Exploring the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System: An In-Depth Analysis

UK’s Points-Based Immigration System

The United Kingdom’s adoption of a points-based immigration system marks a significant shift in its approach to welcoming migrants. In this blog post, we will thoroughly examine the UK’s points-based immigration system. Also delving into its mechanisms, essential criteria, and the implications it holds for various visa categories. Understanding this system is crucial for those considering migration to the UK. As it sets the foundation for eligibility and visa approval.

Overview of the UK Points-Based Immigration System

The UK’s immigration system is points-based. It evaluates candidates using specific criteria. Points are assigned for skills, qualifications, and English language proficiency. This system replaces previous models and aims to prioritize individuals who can contribute significantly to the UK’s workforce and society.

There are five tiers to the UK points-based immigration system used by the immigration authorities; each tier is further subdivided into distinct categories for various types of work or study visa applications.

UK’s Points-Based Immigration System: History

In 1979, the Points-Based System was implemented in Australia, with its origins in the UK and the suggestion of UKIP. Immigrants whose skill sets are in high demand in the UK will be given priority by the Home Office. Additionally, it was asserted that the points-based system would mitigate instances of racial bias.

Some argue that the Points-Based System targets unfairly developing-world migrants since they may have more difficulty meeting the system’s requirements compared to migrants from more industrialised nations. According to research conducted in 2012 by economist Tito Boeri, the majority of migrants allowed into the ‘highly skilled’ Tier in developed countries using a points-based system came from developed nations.

At this time, only migrants from outside the EU have access to the Points-Based System. After Britain’s exit from the European Union, Boris Johnson stated that a points-based system for EU immigration may be implemented. In July 2019, he suggested a “tough Australian-style points-based system for immigration” that would be put into place once the UK leaves the EU. The government has not yet released a comprehensive plan for immigration after Brexit. But it is widely believed that it will favour highly educated, well-paid individuals over those with lesser incomes. 

When did the UK implement the points-based system?

To facilitate immigration to the UK from outside the European Economic Area, the Labour government established a points-based system in 2008. After years of planning and preparation, authorities finally implemented it in 2010 to control immigration to the UK. The points-based system now has five tiers. However, the low-skilled worker visa formerly known as Tier 3 is no longer in effect. Following Brexit, the government expressed its plan to widen the system to include all migrants.

It replaced a complex strategy that resulted in the issuance of 80 different types of visas. People entering the country from outside the European Union are the only ones subject to the points-based system since the UK is a member of the EU. Moreover, it is still uncertain whether all EU member states will use this method after BREXIT.

Five Tiers of the UK’s Point-Based Immigration System

Tier 1

Individuals from outside the European Economic Area who are deemed to be of “exceptional talent,” “high-value migrants,” or who are entrepreneurs or investors qualify for Tier 1. The entrepreneur visa ended on March 28, 2019, and the start-up visa and innovation visa took its place on March 29, 2019. The deadline for entrepreneur visa extensions for current holders is 5 April 2023. The previous threshold of £1 million was raised to £2 million as of 6 November 2015, making it more difficult to apply for an investor visa. 

To apply for an extension as a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant if your visa was issued before November 6, 2014, you must submit your application before April 6, 2020, and the minimum investment required is £1 million. After April 6, 2020, an investment of £2 million will be necessary to submit an extension application. The Applicant must have retained their investment money for a minimum of two years as of March 29, 2019. Additionally, investing in government bonds is no longer an option when applying for an extension of stay or settlement.

Tier 2

Non-EEA citizens who have a job offer in the UK and are “skilled workers” can get a Tier 2 visa. People who are moving to the UK as part of an intra-company transfer, professional athletes, religious leaders, and skilled workers where there is a shortage in the UK are all included in this group.

Tier 3

Tier 3 allowed low-skilled labourers to enter the UK to address transient labour shortages. Please be aware that the Tier 3 Visa is no longer in use. Also, the government has made no indication that it intends to reintroduce it. Instead, Boris Johnson has declared his intention to implement a points system similar to Australia’s to regulate the immigration of low-skilled workers.

Tier 4

Students beyond the age of 16 are considered General Students, while students under the age of 16 are considered Child Students. To be considered for sponsorship, applicants need to have a formal offer of admission from an eligible school in the UK. The ability to pay for the course and one’s living expenses is a requirement for general students. The applicant has up to one week to arrive in the UK before the start of a course lasting six months or less.

The applicant can arrive in the UK up to one month before the start of any course exceeding six months. Moreover, the course type and prior study dictate the applicant’s maximum stay. A maximum of five years is allowed for Tier 4 students pursuing degree programs.

Tier 5

Tier 5 is a six-tiered temporary work visa scheme that includes the following sub-tiers: creative and sports, charity, religious, youth mobility, and government-authorized exchange. Ministers of Religion are no longer eligible for the Tier 5 visa. This change is per the April 2019 guidance released by the Home Office. The Tier 2 application is more appropriate for ministers of religion.

How Can UK Immigration Solicitors Help?

If you need assistance with an appeal or points-based system application, you may rely on UK Immigration Solicitors. It is a leading UK immigration law firm.

The current government has made the UK less appealing to migrants in its efforts to reduce net migration. Seek professional guidance on the measures affecting individuals wishing to work, study, or invest in the UK immediately. If you call us, we can help you understand the complicated UK Immigration criteria. We can also assist with the often changing immigration laws and rules.