Migrating to any country entails hours of leg work and stacks of application form to fill out. The process of migrating to United Kingdom can be complicated. The continuous amendments to immigration rule seem to make the whole process daunting, even at times intimidating. If you really want to migrate and start a life in United Kingdom, then it is essential to know what are the requirements and the process.
United Kingdom Borders Agency is the executive agency that handles the immigration process to United Kingdom. It is basically the border control of the government and part of the Home Office. In evaluating immigration applications by individuals or businesses, UKBA uses Points-Based System. This system was introduced from 2008 to 2009 to gradually implement changes in the immigration application process.
Under this system, there are 5 categories or called “Tiers” where applicants are evaluated under. Each tier describes the types of immigrants with the corresponding requirements that need to be met in order to be granted entry in United Kingdom.
Tier 1: It has 6 subcategories (Investor, Entrepreneur, Graduate Entrepreneur, Exceptional Talent, General and Post-Study Work). The last two categories are no longer an option for new applicants. Under this Tier, applicants do not require sponsorships from employers. Read more details about Tier 1 Visa
Tier 2: This has two subcategories (Tier 2 General and Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer). Tier 2 General is for skilled workers that needed to be hired by a business that holds a Tier 2 sponsor license because there is no available work force within the resident labour market. Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer is for employees working outside the European Economic Area but for some reason has to be temporarily transferred to the employer’s office in United Kingdom. Read more details about Tier 2 Visa
Tier 3: This section is for unskilled workers. Since the Points-Based system was used, this Tier is no longer used as an option for immigration applications.
Tier 4: This section is designed for students who wish to study in the United Kingdom. There are two subcategories under this tier, Tier 4 General and Tier 4 Child. Student applicants must be sponsored by a college or a school based in United Kingdom. Read more details about Tier 4 Visa
Tier 5: It has two subcategories, Tier 5 Youth Mobility which gives young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco and Taiwan the opportunity to work and live in United Kingdom for 2 years. The second subcategory Tier 5 Temporary are for those sponsored by licensed businesses to work in United Kingdom temporarily. Read more details about Tier 5 Visa
The Points-Based System has undergone several amendments since 2010. It is highly advisable to be fully updated with the requirements for each Tier to avoid any issues in the application process. Under the Points-Based system, UKBA’s staff cannot exempt any applicant especially those immigrants that apply for entry clearance and for leave to remain. This was designed to ensure that policies are applied fairly and uniformly to all applicants.
Visitors, Family Visas, EEA nationals and their family members and Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania
As a general rule, entry to United Kingdom requires visa. Nationals of countries which previously did not require visa must get one to visit United Kingdom. Visa application is also required for spouses, children, domestic partners who wish to come to United Kingdom to live with a British national who have indefinite leave to remain. Nationals from EEA countries such as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and their family members are not subject to Immigration Rules. These nationals instead follow the European Union law implemented in United Kingdom by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. Different immigration rules are applied to Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals. To be specific, immigrants from these countries who will be working for a company based in United Kingdom must follow the guidelines stipulated in the Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) Regulations 2006
To delve into the specifics of the Tiers and their requirements, contact UKBA. Their official website contains very useful and detailed information about the immigration process and requirements. Applicants can also consider seeking help from immigration lawyers to enlighten them with different immigration laws to avoid any issues along the way.