Applying for a UK Visa: Understanding the Five Tier System

The UK immigration law was modified, resulting in the introduction of five tiers, a points-based visa system. The newly developed system wants to make the visa application procedure significantly more efficient and logical. There would be fewer, more easy procedures when over 80 different types of visa application processes. All applicants should provide a passport with a photo, an application, the required fee, biometric details, and any additional tier-specific files under the new system.

Five Tier System

There are many reasons people want to apply for a visa to enter the UK. Therefore, the United Kingdom has a well-organized visa system based on a person’s reason and different visa types. Below is the breakdown of the five tiers:

Tier One Visa:

It applies to migrants with specific job-related skills or who want to be self-employed in the country. You don’t need a sponsor, but you must present enough funds to support yourself. A partner, spouse, and dependent children under the age of 18 may accompany you if they have received the needed visas, and you may present proof of your capability to support them. The validity of this visa is limited to two years.

Tier Two Visa:

It applies to competent people who have received a job offer. Before sending your application, you need to secure a sponsor and sponsorship accreditation. You need to show proof of financial support for yourself and any accompanying dependents. This visa is only valid for three years and one month, or for the duration stated on your sponsorship certificate plus one month, whichever comes. Learn more about UK tier 2 visa application right here.

Tier Three Visa:

It applies to employees with only basic skills who briefly want to work in the country. This visa is valid for only twelve months, and the holder needs to return home at the end of that duration. This visa will not permit you to bring any dependents with you.

Tier Four Visa:

It applies to students who want to finish their studies in the UK. This visa needs a certificate of sponsorship, commonly released by the school that accepts the applicant to a study program. This visa is valid for the specific course of study, and the school will be needed to validate your capability as a student. Visit this expert immigration law firm in London for more information.

Tier Five Visa:

It is intended for young people in the country who are working on short-term specialty projects. Your home country’s government should act as your sponsor, and you need to show that you have the money to support yourself. This visa is valid for only two years, and you can not bring dependents or partners with you.

A UK visa is a document that allows people from all over the world to enter, stay temporarily, or live permanently in the United Kingdom. A visa is generally a stamp in your passport or a file provided by a British consulate or embassy in your home country. Learn more from Imperium Chambers on British citizenship.


This is just a quick rundown of each of the new points-based visa system’s five main tiers. Each main tier has sub-tiers that bring the application’s specific information and requirements. If you are unsure which tier your application belongs in, it is always good to consult a certified and professional immigration lawyer in the UK. Many government websites and offices can give visa information, application procedures, and answers to many of today’s most frequently asked questions about UK immigration.