Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

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  • 7/27/2019 Highly Skilled Migrant Programme



    This section explains how you can come to or remain in the UK as a highly skilled worker under Tier 1

    (General) of our points-based system.

    On this page

    What is Tier 1 (General)?

    Who can apply as a highly skilled worker?

    What to do if you already have an HSMP approval letter

    Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008 (extension

    of stay)?

    Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009 (settlementin the UK)?

    What is Tier 1 (General)?

    The Tier 1 (General) category allows highly skilled people to come to the UK to look for work or self-

    employment opportunities.

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    Who can apply as a highly skilled worker?

    Unlike sponsored skilled workers (who are covered by Tier 2 of the points-based system), you do not

    need a job offer if you are applying as a highly skilled worker. When you apply, you are awarded points

    based on your qualifications, your previous earnings, your UK experience, age, your English language

    skills and your maintenance (funds).

    You can apply under Tier 1 (General) if:

    you are already in the UK with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') in an

    immigration category that allows you to switch into Tier 1 (General);

    you are already in the UK under Tier 1 (General) and you want to extend your permission to

    stay under this category;

    you are already in the UK under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), you want to

    extend your stay and you are eligible to switch into Tier 1 (General); or

    you are outside the UK and eligible to apply for permission to enter (known as 'entry

    clearance') under Tier 1 (General).

  • 7/27/2019 Highly Skilled Migrant Programme


    Go to ourvisa services websiteif you are applying from outside the UK. There you can find out more

    about the process in the country you are applying from, and download the application forms.

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    What to do if you already have an HSMP approval letter

    If you have an HSMP approval letter, you should read the section on transitional arrangements for the

    Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

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    Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008

    (extension of stay)?

    If you have an HSMP approval letter that was issued under the requirements in place before 7

    November 2006, and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK on the basis of theletter, you may be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008. You

    should read the section on the HSMP Forum judicial review (extension of stay) for more information

    before you apply under Tier 1 (General).

    You will not be affected by this judgment if you joined the HSMP under the arrangements in place from

    5 December 2006.

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    Are you affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009

    (settlement in the UK)?

    If we sent you an HSMP approval letter on the basis of an application made before 7 November 2006,

    and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that letter, you may

    be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009.

    You should read the section on theHSMP Forum Ltd judicial review (settlement in the UK)for more

    information. This will tell you whether you are affected by the judgment, and will help you decide what

    to do next.

    Points Based System Tier 1, General

    Migrant (INF 21)

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    Guidance - Points Based System Tier 1,

    General Migrant (INF 21)

    Last updated 09 December 2009

    This guidance is for applicants who are resident outside the United Kingdom. It

    explains what to do if you are a highly skilled person wishing to seek work or self

    employment in the United Kingdom (UK) under Tier 1 (General) Migrant of the Points

    Based System. It is only a guide but it aims to answer some common questions. Thereare also notes to help you to complete an application form. More comprehensive

    guidance is available on the UK Border Agency website, which is the definitive version,

    and in the event of any discrepancy overrules the information provided in this leaflet.You should also consult the UK Border Agency guidance if you are resident in the UK.

    Please note the transitional arrangements pertaining to the Highly Skilled MigrantProgramme (HSMP) Forum Judicial Review (JR) Ruling, are no longer applicable andapplicants should now apply for leave to enter under Tier 1.


    To qualify for Tier 1 (General) of the Points Based System you must be able to demonstrate

    that you have funds to support yourself and any dependants. For the main applicant this is

    2,800 with a further 1,600 needed for each dependant accompanying you or planning to

    join you within 12 months of your arrival in the UK. These amounts must be held in your

    personal bank account for a minimum period of3 months for which you must show bank

    statements/other evidence immediately preceding and dated no more than 1 month prior to

    the date you submit your application. The balance should not fall below the required

    minimum at any time during the 3 month period.


    What is the Points Based System? Is Tier 1 (General) Migrant the same as the Highly Skilled Migrant


    Do I need a sponsor?

    How do I apply?

    What do I need to make my application?

    What are my biometric details?

    What are visa application centres (VACs)?