Highly Skilled Workers
If you are already in the UK under Tier 1 (General) or the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme then you can apply to extend your stay in this category.
If you are not in the UK or not in one of these categories then you cannot apply under Tier 1 (General).
In terms of UK immigration law, you must show that:
- You have enough money to support yourself; usually, you will have to show that you have held at least £900 in your bank account(s) for 90 or more consecutive days; and
- You can speak English to a certain standard (the Home Office will accept this if you have already been granted leave under Tier 1 (General) or as a Highly Skilled Migrant); and
- You gain the required number of points for attributes.
The number of points that are available for attributes varies depending on when you last applied for leave. You will have to show:
- 75 points for attributes if you last successfully applied for leave under Tier 1 (General) before 19 July 2010; or if you are here as a Highly Skilled Migrant
- 80 points for attributes if you last successfully applied for leave under Tier 1 (General) on or after 19 July 2010.
You can score points for:
- Age – 5 to 20 points available; this depends on your age when you first successfully applied for leave under Tier 1 (General), or as a Highly Skilled Migrant, Writer, Composer, Artist or Self-employed lawyer; and
- Qualifications – 30 to 50 points available, for a Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree or PhD; and
- Previous earnings – 5 to 80 points available, depending on your gross earnings in a 12-month period within the last 15 months; and
- UK experience – 5 points available if you score points for your previous earnings and at least £16,000 of those earnings were made in the UK.
You do not need to score points in all of these categories, as long as you have the required number of points in total.
Your spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner and / or children may also be able to apply as your dependents.
The UK Border Agency changes the requirements of the Points Based System regularly and if you are refused leave to remain under the Points Based System and you appeal, you will only be able to rely on evidence that you submitted with your original application; you cannot introduce new evidence. It is therefore important that any application for a Tier 1 (General) Highly Skilled Worker visa is prepared carefully.