UK Tier 1 Visas

UK Tier 1Visas

 If you would like to secure a UK Tier 1 Visa but not sure about how to apply we can help.  Our services are completely free.  Simply ask our experts any question for a fast and full response.

Tier 1 of the Points-Based System directly replaces the previous Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP UK) and like its predecessor, it is designed to facilitate the relocation of skilled migrants to the UK.

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About Tier 1 immigration

UK Tier 1 visas are designed to attract what the Home Office refer to as the 'brightest and best' of potential UK immigration candidates. Unlike tier 2 visas, which also apply to those moving to the UK for long-term business or employment purposes.

Tier 1 visas do not require an offer of employment to be in place. As a result, the requirements of the tier 1 assessment are consistent with selecting the most highly skilled applicants. Find out if you have the skills to qualify using the free assessment tool.

Under Tier 1 - Applicants may apply through one of the following categories:

Exceptional Talent

This category of Tier 1 UK Visa is designed to attract talented and skilled individuals to the UK. Judged on a case-by-case basis, applicants must prove that they are recognised as world leaders in their field of expertise. Take the free assessment to find out if you meet these requirements.  You may also like to visit UK Work Permit information.

You may want to find out more about this in our Tier 1 Exceptional talent page.


The General category applies to highly skilled candidates wishing to enter the UK in order to seek and undertake employment. The program is now discontinued, however, existing UK Tier 1 Visa holders will still be permitted to renew or extend the visa. Applicants who previously qualified for Tier 1 are now eligible for Tier 2 Visas.


Applicants for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa will be investing in the UK economy by starting or assuming control of a business. Candidates must also be involved in the day-to-day running of the enterprise concerned.


The Investor stream of Tier 1 is aimed at individuals making a substantial investment in the UK.

Discontinued programs replaced by Tier 1 Visa UK

Tier 1 of the PBS replaces eight immigration categories from the previous system and replaces them with four new subdivisions. With the exception of the Post-Study Work category, time spent in the UK will count towards the minimum residency requirement of five years for permanent settlement in the UK.

Outgoing UK Immigration Services

  • Business persons
  • Fresh talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Investors
  • International Graduates Scheme
  • Innovators
  • Self Employed Lawyers
  • Writers, Composers and Artists

Tier 1 Visa assessment

As with the previous HSMP, tier 1 visa applications for the UK will be assessed on a range of criteria. In sub-categories of tier 1, candidates will be assessed against a specific group of requirements. However, the following general requirements will apply to all streams:

  • English Language Proficiency - The PBS places emphasis on competence in the English Language, especially in tier 1.
  • Self - Sufficiency - All migrants in tier 1 must be able to support both themselves and any dependent family members.

Applying for a Tier 1 visa

Unlike the other tiers of the PBS, tier 1 visa applications do not need a sponsor to be in place. The tier 1 visa application will be a single process whether initiated from inside or outside the UK and applicants will need to submit a range of supporting documentation in order to substantiate their application. Candidates may apply for a tier 1 visa either to enter the UK, extend a stay, or switch whilst already in the UK.

Tier 1 spouse immigration and dependent immigration

Since tier 1 immigration is designed for skilled migrants immigrating to the UK for a long-term to permanent stay, a successful applicant may bring their dependants, including their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, and/or children with them. However, the main applicant must demonstrate their ability to support and maintain their dependants in the UK.

These dependants will be eligible work, however, if they wish to be in the UK in their own right i.e. rather than as a dependent, they will need to leave the UK in order to apply.

There are five main UK Immigration Visa categories you can apply under:

Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 and Tier 5

How can we help you secure your visa?


  1. Ron stewart


    I’m just a hard working American who has been saving up to emigrate to Scotland but I don’t know how I go about it, I get a lot of info on online sites but there always mix. Is there a simple way to move there and just work to being a citizen.

    1. Profile photo of Your Immigration Expert
      Your Immigration Expert Post author


      Right now the UK is going through a period of increasing restrictions on immigration and this includes Scotland. Previously there were a few more immigration choices from the Scottish fresh talent schemes to a Tier 1 Visas with realistic qualifying criteria. These were the most popular routes into Scotland previously.

      In the future, there are discussions currently on establishing regional immigration programmes which would allow Scotland to set its own regional immigration policies within the overall framework of UK immigration control. This would, if it came in may reduce the requirements to emigrate to Scotland. We can assume for now however, there is little opportunity to secure a visa unless one of the following applies.

      You have a partner who is an EU citizen or UK resident. You have a Scottish based employer who is both will and able to secure a Tier 2 visa for you, so you can move to Scotland. Another option would be to study in Scotland, this would be a Tier 4 visa and you could work for 20 hours a week while you are studying. Unfortunately, in 2012 the UK stopped students being able to go on to a work permit and on to permanent residency. You may like this link Move to Scotland

      It would be really helpful if you joined our site and set up a topic so we can review all options in more detail. There are only a few million people living in Scotland, as most of it remains empty. There must be a reason why people from London never seem to emigrate to Scotland, while the Scottish emigrate to Canada every chance they get.

  2. jessica

    Should I Apply For A Tier 1 Visas To Work In London?

    I´m Brazilian and I received a proposal of job in London in the UK. I don’t have a visa that allows me to work in the UK. For this reason, the company would not hire me and suggested I should apply for a UK work visa.
    As I don’t work for them at the moment and I will be a new employee I understand that the company should give a reason to the UK immigration department who must approve my working visa for the UK, to allow me to come to London and take the job offered.
    Should I apply for the tier 1 and how long does the process take to get the visa?

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