The United Kingdom grants work visas to migrants using a Points Based System (PBS). When applying for one of these visas you will be awarded points depending on your:
Most visas require a minimum of 10 points under the English language and maintenance requirements and there are some categories, such as previous earnings, that are not relevant to every application. You should read our section on the different categories of visa for specific details on each visa’s requirements.
For an idea of how many points you have and which visa you may be eligible to apply for, you can consult our Points Calculator:
For your visa application to be successful you must score 10 points for your English language ability. 10 points will be awarded if you can show that you meet at least one of the following criteria:
The maintenance requirement is mandatory for all visa applications. You must score 10 points in this section for your application to be successful. 10 points will be awarded if you can show that you have:
You will be awarded points depending on the highest degree you hold.
Points are also awarded for vocational qualifications. If you are unsure how many points your qualifications give you, a member of our highly experienced immigration team will be able to advise you. We can make sure any relevant specialised training you have done is taken into account so that your score reflects your level of skill.
You may be awarded points based on how much you earned in the 15 months before your application. You must have been earning this amount for at least 12 consecutive months when you apply for your visa. The source of this income can be in the form of a salary or from self-employed business activity. It cannot, however, be from any form of state benefit, inherited assets or returns on an investment. Our immigration team will be able to advise you on whether your income will be considered as part of your application and how may points you will be awarded on this basis.
If you have already worked in the UK or are doing so now, you can be awarded a further 5 points if you are earning £25,000 per year or more. If you are in the UK on a Tier 1 (General) visa or a highly skilled migrant under the former immigration rules, you will be awarded 5 points in this category if you are earning £16,000 per year or more.
There are four types of UK entry visa in the Points Based System. Tier 1 requires the highest number of points and Tiers 4 and 5 require the lowest. It is recommended that you look at the specific requirements of the visa you are applying for as a minimum number of points may be required in a specific category.
If you are a non-EEA national studying here on a student visa, you may be eligible to work in the UK after you have finished your course. You can use the points calculator to help you indicate whether you are eligible for either a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa or a Tier 2 (General) visa.
Our Immigration lawyers and immigration Solicitors can advise and assist you through the complex rules governing Visa applications.