Bachelor Degrees Back for Tier 1 Visa

The UK Government has announced that they have accepted all of the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) recommendations relating to the points threshold for the Tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrant category visa.

It is now possible for very high earners to qualify under Tier 1 (General) even if they do not hold any formal post-school qualifications

These latest changes bring about the reintroduction of points for Bachelor degrees; raise the age limits for scoring points; and amendments to the salary bands across the range of point scores.

The following points table will apply from 06 April 2010:

The Government is yet to finalise the overseas earnings uplift multipliers and will not have these changes implemented by 06 April 2010. Unfortunately we cannot advise on what these may be, or if in the interim the current multipliers will be utilised. More information regarding this will be available after 06 April 2010.

It is now possible for very high earners to qualify under Tier 1 (General) even if they do not hold any formal post-school qualifications. As per the above table, applicants with earnings in excess of £150,000 can score the required 75 points for attributes purely from this criterion.

New applicants will initially be granted a Tier 1 (General) visa for 2 years, as opposed to the current 3 year validity. After the initial 2 year period, Tier 1 (General) visa holders will be able to apply for an extension of 3 years, bringing their period of leave up to 5 years.

The above table does not apply to those currently in the UK under one of the following categories:

  • Tier 1 (General) with leave granted before 06 April 2010
  • The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
  • Writers, Composers and Artists
  • Self-employed Lawyers

Transitional arrangements will be put in place so as not to impact negatively on migrants already in the UK under any of the above categories. The current points criteria will apply to applicants in one of these categories at the time of extending their current visa.

Borders and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:

‘We’ve always said that we would run our immigration system for the benefit of the UK and that is what we are doing.

‘The changes that we are making today will build on an already robust system which is now the envy of the world. A strength of the points-based system is the flexibility to predict and respond to events.

‘By utilising the flexibility of the points-based system we are now ensuring that only those that we need to come to the UK to work can do so.

‘I will continue to ensure that immigration does not act as a disincentive for employers to employ and improve the skills of the British workforce.’

, ,

  • Khushboo Shah

    http://www.1stcontact.com/blog has really help me to get updated for visa procedure.

  • Thandi

    please advise of any further update.

  • Akhtar Mehmood

    Thanks to 1st contact for updating timely with recent changes in Tier 1 rules.It is really helpful.

  • Sarah

    These new rules are absolutely ridiculous, it makes it almost impossible for a normal skilled person to gain enough points to apply for this visa. For example if you’re a 30 year old working in Australia earning $70-80,000 a year in a managerial position where you have an MBA….you won’t be eligible to apply. I don’t understand where they are getting these absurd rules from!

    • Lisa

      The new earnings requirement is an absolute joke. I can’t see too many people meeting the new requirements except for the people who are on enormous money. An Australian would have to be on well over $100,000 (depending on the exchange rate) to pass which would count out most well-qualified professional people other than senior executives. I am a CPA qualified accountant in my mid 30’s and I wouldn’t even come close to meeting the new earnings requirement.

      • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

        Hi Sarah & Lisa,

        Although the criteria may seem outwardly unattainable, please remember that the MAC recommended these changes to ensure only skilled migrants which the UK needs could qualify for this particular visa category.

        The example of a 30 year old Masters degree qualified applicant in Oz is a good one – 10 points for age, plus 35 points for Masters means the applicant would need GBP£50,000 in past earnings to qualify. Currently, the exchange rate is approximately 1.63, which would equate to around AUD$81,500 needed to qualify.

        There are alternate visa options should the new Tier 1 criteria rule an applicant out – the Tier 2 category is for skilled foreign nationals to fill labour shortages in the UK. Should a UK based employer be considering ‘sponsoring’ a foreign national and there are no resident workers available to fill the vacancy, this is a very realistic option.

        Please feel free to contact our Melbourne office on 1800 039 300 or visasuk@1stcontact.com should you wish to discuss your options and individual circumstance.

  • Joe

    Ummm. not really that easy to get into Australia either! What are we complaining about here?

  • Saywhat

    Basically the gov just showed its true colours. Its impossible for any1 to reach that earning level. They should have two different visa’s, one for those with 150k earnings and another with a realistic earning level.

    International students should be made aware of this so they can decide if UK is right for them before investing huge amounts of money for an average education level with no career opportunities in the UK.

    If you want this new ruling to change, you need to voice out, make a comment, write to the government, higher authorities. Dont expect change if you just complain to your friends without doing anything about it.

  • Sahid

    I am totaly agree with Sarah. This is really absurd rules. There is better place for living.

  • rhiana

    I agree, the new rules dont make much difference to me either, I’m in my early 30’s, earn good money for Australian standards and I hold a degree, but even with a PHD I would’t meet the points requirements and even if I gained a job that paid an extra $20,000 AUD, it would barely make in dent in the corresponding UK earnings requirments.

    Basically then, these requirements seem to target high flying executives and thats about it. Not helpful to most of the people who would more likely be applying for this – then again, as someone else mentioned, it shouldn’t be easy either. I just hope that our Australian govt. makes it just as hard for others to come into our country.

    Also, just a thought, as this doesn’t seem to help with increasing educated and experienced workers, rather it only targets top executive levels, ..is this what the UK workforce needs? Less mid range skilled workers and more foreigners coming in and taking over executive positions only – surely that doesn’t make for good working dynamics??

  • Greg

    This change by no means will enable highly skilled workers into the UK – the earnings criteria is completely unrealistic. They definately will not achieve their goal of taking advantage of bringing highly skilled workers into the country. This will show in the next 12 months – I doubt many will apply for this visa.

    Further, most highly skilled workers would be in the 30 – 40 age group. It takes time to build specialist skills, knowledge and experience. We shouldn’t be punished with just 10 points on offer. Age is not a crime.

  • Deena

    These new changes are absolutely shocking! I will be a Masters graduate in the next couple of months and would’ve been able to apply for a Tier 1 visa under the old rules. Now I can kiss my chances of ever working in the UK,good bye!I would need to be earning around 120 000 AUD or more to qualify now. That’s totally impossible! Even highly skilled workers in the UK dont earn 65000 pounds! Where they get these figures from is beyond me!The UK gvt have not helped us in anyway, infact hindered our chances of every working in the UK!!

  • Leslie

    Hi
    I can see where everyone is coming from, I think I am one of the few that will benefit, I am in my mid 20’s so I get the 20 points and I have my Bachelors , now j I ust have to wait and see if I earn enough *fingers crossed*
    There are not maybe under 29 year olds that would earn enough and have a Masters degree esp in SA where with most courses you need to be 25 to apply and not may people can afford the 100 K price tag
    I’m going to wait and see in April hopefully it will be good news :)

    • James

      I second this. I’m 26 with plenty of income but no masters degree. I’ve been imprisoned in the same boring job on a work permit for 2.5 years now (under Tier 2 it’s now basically impossible to change jobs on non-shortage occupations). Finally I can get onto a better visa.

    • Futy

      Hi
      I think I am a lucky one. Im 29yrs old and earn about £36.500pa, have a degree. I am keeping my fingers XXXXXXX, as would like to apply for tier 1.

  • Lisa

    With the UK economy being so depressed they probably don’t want migrants coming into the country and taking jobs from local workers. That can be the only possible explanation for setting the bar so high that very few would pass. The best we can hope for is that they lower the bar to a more realistic level when the UK job market picks up again. I am in the same situation as Deena where I am a few months away from completing my CPA qualification and would have qualified under the old rules.

  • Toys

    To me it looks like it’s still favouring the privileged few. Some of the professions here in SA are not paying that much, despite of your highest qualifications.The earnings still needs to be reviewed!

  • Joe

    Goal post is again moving, so best option I think is to stop trying :)

  • http://www.1stcontact.com 1st Contact Visas

    Hi,

    Important to remember is the earnings uplift multipliers are intended to not be a direct exchange rate on the current earnings of an overseas national wanting to equate earnings as per the points in GBP as per the criteria. The current mulitipliers are under review for each country and will be available on the 6th April 2010!

    1st Contact will be sure to be first off the mark in ensuring the changes are uploaded on our e-news as soon as they are published!

  • Nicky

    Under these rules do you get 30 points per Bachelors degree? I hold 2 so that would make it relatively easy for me to get this Visa if that is the case..

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Nicky,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately you are only awarded points on your highest qualification, not for each one you hold.

      I trust this has assisted.

  • Fafa

    I’ll currently qualify with my earnings and bachelors degree. However, when I turn 30 in 2 months time and get my Masters degree later in the year, I would be 5 points short, as I will be ‘penalised’ by 10 points for turning one year older, but gain only 5 points for getting a masters. The fact that South Africans have an honours degree as post graduate qualification doesn’t get taken into account, no matter how difficult the degree is in comparison to other countries’ masters. I will then have to work 4 years (at PPI of 5% salary increase) in order to gain the 5 points for the 10K higher salary, which is 20% of 50K. By that time I will be 34 and close to losing another 5 points when I turn 35. I could always be missing the 95 points by 5… (if I don’t get the visa in April).

    In short, the jump from 40K-50K-55K for each 5 points is very high, not enough points are given for post-graduate studies, and the jump from age 29 to 30 to lose 10 points, rediculous.

  • usman tariq

    Just a clarification really, Can we only claim points for either ” Qualification in UK ” or ” for earnings above £ 25000″. Can we claim points for both of these means will we be claiming only 5 points from last column or 10 points?

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Usman,

      Thank you for your comment and query.

      Unfortunately you may only score 5 bonus points from one of the two criteria, not both. Effectively, only 5 bonus points maximum are available.

      I trust this has answered your question.

  • Nicole

    Hi

    I was just wondering if the “previous earnings” requirement refers to the amount you need to earn per annum, or could it be accumulated over 2 or 3 years, to then amount up to the required total?

    • Venu

      Hi Nicole

      Ha ha iam also in same situtation for indias diffenetly need to consider 3 year i think

  • Nicole

    Hi

    I was wondering if the “previous earnings” required figure could be reached over 2 or 3 years (by accumulating the totals), or whether you need to prove you can earn that amount within 1 previous year?

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Nicole,

      Thank you for your post.

      Under the past earnings criteria, you must reach the required gross personal earnings level in a continuous 12 month period, within the 15 month period immediately preceding an application under Tier 1.

      I trust this has clarified things for you.

  • Rita

    This change is absolutely ridiculous. As most people would agree with me, the salary revisions are unjustified and simply target extremely qualified executives, analysts, or people that have been working for at least 10 years.

    I am lucky that I still am at a younger age, 22, but under the previous rules which stated that I needed a masters, I invested 30,000AUD in studying a masters. Now the UK govt has decided, oh, no, wait a minute, we don’t actually care if you’re educated really, all we want is for people to come and boost our economy by make ridiculous amount of money.

    Chances are, people that are making the amount of money they are suggesting, are NOT going to up and leave their jobs to move in the UKs current unstable environment. Further more, the UK govt is more fickle than a toddler, they have changed the rules more times than I can count in recent years. I foresee that not many people will be able to qualify under these new rules, and they will have to lower the earning brackets soon.

    Until then, this new change is disappointing and simply reflects poor government forecasting by Phil Woolias.

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Rita,

      Thank you for your comments.

      Please be mindful that the UK Government is yet to decide on the multipliers which will be applied to overseas earnings to reflect differences in economies. The multipliers are used to ‘uplift’ overseas earnings once converted to GBP.

      Unfortunately the Government will not have these ready or published by the 6th April – watch this space as the multiplier for your country may be to your advantage!

      • Venu

        Hi Rita,

        You mean to say do they calculate previous earning for indians in different manner

        Please reply me thanks

        • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

          Hi Venu,

          Yes they do – they convert your Indian earnings to GBP, then apply a predetermined multiplier to the converted earnings. Under the current criteria, the uplift multiplier for Indian earnings is 5.3.

          The new multiplier levels have yet to be set by the UK Government. We will post updated articles on this blog site as and when they are published.

          • Venu

            Thanks for your reply

            5.3 means 5LAK 30Thousand are you sure please tell me

          • Rita

            I have read everywhere that the multipliers are going to make it harder for Indian students to apply.

            I am Australian, will the multipliers make it difficult for Australians enter the UK? What is the current multiplier used for Australia? What visibility do you have on these changes?

  • Nesh

    Hi,

    Just two questions:

    1. Under the current Tier 1, is an ACCA acceptable?
    2. Under the new Tier 1, are the country bands for earnings still applicable?

    Thanks

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Nesh,

      Thank you for your queries. Please refer the answers below:

      1. Yes – ACCA is considered equal to a UK taught Masters level
      2. The Government has yet to decide on the overseas multipliers under the new criteria, and these will no be available on the 6th April. The UKBA will publish the new multipliers once they have finalised them.

      I trust this assists.

      • leela

        Do you know if ACCA qualifies for Post Study Worker Visa also as its a Professional Degree but equivalent to a UK Masters degree?
        I have been told different answers from many agencies. I also have a letter from ACCA stating the levels of education the ACCA degree gives.
        Many thanks.

  • Nesh

    Hi,

    Thanks for your prompt reply.

    I’ve just been ACCA qualified.

    I have not yet received my ACCA affiliate certificate.

    I was just wondering whether I can apply with an original letter of reference from ACCA.

    However ACCA does not provide any academic script.

    Thanks

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Nesh,

      No problem.

      I suggest you contact one of our Tier 1 visa specialists to discuss your individual circumstances:

      UK Office – 0800 856 2473
      SA Office – 0800 003 163
      OZ Office – 1800 039 300

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      • Nesh

        Thanks for that.

        Actually I’ve got my 3yrs Tier 1 visa.

  • Venu

    Hi,

    Really it is impossible to show previous earning that much for Indians just see simple logic

    25000X70 Means 17 Lak 50thousand if earning in inida no body will not show intrest to go to UK

    Just they are trying to reduce application espeially from India

  • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

    UPDATE…

    The new Tier 1 criteria is live on our online assessment tool.

    Click on the following link for a free assessment of your eligibility – http://www.1st-contact-visas.co.uk/google/hsmp/index.php?GRef=eNews

  • colin syme

    As an ex South African living in the UK I feel sorry for all the graduates who will be unable to move here but the sad reality is that we have many thousands of equally qualified graduates here who are unable to find meaningful work and the last thing the government wants is to add to it by making it easy for people in other countries to move here. Where l live most of the pubs employ Australians, South Africans and Kiwis all here simply for a working holiday, that is going to become more difficult and a good thing because it impacts on local unskilled labour.

  • Venu

    Hi

    My salary is 5,200 indian rupees for this howmuch points i will get please tell me any one

  • ahmad

    based on the new changes, what is the minimum time required to keep the necessary saving for maintanace in our account, regarding the application date?

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Ahmad,

      Thank you for your comment.

      There were no changes to the maintenance requirements, both the amount required or the length of time.

      To answer your question, you still must have demonstrated these funds were in an account for at least 3 months.

  • Shannon

    Hello,

    I am currently completing my Masters in Social Work in Canada and before this I was working in the UK with a working holiday makers for a year. I returned back to Canada to complete my masters because that was this stipulation for this visa. Now it has changed. I am wondering if my previous earnings are calculated from the 15 months prior to starting my full time education? As obviously being a full time student I don’t have current earnings. Thanks for your help!!!

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Shannon,

      Thank you for your query.

      Unfortunately, since October 2009 it is no longer possible to use earnings prior to studies – you must have earned the required amount in a 12 month period within the immediately preceding 15 months at the time of application.

  • Tiffany

    These new Tier 1 rules are so tough- even for educated people- the potential to work in the UK is slim to none because not only do you have to have a qualification- you got to have the money to go with that as well as your age is also taken into consideration.
    Tough UK laws- not as easy as South Africa though- no no no……… to get a good, very well paid job- the only requirement is to be black and it will be given to you!!! so much for the new rainbow nation> its no wonder everyone wants to leave the rainbow and opt for the rain! At least in the UK- fair and equal judgement is given when you apply for any job- skills, experience and qualifications come into play and NOT the colour of your skin/age/gender.

  • nishantha

    Here Uk earning is requirment is highly unrealistic …Uk home office has forgotten the amount of money graduates gets as starting salaries.£ 40000 pounds ? having a laugh? Have they done any research? Reveal atleaset how many UK graduates got jobs 40000 and above in the recession period.
    This is not a fair immigration policy ..

  • lynda

    I am a student who is just about to finish my MBA and Bachelors in Accounting and as Im restricted to only working part-time during the last 4yrs of my studies there is no way I can meet those silly wage requirements.
    They are completely ridiculous. I also loose points because Im now 30yrs old. The UK wont get an influx or Aussies coming over here now, with these ridiculous rules.
    Im just hoping the Post Study visa rules dont change, as thats my only way of staying here, however even if I get that and after 2yrs of working full-time there is still no way I will reach £50k yr!!

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Lynda,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Note that there have been no amendments to the Post-Study Work category of Tier 1.

  • leela

    I am a student who is just about to finish my MBA and Bachelors in Accounting and as Im restricted to only working part-time during the last 4yrs of my studies there is no way I can meet those silly wage requirements.
    They are completely ridiculous. I also loose points because Im now 30yrs old. The UK wont get an influx or Aussies coming over here now, with these ridiculous rules.
    Im just hoping the Post Study visa rules dont change, as thats my only way of staying here, however even if I get that and after 2yrs of working full-time there is still no way I will reach £50k yr!!

  • umang shah

    Hi

    Can anyone tell me that where someone read that UK govt will change multiplier for lower band. I mean lower then 5.3.

    Thanks

    Umang Shah

  • Venu

    Hi

    I have verified in the site below
    http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/howtoapply/infs/inf21pbsgeneralmigrant#15445637

    in that there is no change in Multiplier please if any body knows please me also know

    because I have started maintain funds so iam planning to apply in june

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Venu,

      At present the multipliers remain the same as prior to 06 April 2010 – the UK Government are yet to decide on the new uplift ratios.

      I trust this has assisted.

  • Venu

    Hi

    Is there any possibility to change the Multiplier from 5.3 to some lower value before August 2010please suggest me.

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Venu,

      At this stage we are unable to speculate on what the new multipliers will be.

      More information will be posted when it becomes available.

  • pkp

    I am in UK on Workpermit (last 15 months) and getting living allownace in GBP and Basic indian salary in Indian Bank A/c. I am qualifying for Tier1 visa. will UK Border Agency will consider my UK Allowance + Indian salary for Salary Point.

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi pkp,

      Thank you for your query.

      It is highly likely that your living allowance will be considered alongside your Indian earnings – please contact one of our consultants on 0800 039 3076 or visas@1stcontact.com for further assistance.

  • TM

    I want to know that how many point will I get for age. I will turn 30 in October this year, 20 or 10??

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi TM,

      Thank you for your query.

      Once you turn 30 years of age, you will only receive 10 points under this criteria.

      I trust this has assisted.

  • Sammy

    Any update on the overseas multipliers for earnings?

    Thanks

  • Linda

    I will be making my application from Australia but as i need to ensure i make the past earnings requirement i will not be able to apply until August. In regards to UK Experience, i previously worked in the UK over 1 year ago but i will not be utilising these earnings as part of my past earnings claim. Does that mean i cannot use this previous experience to claim 5 points?

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You are correct – as you will not be claiming at least £25,000 of earnings from within the UK, you will not be entitled to the 5 bonus points under this criteria.

      I hope this has assisted.

  • Tejas

    hi there,
    i heard that uk immigrition will change multiplier for diffrunt contrys,right now it is 5.3 and they will rewiew and after they will change? help me about this subject

  • Tejas

    Right now 5.3 for India and diffurnt contrys…..

  • Venu

    Hi,

    Do wee need to submit medical clearence certificate while applying for Tire1 visa,if no say No

    If yes what are all the check ups we need to do and when please let meknow

    Thanks

    • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

      Hi Venu,

      Please check with your nearest British High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in your home country for the relevant medical clearance requirements based on your nationality.

      Sorry we could not be of more assistance in this instance.

  • Leon

    Hi,

    Sorry if this has been asked before… being an admitted attorney in South Africa, is this seen as a UK Masters (I have a 4 year degree).

    Also the income multipliers are such a hassle. Is there any indication when and if these will be published this year?

    I’m basically short 5 points at the moment and will therefore have to wait until Oct to apply. If the income multipliers drastically change then I am screwed.

    Thanks

  • Akilesh

    Hi All,

    The new criteria are indeed very difficult to achieve. Many people will not be able to seize the opportunity to work in the UK. Nowadays its impossible to have a work in the UK without a work permit. I wonder how many will get their visa after the 6th of April.

  • Khan

    Hi,

    A really nice thread! The one I was looking for. I’ve one query, uplift multiplier for Indian earnings is (5.3), I earn around 0.5-Million Indian Rs/annum, if I multiply my earning with 5.3 I reach around GBP 40,000 and I can grasp 25 points. I’ve bachelors degree and my age is below 30. So with other compulsory 20 points, do I qualify ??

    Waiting for reply. Thanks.

    • Linda

      Yes you would.

      I am looking at the same criterias for qualification. GBP 40,000 = 25 points, 29 & Under = 20 points, Bachelor degree = 30 points Total: 75 points + 20points mandatory = 95 points.

      • http://www.1stcontactvisas.com 1st Contact Visas

        Hi Khan and Linda,

        You are both absolutely correct!

        Khan please bear in mind that the exchange rate used to convert the INR earnings to GBP is on the spot rate on the last payslip date being used in the application.

  • Leon

    any indication on how the new government proposes to cap non-eu migration…

  • Akilesh

    Hi,

    Do you think David Cameron as UK Prime minister will have a negative impact on immigration to the UK?

  • admin

    Hi ,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    As the new UK coalition Government has only recently been formed, we here at 1st Contact are unable to advise on or comment on any possible new immigration law or policy.

    We will continually monitor developments and advise accordingly on our eNews site – http://www.1stcontact.com/blog/

    We apologise for not being able to assist further at this early juncture.

    Regards

  • Paul

    Im on Tier 5 Youth Mobility…Do I have to leave the country and apply for the Tier 1 Visa. i meet all the criteria required. My current visa expires end of Feb 2011.

    Thanks Paul

  • SRK

    Hi,

    Currently iam in UK on WP from one of indian company.. iam in uk from last 15 months and getting overall 25000 pounds per year as living allowances along with my indian salary.

    i want to go for tier 1 visa.

    1) will my UK earinings can be included in indian salary to show previous earnings?

    my indian salary is 6.2 lk per year, so i calculated 620000 * 0.01388(exchange rate)* 5.3 = 45609 + 25000 = 700609

    2) Can i show UK experience as well?

    3) Qualification is MCA

    4) Age – 33 years

    Please anybody advise me.

  • Akeem

    SRK,

    With my calculation. You stand a better chance getting the tier 1 visa.

    Good luck.