What is the Points Based System (PBS)?
The UK government operates a 5 tier Points Based Visa System for managed migration. The tiers are divided into sub-categories. In order to be successful in your application, you must surpass the minimum points threshold, which varies for each tier. Broadly the tiers are:
- Tier 1 Visa – for high-value migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), including entrepreneurs, investors and those who come under the exceptional talent visa scheme.
- Tier 2 Visa – for skilled workers who have been offered a job by a licensed sponsor; you may be transferring to a UK post with the same employer under the Intra-Company Transfer category, or moving to the UK to start work with a new company in the General category. Tier 2 also covers ministers of religion and sportspeople.
- Tier 3 Visa – for low-skilled workers; this tier is not in use at present.
- Tier 4 Visa – for students who have a place at a registered UK educational institution such as an independent school or university.
- Tier 5 Visa – for temporary workers from the creative and sporting sectors, charities and religions, as well as those on government-authorised exchanges or international agreements. The youth mobility scheme is also covered in this tier.
The immigration solicitors at Latitude law will be happy to discuss the details of the Points Based System and the implications for you and your business at an initial consultation. We can meet employers at their place of business or arrange an appointment in our London, Liverpool or Manchester offices.
Tier 1 Investor Visa
In order to qualify for entry to the UK, investors are required to make a minimum £2 million investment in regulated UK financial institutions. A successful Tier 1 Investor Visa application allows the applicant, their spouse and children under the age of 18 to live in the UK for an initial three years.
You do not need to be actively involved in UK business to be eligible for an investor visa, but you must maintain the value of your investment and a home in the UK, spending at least 180 days per year here if you wish to qualify for settlement in the future. If you wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain, there are different criteria on how long you must have resided in the UK based on the amount of money invested. If you have invested more than £10 million in the UK, then you may qualify for accelerated settlement after three years.
Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
In order to qualify for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa, you must normally be able to demonstrate you can invest at least £200,000 in a new or existing business in the UK, and that your involvement will create at least 2 full-time jobs in your first 3 years of involvement with the business. In order to be eligible for an entrepreneur visa, you must also meet an English language requirement and prove you can support yourself financially during your stay in the UK. UK Visas and Immigration will also assess your business plan, in deciding whether you are a genuine entrepreneur.
If you are granted a Tier 1 visa, you’re eligible to stay in the UK for an initial three years. After this period, you can apply to extend your visa for a further two years. After five years in this category you may apply for settlement. Moreover, if you create more jobs or your turnover is exceptionally high, you may qualify for accelerated settlement in the UK after just three years.
Why choose Latitude Law?
Our experience in immigration law means we are well placed to advise investors and entrepreneurs on their application for a Tier 1 Visa. We can ensure you have all the relevant documentation and knowledge required to meet the PBS requirements, and will provide support through every stage of these complex applications.