UK Visas

UK Visas


If you come from a country outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and intend to enter the UK, you need a UK visa to allow you to do so. In general, UK visas have two key categories: points-based visas and non-points-based visas.

Points-based visas

The UK points-based visas (also called ‘the UK Tier Visa system’) was established in 2008 and used to determine the rights of non-EEA nationals to enter, work or study in the UK. Applicants must score a minimum number of points on an assessment test before they are given permission to enter or remain in the UK. The test takes into consideration such matters as age, English language skills, and other factors dependent on the specific types of visa for which you apply. Living in the UK under a points-based visa may make you eligible for UK settlement or even UK citizenship.

The points-based visa system consists of five tiers as below:

  • Tier 1: for highly skilled and high net worth migrants and entrepreneurs;
  • Tier 2: for skilled workers;
  • Tier 3: for unskilled workers (this route has never been implemented and has been discontinued);
  • Tier 4: for international students;
  • Tier 5: for temporary workers and youth mobility.

Non-points-based visas

All the other visa types excluded within the points-based visa system are non-points-based visas, including family visas; representatives of overseas business; settlement (also called ‘Indefinite leave to remain’); and other short-term visas.

If you need more information about the UK visas, please contact us.