Tier 1 (General) is now closed to all new applicants and, as of April 2015, extensions of current tier 1 holders has also closed. Current tier 1 holders should be eligible for ILR / Settlement, but in some instances this might not be applicable and tier 2 could be another option. Contact us to see what your options are.


This section explains how you can make your initial application to Tier 1 (General) - highly skilled worker of our points-based system to work, train or study in the United Kingdom. It applies if you are in the United Kingdom in any category except:

  • Tier 1 (General) highly skilled worker ; or
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

If you are already in either of these two categories, you should read the section on extending your stay .

The process for applying is: -

Step 1: complete a self-assessment online to make sure you score enough points or alternatively, speak to a registered consultant: 44(0)207 866 8170 or email your details to chris(at)internationalworkpermits.com
Step 2
: send the supporting documentation or organise for an in-house consultation for a registered consulting to review your file
Step 3
: the application will be drafted on your behalf
Step 4
: the case would be applied for either on a same day or via post
Step 5
: the biometric / visa card will be sent to our office via dh courier

Please note: Under the new General Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, dependants will require to apply using a secondary application but we can assist in this.


If you are in the United Kingdom and wish to enter Tier 1 (General) - highly skilled worker, you will need to be sure that you can switch into this category.

If you are granted leave to remain as a Tier 1 (General) - highly skilled worker you will be able to live and work in the United Kingdom for a maximum period of three years. When the end of this period approaches you will need to apply to extend your stay as a highly skilled worker.

Leave to remain is subject to the following conditions:

  • you must have no recourse to public funds;
  • you must register with the police if this is needed by paragraph 326 in part 10 of the immigration rules;
  • you may not be not employed as a doctor in training unless:
  • you were last granted entry clearance, or leave to enter or remain, as a highly skilled migrant or as a postgraduate doctor or dentist;
  • you were last granted entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 1 (General) migrant and that grant was not subject to a condition prohibiting employment as a doctor in training;
  • you submit a valid Highly Skilled Migrant Programme approval letter, and your application for that approval letter was made on or before 6 February 2008.

SCORING CRITERIA (updated 19 July 2010) - only applicable to Tier 1 Settlement.

(1) Qualifications

Bachelors Masters PhD
30 points 35 points 40 points

(2) Previous Earnings

Like the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme , the General Highly Skilled Migrant's points for previous earnings are calculated by converting non-sterling currency to Sterling, then the sterling figure is converted to points, taking into account the relative difference in the level of earnings between countries and the exchange rate. Earnings are dependent on the country they are earned.

Please note: The UKBA assess your salary using your gross salary in a 12 month period in the last 15 months:-

In pounds per year

Points scored

Under £25,000


£25,000 - £29,999


£30,000 - £34,999


£35,000 - £39,999


£40,000 - £49,999


£50,000 - £54,999


£55,000 - £64,999


£65,000 - £74,999


£75,000 - £149,999


£150,000 or above

80 (and no qualifications required)


Over 40 0 Points

35 to 39 5 Points

30 to 34 10 Points

29 or under 20 Points


If you have a UK qualification or a salary in excess of £25,000 in the last 12 months:- 5 Points

At least 80 points are required for the above 4 points. In addition, you must be able to satisfy points (5) and (6) to qualify:-


Applicants must show that they are proficient in English by proving one of the following:

* They must have passed a test in English equivalent to level C of the council of Europe's common European Framework for Language Learning

* Come from a country where English is the majority language spoken [Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago and the United States of America]

* Have take a degree taught in English (this is verified by using the National Academic Recognition Information Centre - International Work Permits can verify this on your behalf)

* Successful proof of one of these criteria will earn the required 10 points for the English language requirement.


Applicants will be required to score 10 points by proving they can support themselves and any dependants. 1 applicant should show £900 continuously in their bank account for 3 months (a further £600 is added to this per dependant applying alongside the main the applicant)

If you would like to know more about the General Highly Skilled Migrant sub-category then call International Work Permits today for a free assessment.

Do not risk the disappointment and stress of refusal, when this can be avoided by a simple, no-obligation phone call: +44 (0) 207 866 8170