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Gaining entry into the UK

Gaining entry into the UK can be difficult. At TLS Solicitors, our main motive is to provide you with an exceptional service and achieve the best outcome for you when making an application for entry clearance on your behalf.

Our team provides expert advice in dealing with Immigration authorities and gaining entry into the UK. We have already successfully instructed clients through entry applications, all over the world.

We provide a personal and dedicated service to each and every one of our clients and we aim to get the best possible outcomes for our clients.

The UK’s immigration system is a points-based system. It is based upon 4 tiers, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5.

Tier 1


Since 23 December 2010 Tier 1 is closed to over-sea applicants. Post 6 April 2015 applications to extend leave are no longer accepted. However, applicants who wish to remain in the UK may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) once they have accumulated 5 years continuous stay in the UK and meet the Tier 1 eligibility requirements for ILR.


If you are a Non-EU National you can apply for a visa allowing you and your family to live in the UK as long as you have least £2 million available to you to invest in the UK. The funds must be your own and must have been held in one or more regulated financial institutions for at least three months prior to any investor application. If you have held the funds for less than three months when you apply, you will need to evidence the source of the funds as part of your application. Applications for a Tier 1 Investor visa can be made in the country of your nationality and/or residence. Although the funds do not need to be in the UK when you make your application, from 6th April 2015, you will need to have an investment account open in the UK and provide evidence of this with your application.


In order to meet the eligibility requirements, you must show that you have at least £200,000 available for investment into a new or existing business in the UK. The investment must create at least two new full-time jobs for UK residents in order for you to meet the eligibility requirements when extending your leave to remain in the UK under the category. Furthermore, investment funds made available by third parties, such as family or investors, may also be taken into account.

Applicants can also qualify if they have access to at least £50,000 obtained from regulated venture capital firms. A Prospective Entrepreneur visitor category has been introduced for entrepreneurs to come to the UK for discussions to secure funding.

Migrants who are already in the UK under other categories may switch into the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa if they meet the eligibility requirements which includes a Prospective Entrepreneur visitor who has come to the UK for discussions to secure funding.

Graduate Entrepreneur:

A new category comprised of those wishing to develop a business idea immediately upon graduating, and who have been identified by UK Universities as having developed world-class innovative or entrepreneurial skills, but who are not at the time of their graduation (and, presumably at the time of the expiry of their leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General Student) in a position to meet the full requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route.

Tier 2

There are 4 subcategories for Tier 2 visa migrants. Tier 2 migrants must be employed in “graduate level” jobs.


This category is for skilled overseas workers coming to the UK to fill jobs that cannot be filled by a settled worker. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations.

Intra-Company Transfer:

This category is for skilled workers moving from a branch of a company located outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to a UK branch of the same company.

Minister of Religion:

For people to work as religious workers with recognised religions. This subcategory includes preachers and pastoral workers.


For people and their coaches who are established at the highest level internationally in their sport.

Tier 4

There are 2 subcategories for Tier 4 visa migrants.

(General) Student:

In order to be eligible to obtain a visa under this category, you must be 16 or over, have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 sponsor and enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances

The points for attributes under Appendix A of the Tier 4 policy guidance are awarded to applicants seeking entry clearance on the basis of their “Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies” which is issued by the sponsoring education provider.

(Child) Student:

This category is for children aged from 4 to 16 who wish to be educated in the UK and are studying at a fee paying school. Children under the age of 16 will be granted up to six years leave to remain or the duration of the course.

Tier 5

Tier 5 was created to allow people to travel to the UK to work temporarily. There are two subcategories under Tier 5.

Youth mobility:

This category is the replacement for the Worker Holidaymaker route. It enables people from Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand, as well as British Overseas Territories Citizens or British Nationals (overseas) who are aged 18-30 to experience life in the UK for a period of up to two years.

Temporary workers:

This subcategory covers temporary workers from specialist professions to come to the UK to work for periods of both up to 12 months and up to 24 months.

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