Points Based System

This five-tier system replaces many previous categories for immigration into the UK. Tiers 1, 2 and 5 entered into force in November 2008, Tier 4 entered into force on 31 March 2009 and Tier 3 is on indefinite hold as UKBA expects that all likely vacancies under this tier can be met by workers from the EU. The tiers are divided as follows:

T1: highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and  productivity;

T2: skilled workers with a job offer to fill gaps in the UK labour force;

T3: low skilled workers to fill specific temporary labour shortages;

T4: students;

T5: youth mobility and temporary workers: people coming to the UK to fulfill primarily non-economic objectives.

Applicants have to provide specified documentary evidence to support their claim for points and are required to meet three rounds of criteria:

(1) the requirement of the specific rule itself,

(2) the requirements of specific Appendices to the rules.

Appendix A details the general attributes required to qualify under each tier,

Appendix B details the English language requirements,

and Appendix C details the required sums necessary to show the applicant will be able to maintain themselves without recourse to public funds (a minimum level of savings for a proscribed period of time at the date of application).

(3) the requirements in policy guidance in force at the relevant time


Appeal rights have been restricted to human rights and race discrimination grounds on those applying from abroad to come to the UK under the points based system. Those appealing in-country will not generally be able to submit post-decision evidence in their appeals. Judicial review will of course lie against the discretionary power to refuse leave to enter or remain.

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