UK Immigration: Understanding The Tier System To Apply To The UK

UK Immigration- Understanding The Tier System To Apply To The UK
UK Immigration- Understanding The Tier System To Apply To The UK


United Kingdom (UK) has been one of the most sought-after places for emigrants. So far, the country has become an international business hub and with a thriving economy. People all over the world are attracted to settle in the UK because of the multicultural setting and lifestyle of the place. The UK has become a home to people of diverse background and nationality with over 300 languages spoken.

The Country boasts of good tertiary education and infrastructure for foreign students and the system of education is comparatively high. There is the tendency for one to have an excellent career growth in the country because of the outstanding work environment and culture.

In the UK, you will find amazing museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants, and parks which will appeal to the eyes of every foreigner. The purpose of coming to the country can be for anything, but be sure to enjoy your visit.

However, migration to the UK for work and education is based on points and the applicant must score a certain mark set by the country to become qualified.

What is Immigration

Immigration can be defined as the migration or movement of a person or groups of individuals into a place or country of which you are not a native of; with the intent to reside permanently there. It can also be referred to as the process by which an individual or persons leave their state or nation to live in another to enjoy a better lifestyle and standard of living.


Presently, the United Kingdom has one of the toughest immigration policies in the world. Despite these enactment’s attempt made to reduce the inflow of people into the country, thousands of immigrants are visiting yearly.

The UK visa is classified into a tier system.

Tier 1:

This category is for highly esteemed migrants who will contribute positively into UK’s economy. These are:

Highly rated professionals: 1000 outstanding persons in different premises turn up for this category annually. They must be nominated by the Royal Society, Arts Council England, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering.

Business Owners

Business owners are given a procedure which involves the minimum investment funds available. The assessments will evaluate the applicant’s background, financial profile and language proficiency for a point score. Specific parameters will be used to evaluate individuals who seek renewal of their residency. These specific areas include jobs created, investment in real terms and language proficiency. Another factor for assessment is the migrant’s activity record while in the UK based on his performance and involvement in business management.


This category requires an assessment point of 75 marks. This mark can be obtained if a migrant has the funds stipulated for investment, qualified financial profile and a credit facility with a UK authorized financial firm.

General Class

Those in this category have resided in the country based on a residence permit. These include highly skilled migrant, writers, artists, composers, self-employed advocates, tier 1 (general) and highly trained immigrant scheme (HSMP).

Graduated business owners

With an annual application of 1000 in this category; only migrants who have resided already in the UK and has been recommended by a UK academic institution as having credible business ideas and ability to apply those innovations. A 95 mark is required for this point assessment.

Tier 2

This tier is specifically for trained workers under different classes. These are:


Applicants for salaries above £150,000 have no sealing while there was sealing for the year 2012-2013 migrants who applied with salaries under £150,000.


This is for ministers and priest in various religions and faith.


Coaches and sportsmen with a good track record in their respective fields are under this class.


During the application for UK visa, applicants must submit the following documents listed below. Some documents may be required based on the type of visa applied for.

  • Recent passport sized colour photograph.
  • Receipt of payment made
  • Letter of confirmation of appointment
  • Date and signed printout of online application form
  • Evidence of Sponsors
  • Evidence of all income that has been stated on the application
  • Evidence of asset whether property or land
  • For applicants for permanent residence, a completed self-assessment form must be submitted.
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of residence
  • Marriage or divorce certificate
  • Evidence of educational qualifications
  • Photographs of those who did not submit biometrics.


To immigrate to the UK, applicants must meet basic requirements. In addition to the requirements listed below, others might be added based on the kind of visa being applied.

  • Applicants must present proof that their presence in the country will not pose a security threat in any way or to anyone.
  • All visa qualification criteria must be satisfied
  • A passport not later 6 months must be provided
  • Applicants must not have criminal records and must not be involved in any criminal related litigation while applying for the visa.
  • Applicants must have a reasonable amount of money to support themselves and family during their time in the country.
  • Applicants must pass the medical test.
  • In some cases, applicants would appear for an interview.


There are reasons a person might be denied an entry into the UK. Some of these include:

  • The applicant is subject to be deported
  • If a person must have been convicted of an offense and sent to prison
  • Failure of the applicant to produce the required documents
  • If the Secretary of State has personally confirmed that the applicant could pose a threat to the UK and the public.
  • If the applicant has sent a false document or was falsely represented.
  • If the applicant had previously contravened UK immigration law by overstaying or was found to enter the country illegally.



Some changes have been affected to the UK immigration rules as announced by the UK government. The changes include the introduction of a legal framework that totally supports the issuance of visas in electronic form, increased Tier 1 and additional flexibility for Tier 4 graduates who may be switching to Tier 2 work visas and new responsibilities for family members with dependent applicants who are based on points for indefinite leave to remain.

Electronic Visa Regime

The government has intended to move towards granting UK visas in an electronic form rather than physical vignette stamped the passport. This change will gradually affect certain immigration category and locations. With this change in policy is a legal framework that will enable the smooth running of this system.

Tier 2 (General)

In a place where a Tier 4 UK visa holder has graduated from a UK school, he can switch into Tier 2 sponsored work category visa without having to leave the UK and the employer will not have to require a labor market test once the applicant has been awarded with the degree.

This will take effect from 11 January 2018 after which these applicants will switch automatically to Tier 2 only immediately having completed his education.

This change will allow applicants who had completed their course but are yet to be awarded with a degree to apply even after months of completing their course. This will offer more flexibility to students from organizations with graduate schemes.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

To qualify for indefinite leave to remain, applicants’ absence from the UK must not be more than 180 days per year, especially during the qualifying period.

Beginning from 11 January 2018, this change will affect applicants in dependent family members with UK visa.

Before now, Tier 2 Visa holders who applied for indefinite leave to remain had to have not more than 60 days after an employment before switching from a sponsor to another. This made so many people unable to qualify for indefinite leave to remain. This has now been changed.

Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)

There are minor changes to the annual quota for this scheme in three countries with effect from January 1, 2018. These countries are Canada (increased allocation from 5500-6000), New Zealand (13000-14000) and Australia (allocation decreased from 35500-34000).

Tier 1(Exceptional Talent)

This category allows applicants who are achievers in their field or has exceptional talents to qualify for UK visa. Currently, it is limited to only 1000 visas in the fields of digital technology, arts, engineering, sciences, and humanities. In addition to this, with effect from 1 January 2018, those who meet the qualifications as achievers in their respective fields will be allowed to apply for indefinite leave to remain, after must have entered the UK through the acceptable process.



The increasing rate of migrants from, Africa and Asia-Pacific nations to the UK brings with it numerous economic, cultural and geopolitical advantages and disadvantages. Over the years, migration has greatly influenced the UK economy and society. Below are the few advantages and disadvantages of Immigration to the UK.


  • Increased labor skills brought by immigrants
  • Temporary economic benefits of migration
  • Increased and expanded investment links
  • Increase in jobs created by migrants
  • Migrants have significant skills and qualifications
  • The country has become smarter and advanced educationally.



  • Immigration has threatened UK’s unique culture
  • Immigration drains jobs because immigrants tend to grab all the jobs, and this could result in unemployment.
  • Deterioration of natural ecosystem which causes extreme weather, temperature and less rainfall.
  • Increases the pressure on the government to sustain an increasing population.
  • Increased demand for houses in the urban areas especially Sydney and Melbourne.
  • It has slowed down the economy and weakens demand for labor.
  • Increased environmental degradation especially in roads and water availability.




The UK is one of the best countries for immigration. It is among the world powers in almost any field of human endeavor. Education, theatre, economy, lifestyle, wages, and income among others are at best in the UK. There is relative peace in the country and a corresponding rule of law that tends to protect human rights. Asylum seekers, students, and employers should take advantage of the flexibility that is now available in the immigration rule and graduate scheme. The introduction of electronic visa will significantly impact positively on the immigration inflow to the UK. Despite the seemingly tedious procedures that govern immigration into this country, the UK will still maintain its place as one of the most popular destinations in the world for migrants.


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