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Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration


The Tier 1 (General) Scheme was officially closed on 6, April 2011.

As a result, most applicants must now go through Tier 2 (Work Permits).

The Tier 1 route remains open only to visa extensions and applicants with exceptional talent.

Our online assessment is no longer available and all information relating to the Tier 1 (General) skilled visa on our website is no longer applicable.

Further information and our response to the UK immigration cap and the closure of the skilled visa programme can be found on the UK Visa Bureau blog

The Tier 1 Skilled Migration Programme is the replacement for the HSMP Visa.

Who is eligible for Tier 1 Skilled Migration?

All skilled workers, both in the UK and abroad, are able to apply for Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration.  However, a number of basic requirements and conditions apply to determine eligibility. The quickest way to see whether you are eligible for the Tier 1 visa is by taking an online assessment.

Skilled workers who are currently in the UK

Workers who are already in the UK and want to extend their stay can now apply for the Tier 1 (General) category.  This is the UK's current highly skilled worker immigration system, and it replaces the former HSMP system. 

This includes:

Skilled workers who are outside of the UK

Skilled workers who are currently abroad but are hoping to migrate to the UK are also eligible for Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration.

Tier 1 (General) Basic Requirements

Tier 1 applicants must score 95 points in the Tier 1 points test. However, there are also Tier 1 mandatory requirements which must be met as part of the points.

Tier 1 (General) Basic Conditions

Tier 1 (General) visa holders can stay in the UK to work as an employee or a self-employed person. There is no need for an employer or family to sponsor Tier 1 visa holders. A Tier 1 visa allows successful applicants to live in the UK without work restrictions.

Successful Tier 1 (General) applicants are given 2 years to live and work in the UK. After this, applicants can then apply for a further 3-year extension.

After 5 years, Tier 1 (General) migrants are eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

The UK Visa Bureau recommends speaking to a migration consultant to help you prepare for your application.

Points Test

Points are awarded to a Tier 1 (General) Skilled applicant based on:

You can learn more about the UK's points test for skilled migrants at our Immigration Points Test page.