Employment Based Migration ( Work Permit )

There are a number of ways in which to go about applying for employment based migration (UK work permit) to the UK. Below you will find all the general information regarding teir systems and requirements for application:

Highly Skilled Workers – Tier 1

Tier 1 (General)

Highly skilled workers applying for leave to enter the UK under Tier 1 (General) will be awarded points based on academic qualifications, previous earnings, UK experience, age, English language proficiency and available funds to finance their living costs in the UK.

  • IMPORTANT – The Tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrant visa category is now CLOSED to applications from outside the UK. Only applicants who are currently inside the UK with a visa which allows for ‘switching’ into Tier 1 (General) can apply.
  • Tier 1 (General) will close indefinitely on 05 April 2011 for applications from inside the UK.
  • Tier 1 (General) will be replaced by a new “exceptional talent” category with an allocation of 1000 visas per year. This category will be designed for individuals such as scientists, academics and artists who have achieved, or are likely to achieve, international recognition or acclaim.
  • Please consult our website for developments on this in due course.

Entrepreneurs- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

  • Entrepreneurs applying for leave to enter the UK under the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category will have to demonstrate their eligibility by satisfying a points-based assessment.
  • This category is for those investing a minimum of 200,000 GBP in the UK by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of, one or more businesses in the UK. There is no longer the requirement to prepare a detailed business plan from the outset. The key requirements are to have access to the required investment funds, further that the funds are held in an appropriately registered financial institution and are readily available for investment in the UK
  • There will be no cap on the number of UK visas granted under the Entrepreneur category. Please note that the UK Government plans to create a new route for start-up companies, whereby they would not be required to meet the current investment funds threshold.

Investors- Tier 1 (Investor)

  • High net worth individuals wishing to invest in the UK will also need to satisfy a points-based assessment under the Tier 1 (Investor) category.
  • Applicants must provide evidence that they intend to invest at least £1,000,000 in the UK. There will be no cap on the number of UK visas granted under the Investor category.
  • Investor applicants will not be required to satisfy the otherwise mandatory English language proficiency and available funds (maintenance) requirements. This category centres on demonstrating access to the required investment sum, and the manner in which it will be invested in the UK.

Skilled Workers – Tier 2

The Tier 2 category effectively replaced the previous UK work permit arrangements.

There are four categories of Tier 2 work permits:

  • Skilled Worker – The Tier 2 (General) skilled worker category is for migrant workers with a specific skilled job offer in the UK who are needed to fill a genuine job vacancy.
  • Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) – This category is for people who are being transferred to a UK branch of their organisation.
  • Sports People – This category is for elite professional athletes and coaches.
  • Minister of Religion – The minister of religion category is for workers within a bona fide religion. In order for an employer to sponsor a foreign worker, the employer must first have a Sponsor License.


For any queries regarding the process of employment based migration to the UK, or interest in utilising the services that Craig Smith & Associates provide click here.