The five tier visa system in the UK provides the principle immigration route for those migrants who are looking to come to the UK to train, invest, work or study. The points-based system no longer applies, however the same requirements for it are still in place and need to be satisfied. There are five categories of visa and which one a person travels under depends entirely on their reason for coming to the UK.

Migrating to the UK

For those people who intend to travel to the UK for work or leisure, there are a number of conditions which they must meet for their entry scheme or work permit. Which of the conditions applies depends upon the reason for travel.

General visa conditions

These include:

  • having valid conformation of a job or a place to study in the UK
  • being able to speak and understand the appropriate level of English
  • being able to support themselves, and dependants if necessary, financially
  • having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship if necessary

Working out which visa is appropriate for which circumstance can be tricky and expert legal advice is recommended. Oratto has a number of member immigration lawyers who are highly skilled in providing advice to those wanting to travel to the UK to work. Expert legal advice will help make a visa application the strongest it can be. You can select a solicitor from the list on this page if you prefer, submit your details to us at Oratto and we will use the Match facility to identify the best immigration lawyer for your needs.

The five visa tiers under which it is possible to apply to come to the UK

Tier 1 – for high value migrants. The categories include entrepreneurs, investors or those who qualify for an ‘exceptional talent' visa.

Tier 2 – for skilled workers from outside the EEA who have a firm job offer. It can also include skilled workers who have been transferred from within a multi-national company.

Tier 3 - initially meant for low skilled workers who were entering the UK to fill temporary labour shortages. However, this means has never become operational.

Tier 4 – for students who hope to study in the UK. Applicants must have a place at a UK educational facility before they are eligible to apply for this visa.

Tier 5 – provides more specific categories for temporary workers, including religious workers, charity workers, creative and sporting migrants. Some of these are offered to young people from abroad under reciprocal arrangements in their country.

Each tier category demands certain criteria to be fulfilled and your chosen Oratto member immigration lawyer will be able to assist you in identifying the right tier and category for your needs.

Contact Oratto today for further advice and information on which tier visa is applicable for you.