Taking the leap and moving to another country is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. You are bound to be excited and probably a little nervous, but if you’re moving to the UK you can be assured you are about to embark on a wonderful chapter of your life.
Whilst you’re going through the initial steps of planning your move over to the UK, there will be sure to be a number of things on your mind. One of the most important things you need to be aware of is the process of gaining a UK visa, and the 5 tier system which is currently in place in the UK.
The 5 tier visa system was created in 2008 and is used by the UK government to organize people from outside the EU who wish to work, study, train or live in the UK. You will be given ‘points’ based on a variety of criteria including your age, experience and the level of work you can offer. For a breakdown of each tier, read below…
The tier 1 visa is exclusively given to entrepreneurs, investors or a person who is considered to have ‘exceptional talent’. To be classified as an entrepreneur your intention will be to license a business in the UK with a budget of at least £50,000. Though an entrepreneur and an investor may be perceived as the same thing, the UK government classes an investor as someone who wants to invest at least £2,000,000 in a business which is already registered in the UK. A person with exceptional talent will need to be highly skilled when working in the medicine, engineering, arts or digital technology industry.
To obtain a tier 2 visa from a business perspective, you will either need to be sponsored by a business in the UK or you will have the documents to show that you have been transferred to a UK branch of their company. The other people who will be given a tier 2 visa are religious ministers and sportspeople. The religious ministers will be given admission as long as their religion is licensed in the UK. The sportspeople need their sports’ governing body to class them as elite if they are wanting to enter the country to play their game.
The third tier of the system never actually passed through the UK Parliament. The tier 3 visa was originally meant for people who were unskilled, however, the UK government deemed there was no reason to allow unskilled people to live in the country permanently. In 2012, the tier was officially removed and is no longer in existence.
The tier 4 system was created for people who are wanting to study at a UK educational institution. As long as the institution state that the student has met the guidelines needed for them to study a full-time course which requires upwards of 19 hours of studying per week, there will be no problem obtaining the visa.
The final tier is left for someone who is wanting to enter the UK as a worker on a temporary basis. Again, there aren’t many guidelines for this tier with the government only needing to see a contract from a registered UK business which states that the person is going to be in the UK for a pre-scheduled amount of time.
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