UK Tier 1

Welcome to Visas To - the world’s most trusted source of immigration advice. Our government-accredited experts will work with you to find your ideal Tier 1 visa while you relax knowing that your case is in the hands of the very best.

The Tier 1 category of UK visa is designed to attract the smartest, most talented workers and businesspeople to Britain. If that sounds like you then Visas To can help you apply for a visa quickly and easily. With offices all over the world – including the UK – we are the most reliable immigration service available.

Our UK immigration and relocation experts not only assist you with immigration law but can help with your entire relocation - from opening a bank account and looking for that perfect job to real estate and shipping. Take the FREE assessment below to start your immigration journey today.

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.

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 upon 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 dependents in the UK.

These dependents 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.

Our online assessment forms make it easy to get your application moving. Simply answer a few straight forward questions and a Visas To immigration consultant will contact you. Find out further information on our Tier 1 Visa - Exceptional Talent page.

July 15, 2015

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