UK Visa Programmes

The UK introduced a new immigration regime following its departure from the EU, with a points-based system that subjects both EU and non-EU citizens to the same regulations. Points are assigned according to specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations, and applicants are required to score a total of 70 points.

Basic requirements include proficiency in English (10 points), a confirmed job offer at the requisite skill level (20 points) from a Home Office-licensed sponsor (20 points). To make up the remaining points to reach the 70 required, an additional 20 points can be obtained via a ‘tradeable’ process, largely dependent on the salary rate offered but also encompassing roles that are recognised as being a shortage occupation or those jobs requiring a relevant PhD-level qualification. There are also specific salary requirements for certain occupation sectors.

  • The previous Tier 2 route is replaced by a ‘Skilled Worker’ category, which applies to a larger pool of jobs. There is no cap on the number of people who can come to the UK and the resident labour market test has been abolished.
  • The previous Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route was replaced by a new fast-track ‘Global Talent’ visa, which enables recognised global leaders and promising individuals in science, humanities, engineering, the arts and digital technology to come to the UK without a specific job offer, if endorsed by a recognised UK body.
  • The Start-up and Innovator routes are designed to attract entrepreneurial talent and innovative, scalable business ideas to the UK.
  • The previous Representative of an Overseas Business visa is replaced by a new UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) for applicants to come to the UK to set up a branch of an overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet.
  • The Department for International Trade’s (DIT) has also introduced a Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) to enable internationally mobile entrepreneurs and innovation-rich companies to scale and grow from a UK global headquarters.

Further details on these UK Visa Programmes are set out in the UK Corporate Services pages

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