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assessment is no longer available and all information relating to the Tier 1 (General) skilled visa on our website is no longer applicable.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

Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration 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:

  • People currently in the UK on Student/Graduate visas, Tier 1 (Post-Study) work visas and Work Permits who want to extend their stay in the UK under the Tier 1 system;
  • People currently in the UK on an HSMP visa who want to extend their stay in the UK under the Tier 1 system; AND
  • People already in the UK through the Tier 1 system who want to extend their stay on the same visa.

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.

Check If You Qualify For A Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration Visa


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:

  • Qualifications;
  • Age;
  • Past earnings (at least the equivalent of UK £25,000 from the 12 months the applicant is claiming);
    Applicants who earn at least the equivalent of UK £150,000 from the 12 months they are claiming will automatically receive 75 points towards their application and automatically qualify provided they receive the mandatory points for English language ability and funds available.
  • UK work experience;
  • UK qualifications;
  • English language ability; AND
  • Funds available to maintain yourself while in the UK.

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

Check If You Qualify For A Tier 1 (General) Skilled Migration Visa

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