How to get a visa to the UK?

How to get a visa to the UK?

The UK visa operation services are operated by UK Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates located globally. They have a commercial partnership with VFS Global and World Bridge Service that would handle all enquiries and applications for a UK visa. VFS Global and World Bridge Service would process all the applications on a day to day basis in every country.

General Information about UK Immigration

Every year millions of migrants from all over the world seek entry into the UK for a greener pasture. The economic stability, safety and security, highly recognised colleges and universities, modern and sophisticated technology for medical treatment and all the historical, scenic places in the UK has been attracting people across the globe like a magnet. The movement of people and labour to the UK remains vital for the UK’s economy and prosperity.  This is due to their obligation under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to status of refugees, the Refugee Convention and Geneva Convention. UK is also bound by European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which would prevent the UKBA or the Home Office from sending the asylum seeker to their country of origin if there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

The United Kingdom welcomes genuine immigrants from different parts of the world and is a home to millions of applicants each year. However this hospitality and tolerance has been abused by migrants over a period of time. They have been found to be overstaying in the UK when their current visa expires; illegally entering into the UK (clandestine from Europe and from other border in the UK); illegally working in the UK; submitting unscrupulous immigration applications and breaking various immigration rules.

Therefore the UK government has strengthened the borders, tightened the asylum system, compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals and Britain’s new Australian-style points based immigration system has been introduced to establish an effective and efficient immigration control in the UK.

The system is being implemented gradually by way of “Statements of Intent” combined with changes to the Immigration Rules. The new system has combined more than 80 pre-existing work and study routes in to the UK into five tiers.

The system operates by awarding points on worker’s skills, reflecting aptitude, experience, age and demand for the skills in the given sector which allows the United Kingdom to respond flexibly to the changes in the labour market. More importantly the introduction of Sponsors for certain category within the Points Based System has become mandatory and  right of appeal has been abolished for certain immigration category.

The new Points Based System (PBS) is a system for managing migration for those wishing to enter the UK to work or study. Tier 1 (General) Migrant of the Points Based System was launched for foreign nationals living in the UK on 29 February 2008. Tier 2 for Skilled Workers and Tier 5 for Temporary Workers and the Youth Mobility Scheme were launched worldwide on 27 November 2008.  The first stage of Tier 4 (General) Student and Tier 4 (Child) Student rolled-out on 31 March 2009.

 Points Based System

This scheme is divided into 5 tiers.

 Tier 1 (4 sub categories) 

  • General Highly Skilled Migrants
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
  • Post Study Work 

Tier 1 has replaced the previous Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, Investors, Self Employed Lawyers, Business Persons, Writes, Composer & Artists, Innovators, International Graduates Scheme (IGS) or Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme (FT: WISS).

Tier 2 (4 sub categories) 

  • General Skilled Migrants with job offers
  • Minister of Religion
  • Sportsperson
  • Intra Company Transfer  

Tier 2 has replaced the previous Work Permit, Minister of Religion, Sports person and Intra Company Transfer.

Tier 3

Is solely for Temporary Low Skilled Workers which would be a quota based, operator led, and time limit and from countries with which UK has effective returns arrangements. Any new routes will be based on identifications of temporary shortages by the Skills Advisory Body. However Tier 3 is currently suspended. We will update this section if UK Border Agency provides any further details about Tier 3 opportunities.

Tier 4

Tier 4 is solely for students.

Tier 5( 2 sub categories)

Tier 5 of the PBS comprises of Youth Mobility Scheme and Temporary Workers. This category allows people to travel to the UK to satisfy not only primarily non-economic objectives but also helps to satisfy cultural, charitable, religious or international objectives.

  • Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)

YMS replaced the old Working Holiday Makers Scheme. YMS visa enables young nationals from different countries in the world to come to the UK for experiencing life and culture for a period of 2 years.

  • Temporary Workers (which is divided into further 5 categories)
    • Charity Workers;
    • Religious Workers;
    • Creative and Sporting;
    • Government Authorised Exchange;
    • International Agreements.

This category allows them to undertake short term or temporary employment in the UK.

Tier 5 has replaced the old categories of

  • Au Pairs;
  • China Graduate Work Experience;
  • Domestic workers in Diplomatic Households;
  • Gap Year;
  • General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS);
  • Japan Youth Exchange Scheme;
  • MP’s research assistant;
  • Minister’s of religion, missionaries’ and members of religious orders;
  • Overseas government employees;
  • Sports people;
  • Training and working experience;
  • Voluntary workers;
  • Working Holiday Makers.