The UK’s immigration programme operates on a points-based system whereby individuals wishing to come to the UK to work must first satisfy specific requirements and pass a points test calculated across a range of criteria.

Under the points-based system there are five separate categories through which applicants may apply to enter the UK. Each category is referred to as a ‘Tier’, and it should be noted that not all Tiers offer individuals the same entitlements and rights to seek or take up employment.

Individuals applying to enter the UK for the purposesof taking up employment are most likely to need to make an application under either Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points-based system.

Tier 1 is designed to allow highly skilled people to come to the UK to look for work or self-employment opportunities. A prior job offer is not requirement in order to submit an application under the Tier 1 category.

The Tier 2 category is for people coming to the UK with a skilled job offerto fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. Please note that applicants in this category must have a suitable job offer in order to submit a successful Tier 2application.

Please, refer to the links on the left hand side for more information regarding the appropriate categories (tiers).