Overview of all points-based visas

The UK points-based immigration system allows people from outside the EEA a longer period of time to study, work or invest. If you’re planning to visit the UK for any of these reasons, our specialist team can help ensure your application runs smoothly from start to finish.

There are five tiers, each suitable for a different kind of person and each with a unique set of rules. The Government has, in February 2020, revealed their plans for immigration in a post-Brexit Britain, with a point-based system that will likely bar low-skilled workers from the UK.

With a 100 per cent success rate for points-based visa applications, our solicitors are perfectly suited to provide you with exceptional service and support when processing your points-based visa application.


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Which Tiers are open for application

Tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are currently open for applications.

The government has stopped allocating visas for Tier 3, which was designed for low skilled workers to fill temporary labour shortages.

To be granted a visa for any of these tiers you first need to pass a points-based assessment. This includes an English language test. Some visas also require you to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test before applying.

How points are awarded

Points are awarded for your ability, experience, level of education and age.

If you’re not sure which of the visa tiers you should apply for, our immigration solicitors can help you choose the right one and start your application.

We have a long history of successfully helping with points-based visa applications. Our team can give you accurate guidance on your eligibility straight away.

Picking the right points-based visa

Because each visa has different eligibility requirements, you need to make sure you apply for the right one. If you apply for a visa that you aren’t eligible for, your visa application will be refused. In this instance, you may need to apply for a new visa or appeal the Home Office’s decision.

Appeals can take between 6 and 12 months, so it is highly recommended to make sure you are eligible for the visa you are applying for before you start.

Tier 1 – Entrepreneurs and investors

The Tier 1 investor visa is designed for high net worth individuals who are making a substantial financial investment in the UK.

Within Tier 1 there are three additional sub-categories:

  • Exceptional talent
  • General highly skilled workers
  • Graduate entrepreneur

Read more about Tier 1 investor visas, or

Tier 2 – Skilled workers

The Tier 2 points system visa allows skilled workers to enter the UK on a long-term basis, to fill a skilled job vacancy, typically in IT, accountancy, teaching or healthcare.

This category has four sub-categories:

  • General skilled workers
  • Sportspeople
  • Ministers of religion
  • Intra-company transferred staff

Read more about Tier 2 skilled worker visas, or

Tier 4 – Students

A Tier 4 student visa gives you the temporary right to live and study in the UK.

This category also has four sub categories:

  • Tier 4 child
  • Tier 4 general
  • Child visitors
  • Student visitors

Read more about Tier 4 student visas, or

Tier 5 – Temporary Skilled Workers

This category also has four sub-categories:

  • Creative and sporting
  • Charity workers
  • Religious workers
  • Youth Mobility Scheme

The ‘Youth Mobility Scheme’ enables young people to visit on a working holiday from countries that have an agreement with the UK.

Read more about Tier 5 temporary skilled workers visas, or

Fast-track your visa application

As a member of the UK Border Agency Public Enquiry Office we can fast-track certain visa applications, moving you along far quicker than normal. Instead of waiting three or four months you could have your priority appointment within just one week.

Decisions are made quickly after the appointment, with some applicants getting their answer on the same day. If time is especially urgent in your case, we also offer same-day visa services, where a response is guaranteed that day.

Fast-track and same-day services

As part of our fast-track services you’ll receive:

  • A thorough consultation
  • Help preparing your application including a full documentation check
  • Same-day service appointment with the UK border agency
  • Expert presentation of your application at the Public Enquiry Office

Read more about our fast-track and same-day services, or

The benefits of choosing AWH

Applying for a visa can be a complex and time-consuming process.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need a quick decision, help with the application, more understanding of the process or assistance meeting its requirements, such as passing the English language test. Fortunately, our expert solicitors can provide all the help you need.

Our 100% success record

Our experienced immigration solicitors have a 100 per cent success rate on points-based visa applications. We fully understand the complexities of UK immigration law and can guide your application through with care and attention to detail.

To find out more, speak to one of our immigration solicitors today, or request a call back at a time that suits you.