur sub-category of Tier 1. At least £200,000 of disposable capital held in a regulated financial institution is required. Clients from different countries, who would like to start a business in the UK, will find this Entrepreneur visa to meet their needs if they can meet the criteria.

In the Entrepreneur category of Tier 1 of the Points-Based System (PBS), an industrialist can make an application by applying to immigrate to the UK based on a substantial investment, by starting or assuming control of a UK business.  As with the other categories of Tier 1 immigration, candidates applying as entrepreneurs do not need to have a sponsor in place. However, applicants must still meet a range of specific criteria.

Eligibility for Tier 1 Entrepreneur category visa

Applicants who can meet the eligibility criteria for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa require that the applicant has set up or taken over a British business. Applicants can make an application both within and outside the United Kingdom.  The initial investment can be as little as £50,000 if the funding was provided by a venture capitalist, a Government Department or a seed competition. Up to two business partners may apply for UK visas on the basis of this funding. Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applicants who don’t meet this requirement may still apply with an investment of £200,000 or more.

The fast-track proposal will allow entrepreneurs to permanently settle in the UK in as little as three years.  As well as handling your UK Entrepreneur visa application In order to encourage more business activity in Britain, UK immigration authorities offer entrepreneurs a fast-track to permanent settlement. This is available to anyone who can either create 10 jobs or turn over more than £5 million in a three-year period. We can provide expert legal advice on conducting business in the UK. Please contact us to check on your eligibility.

TIER 1 INVESTORS VISA

Affluent individuals who plan to make a substantial financial investment in the UK can come under the Investor sub-category of Tier 1. The requirement needs at least  £1,000,000 of disposable funds. Investors are exempt from the English language requirement and the requirement to prove the ability to support themselves and any dependants. This sub-category is designed for very wealthy individuals who want to live in the UK.

Under Tier 1 of the Points Based System (PBS), candidates may apply to immigrate to the UK under one of four subdivisions. The Investors category is designed for those who intend to make a substantial investment in the UK.   Tier 1 visas, unlike all other tiers of the UK Points Based System, do not require applicants to be awarded a Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor.

Immigration to the UK under all other tiers requires the sponsoring business, college or other institution to be licensed as a sponsor, and to provide them with a sponsorship certificate, enabling them to apply for entry clearance.  Tier 1 replaces the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and aims to allow the most highly skilled applicants to migrate to the UK as quickly as possible. However, while no sponsor is required, applicants must reach a minimum point’s threshold based on a range or criteria.

Requirements for Tier 1 Investor visa

The investor visa sub category of the five-tier immigration system does not impose the general requirement for proficiency in the English language. This requirement is mandatory for the General and Entrepreneur streams with a high level of proficiency required to pass. However, in the Investor category since applicants are unlikely to need to work, this requirement is deemed unnecessary.

Correspondingly, at the same time as the mandatory requirement that an applicant must be able to financially support both themselves and their dependents is a feature of the other Tier 1 -visa sub categories, it does not apply to the Investor category.  By definition those investing sufficient funds to pass the requirements do not need to undergo a maintenance test.

As with all categories of Tier 1, the Investor category requires candidates to meet or exceed the minimum points requirements based on various factors.   Nevertheless, unlike other subdivisions of Tier 1, the General category in which points are accumulated over a range of criteria, the points-based pass mark for the investor scheme must be satisfied by one of the following:

• Applicant has a minimum of £1 million. The money must be their own and must be held in a regulated UK financial institution. The money must also be disposable in the United Kingdom.

• Applicant has personal assets to the value of more than £2 million taking into account any liabilities.

• Applicant has an amount of no less than £1 million, which is under their control and is held in a regulated UK financial institution. This may include money which has been loaned to them if the financial institution providing the loan is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Regular Tier 1 Investor visa holders in the UK can apply for permanent residence after five years in the country, still more significant investments could lead to fast-tracked settlement. Those who invest £10 million or more may qualify after two years, while investments over £5 million will qualify after three years.

Extension for Tier 1 Investor visa

A Tier 1 immigration visa for the UK may be extended in all categories except the Post-Study Work category. Unlike the others, the Post-Study Work category is designed as a temporary bridge between study and employment and is granted for two years with no option to extend this period.  Tier 1 visas in the Investor category, the General category and the Entrepreneur category are all granted for an initial period of three years, which can be extended by another two years. When applying for an extension, applicants will be assessed against a differing set of criteria.  Unlike the initial set of criteria, Investor visa holders must accrue the 75 point pass mark over the following list of requirements.

To qualify for an Extension of Tier 1 Investor visa the applicant must have any of the following:

• Applicant must have minimum of £1 million of their own money in the UK
• Personal Assets with a value exceeding £2 million taking account of liabilities
• Money under their control which amounts to no less than £1 million. This may include loaned money from a provider who is regulated by the FSA.

In addition the applicant must meet all of the requirements as follows:

• The applicant must have invested a minimum of £750,000 in the UK. This must have been invested by way of either UK Government bonds or share capital or investment capital in active UK companies. This does not include companies whose main activities are property investment. Investment cannot be interpreted as placing deposits in a bank or building society.

• The applicant must make an investment outlined above must have been made within 3 months of gaining the tier one visa and must be maintained throughout the duration of the visa.

Switching to Tier 1 visa

Tier 1 visa holders may switch into another sub category if they satisfy the associated requirements. The one exception is that visa holders cannot switch into the Post-Study Work category. Holders of visas in Tier 2 and Tier 4 will also be able to switch into Tier 1 as the PBS is fully implemented. However switching to tier 1 will not be allowed for holders of working holidaymaker visas or those in possession of tier 3 and tier 5 visas.


TIER 1  POST-STUDY WORK VISA

The Post-Study Work category of the Tier 1 visa is calculated as a transitional route to allow the most talented non-EEA nationals graduating from UK universities to transfer into a work or business visa.  The Post-Study Work sub-category is meant to retain the clever students, who have studied in the UK (under current rules or the Tier 4 system, once implemented). It is part of Tier 1 because successful applicants will be able to find work after graduation without having a sponsor.

On the other hand, it is only designed to be a bridge to highly skilled or skilled work, much like the previous International Graduates Scheme it replaced. Those with student visas in the UK under Post-Study Work are expected to switch into another part of the points system (whether Tier 1 or another Tier) as soon as they are able to do so. To encourage individuals to switch over, leave will only be granted under Post-Study Work for a maximum of 2 years 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 Post-Study Work visa replaces both the previous International Graduates Scheme (IGS) and the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme, allowing successful applicants to transfer into any other tier 1 visa category under the Points Based System, if they can meet the specific requirements of that category.

Post-Study Work visa holders will also be able to transfer into tier 2, which replaces the previous system of UK work permits.  Our team of qualified consultants is fully equipped to help applicants and assist the tier immigration structure, ensuring that applicants get on upon the right UK visa service for their needs.

For businesses, we provide immigration compliance services to ensure that UK sponsoring organisations avoid the rejections on your visas and we try to secure and obtain the required sponsorship licence, to allow an applicant to be sponsored by the individuals they need.   Write to us or contact us to assist you further.

Eligibility for Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa

Even though part of the Tier 1 immigration structure, Post-Study Work visas are removed from the other three categories in terms of their purpose and their duration. The Tier 1 General visa, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa and Tier 1 Investor UK visa categories are all issued for an initial duration of three years. At the end of this period, subject to meeting the specific requirements of a visa extension, candidates may extend their leave to remain in the UK by a further two years, after which they may seek indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

The Post-Work Study category issues visas for only two years and does not allow candidates to extend their time in the UK under this subdivision.  This category is not extendable and the two-year duration does not count toward the residency requirements for gaining settled status in the UK.  Post Work Study Visas are issued as a means to allow talented graduates to progress to either another category of tier 1, or to tier 2 by securing a sponsor.

Requirements for Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa

The other categories of the Tier 1 immigration visa, the Post-Study work category places both the general requirements of tier 1 immigration as well as category specific criteria upon applicants. Candidates will be required to achieve the minimum point’s requirement to qualify under Post-study work visa.  Due to the nature of the Post-Study Work program, which is based upon candidates successfully completing a qualifying course at a UK educational institution, the English language requirement will be deemed to have been satisfied if the candidate successfully meets the specific requirements of this category.

As with the Tier 1 General visa and Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, each applicant must be able to support him or herself financially and must be able to support any dependents that may be joining them.  A candidate must have successfully completed a course at a UK educational institution resulting in some form of tertiary qualification. The UK visa application must be made within 12 months of obtaining this qualification.

Extension of Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa

It is important to note that uniquely among the tier 1 categories, the Post-Study work visa cannot be extended beyond its two-year duration.

This UK visa service is issued as a bridging category and successful applicants will be obliged to transfer into another category, having met the appropriate requirements, within two years.

Switching to Tier 1 Post-Study Work visa

Although it is not permissible to switch into the Post-Study Work visa category from anther tier 1 category, candidates may switch from an existing UK study visa, or from a tier 4 student visa.   In these circumstances, the requirements are the same as a new application with the exception of the maintenance criteria for which the price will be reduced for dependents.  Switching out of the Post-Study Work category into another tier 1 category is essential within the two-year duration and will depend upon meeting the specific requirements for the chosen category.

UK TIER 2 VISAS POINT BASED SYSTEM

Tier 2 of the UK visa points-based system covers work permits for sponsored employees.

Tier 2 visas are designed for medium- and highly-skilled workers interested in UK immigration. They require applicants to have a confirmed offer of employment with a British company.  Tier 2 was introduced on 27 November 2008 and offers an entry route into the United Kingdom for skilled workers who are citizens of countries outside of the European Economic Area. In all cases people applying for entry under this scheme MUST be in possession of a JOB OFFER and fulfill other requirements as detailed for the different categories.

The second tier of the new points based UK immigration service replaced UK work permits and applies to medium and highly skilled workers wishing to immigrate to the UK who have an offer from a UK sponsoring company in place.  As is the case for a tier 3 visas, tier 4 visas and a tier 5 visa, applying for a UK visa for immigration under tier 2 will require each candidate to obtain a certificate of sponsorship, in this case from the sponsoring company, as part of their visa application.

A tier 2 work permit visa application is an employer led process and the company in question will need to fulfil certain responsibilities. However, this visa service also has elements in common with tier 1 and the old Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP, in that a point’s threshold, in this case 50 points must be met on a skills assessment and a level of proficiency in the English language is required.

Employer’s requirements for Tier 2

Employers recruiting applicant through the five tier immigration service must provide a sponsorship certificate detailing the job title and demonstrating that the salary offered is appropriate for such a position and that the role is at or above NVQ3. The certificate acts as confirmation that a candidate has the intention and necessary skills to fill the specified position.  In situation where a position being offered is not a shortage occupation, the employer will be required to show that they have attempted without success to fill the role from the domestic workforce through appropriate advertising.

In situation where a candidate wishes to change employment, a new certificate of sponsorship must be obtained and a re-assessment against the points system will be required. A tier 2 visa application is required for each change of employment.

Since the second of the tier immigration services may be regarded as a route to potential settlement, family immigration is permitted for your wife, husband, civil partner, unmarried partner and/or dependent children. Spouse immigration and dependency immigration operate along similar lines to the current Dependency Visa. On the other hand, the marriage visa, unmarried partner visa and fiancé visa categories will remain distinct from the new visas for points based immigration.

Like tier 1 visas, a tier 2 visa application is a potential route for settlement in the United Kingdom and as with the current system of UK work permits, applicants may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) or permanent residence after five years in Britain. Beyond this, subject to meeting the requirements for British Naturalization, a candidate may be able to naturalize as a British citizen. are some of the benefits.

Under Tier 2 there are four different categories:

General: Applicants coming to the United Kingdom with a job offer to fill a gap that cannot be filled by a settled worker which may or may not be on the Shortage Occupation List.

Intra Company Transfers: Applicants who have been employed by the  multi-national companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a UK-based branch of the organisation.

Sports People: Elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level * can apply under this category.

Ministers of Religion: Candidates coming to fill a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order * can qualify on this category. To qualify for inclusion under the General and Intra Company Transfer categories of Tier 2, a job must require a skill level of S/NVQ level 3 or above as indicated in the codes of practice relevant to the sector and to the job.  Ministers of religion and sports people on temporary assignment should apply for entry under Tier 5 for Temporary Workers.

Tier 2 replaced the UK Work Permits scheme. People wanting to extend their leave to remain in the UK who were initially granted leave under the Work Permit scheme are allowed to switch into Tier 2. For a complete list of categories eligible to switch please see Tier 2 - Switching from another scheme.  If you do not have a job offer and can be categorised as highly skilled then Tier 1 (General) for Highly Skilled Migrants may offer an appropriate route of entry to the UK

UK TIER 3 VISA FOR UNSKILLED MIGRATION

Under this visa category, Tier 3 works under the United Kingdom points based immigration system; employment-based immigration will be broken into five tiers. Tier 3 encompasses unskilled, temporary migration for employment that is largely seasonal in nature.

Tier 3 was designed to reinstate schemes on the current Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) and the Sectors Based Scheme (SBS). On the other hand, the United Kingdom government recently stated that Tier 3 would be suspended from implementation for an indefinite period of time.

The United Kingdom feels that it can source employees from within the European Union to meet the labor demands of employers that hire unskilled, seasonal labor. Recently the government has started earmarking programs such as SAWS and SBS for nationals of Bulgaria and Romania, who have had temporary labor restrictions placed on both of their nations upon their accession to the European Union in 2007.

The changes to SAWS and the SBS have drawn disapproval from key stakeholders such as the agricultural industry. Employers feel that they cannot meet labor demands with only EU migrant workers. If this is true, expect to see Tier 3 to become a reality in the future.

Bilimoria & Associate help applicants to choose the right type of visa towards processing your Immigration application for UK.   As an immigration specialist, we assist and guide our clients   on the application process with qualified immigration lawyer’s advice and also guide the applicants on resettlement services to United Kingdom.

TIER 4 VISA FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Under the Tier 4 visa category which deals with International Students. The United Kingdom's new points based system, broken into five tiers covering highly skilled migrants to unskilled workers, also includes Tier 4 for international students.  Students coming to the UK under a Tier 4 visa require a university or other qualified UK educational institution to sponsor them.

The student should score enough points to be accepted as an international student in the UK.  The requirements on point system works for Tier 4 requires a student  attending a course at an acceptable level with an approved educational institution and Funds to cover course fees and cost of living.  Under the current rule visa is granted for an initial period which is dependent on the length of the course that an application chooses. In general, a Tier 4 student can stay in the UK for the length of the course plus 4 months (for courses lasting a year or more) or one or two months (for courses between six months and a year).  A student is allowed to work 20 hours while school is in session and 40 hours during holidays.

International students have special immigration options available upon graduation under the new points based system to qualify. A student graduate from an eligible UK educational institution can apply for a Tier 1 visa under the Post-Study Work sub-category. This will allow international graduates to remain in the UK for two years. Once completing their period under Post-Study Work can move into another sub-category or tier.

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