UK visas are divided into five categories, also known as ‘tiers’, each carrying a specific purpose.
This type of visa is meant for highly-skilled migrants. To tender eligibility, applicants must score a certain number of points based on their education.
Intended for medium- and highly-skilled workers interested in immigration to the UK, Tier 2 working visas necessitate applicants to have a confirmed employment offer with a British company.
At present, Tier 3 visa is under suspension by the UK Government. It was designed for low-skilled workers willing for immigration to the UK; however, it has never been used by the UK Government because of strong supply of labour from the European Economic Area.
This type of visa is for students intending to study in the UK. Visa applicants must be sponsored by an educational institution and the length of the visa is determined by the duration of the course.
Tier 5 is designed to permit short-term workers and 18-30 year-olds enter the UK for short-term stay and work. The UK has a Youth Mobility Scheme, allowing young people to live in the UK on a working holiday.
Introduced in March 2009, the Tier 4 visa categories cater to students who are paying for tuition in the UK. It highlights the significance laid by the universities and colleges on income from overseas. The prime objective of Tier-4 immigration service is to offer a straightforward, user-friendly and transparent solution to students willing to study in the UK.
There are two student categories in Tier 4 of the points-based system:
This category is intended for students coming to the UK for post-16 education.
This category is designed for children between 4 and 17 years of age who are coming to the UK for their education. However, children between 4 and 15 years of age may only be educated at independent fee paying schools.
It is mandatory for students to fulfill all the requirements of the Immigration Rules, other than having a total of 40 points.