UK Work Visas

Your Guide to the Points-Based UK Work Visa 2021

UK Immigration Law Firm - Logo

Brought to you by The SmartMove2UK, Immigration Law firm with more than a decade of experience providing immigration and nationality services all over the world.

Your Guide to the Points-Based UK Work Visa 2021

Published on: 20th April 2021
Reading time: Approx 6 mins

The United Kingdom is one of the best places to work. Nearly 200,000 people received a UK work visa in 2019. That’s up 11 percent from the previous year.
The number is likely to go up with the introduction of the new points based system. You can apply online for entry clearance and get a response back within a month.
There are different kinds of work visas depending on the eligibility. This includes temporary work visas and long term work visas.
Get the facts you need so you can work in the UK. Here is your quick guide.

The Basics of the UK Work Visa

The United Kingdom has a few different kinds of work visas. There are some general rules that apply to all of them, but each does have distinctions.

A work visa is required for any person who intends to work long-term inside the UK. People coming into the country for short periods can get a visit visa to participate in a few work-related activities. These include attending company conferences, trainings and installations.

Doing any kind of long-term work requires a work visa. It does not matter how much of an economic impact that work contributes. You must get a UK visa in order to remain employed.

Employers must have a sponsor license. This allows them to hire eligible employees who are from outside the United Kingdom.

You will not be able to receive a work visa if a non-licensed company hires you. Do your research and make sure they have a legitimate license. The good news is that your employer can apply to register on the Home Office Sponsor Licence register if they are not already on the register.

Post Brexit, non-EU and EU citizens are on the same level as free movement is no longer possible. EU citizens must apply for a work visa in order to work inside the UK.

The most common kind of visa is the skilled worker visa. It applies to workers who offer advanced skills and/or pursue a high-paying job. Intra company transfer is another route that allows employers to transfer employees from overseas entities to the UK.

Global Talent visas apply to applicants with exceptional talent.. They are required to obtain endorsements from the respective endorsing body and can subsequently apply to the Home Office for entry clearance to the UK. Temporary visas also include Creative and Sporting visas are for creative professionals and athletes, and they cover a short term.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Graduate entrepreneur visa routes were replaced with Innovator and Start up visa respectively..

What Is a Points-Based Visa?

The points-based visa is a new system within the United Kingdom. The government introduced it in response to Brexit, in order to place all potential migrants on the same level.

The system applies only to skilled workers. People applying for other visas do not need points.

A skilled worker must score at least 70 points in order to enter the United Kingdom. Of which 50 points are mandatory. There are three criteria that they must meet.

Applicants are awarded 20 points for a job offer from an approved sponsor.

Further 20 points are awarded if their job is at an appropriate skill level.

All jobs must exceed Regulated Qualifications Framework level 3. This is graduating with an A-level or the equivalent thereof (i.e. graduating with a high school diploma). Visa offers are not limited based on the job sector or industry.

The applicant must also have proficiency in the English language. This requirement constitutes 10 points.
Some countries with a majority English-speaking population (e.g. USA) are not subject to this requirement.

A few other factors can determine the remaining points. An applicant with a Ph.D. in a subject relevant to their job receives 10 points. If they have a Ph.D. in a relevant STEM subject, they receive 20 points.

If the job offers a salary of £ 25,600 p.a. or more, the applicant receives 20 points. A job with a salary between £ 23,040 and £ 25,599 is worth 10 points.

An applicant whose job is in a shortage occupation receives 20 points. Shortage occupations constitute a range of job sectors, including healthcare and education.

How to Receive a Work Visa

Make sure you have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer.

Apply for a work visa as soon as possible. You will receive a decision within three weeks after applying online. You can apply for up to 3 months before your work start date in UK.

There are several costs associated with a visa. You must pay an application fee, and you must pay a healthcare surcharge. This is about £ 624 for every year you will be in the UK.

You must also show that you can support yourself. You must have at least £ 1,270 available to support yourself, alternately your employer can certify maintenance.

Once you receive your visa, you can begin making preparations for your move to the UK. You can start working on the first day of your entry to the UK. If you delay, you may run into problems.

While on a work visa, you cannot apply for benefits (also known as public funds). If you change jobs, you must submit an update to your visa. Your old visa is specific to your earlier employer.

Your work visa lasts five years. You may be eligible to apply for permanent settlement if you meet the requirements.

Like the first time you applied, renew your visa as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute may result in problems if your your application is denied.

If you are a UK business considering sponsoring migrant workers & you need assistance in UK Migrant Skilled License, then click here.

Get to Work in the UK

The UK work visa is changing. To ensure that talented workers from all countries enter the UK, the Home Office has introduced a point system.

Workers must have a job offer from an approved sponsor. Their job must be at an appropriate skill level, and they must be able to understand English. Their job must also pay at appropriate rate.

Fill out your application online.

Turn to someone who can advise you on the right option and expedite your application process. The SmartMove2UK is professional immigration law firm for UK immigration services. Contact us today.



Get latest news & updates on UK Visa directly in your inbox


UK Student Visa UK Work Visas

End of UK Tier 2 Cooling Off Period

The Home Office has aimed at providing clarity and understanding to stakeholders regarding the new UK Immigration System. So, the drafts and proposed Immigration policies are being actively shared by the Home Office. In one such interaction, it has surfaced that the Tier 2 (General) cooling off period will be discontinued for the new Skilled Worker route. Thus, the new UK Immigration System shows some promise for the Skilled Worker route or the Tier 2 stakeholders.

If you are a Tier 2 visa holder or will be one in the future, read on to gain insights about the present situation, the Tier 2 visa, and what the future holds for the UK immigrants.

-The SmartMove2UK suggests

The new UK Immigration Bill is taking its due course through the Parliament and will provide the UK immigrants with a new Points-based Immigration System. This post-Brexit development in the United Kingdom will bring to a halt, the freedom of movement between the UK and EU (European Union), w.e.f., December 31, 2020 (11 pm).

Further, one of the recent Home Office presentations provides strong evidence of the cessation of the cooling off period for the Tier 2 visa. This implies that as soon as these rules come into force, the stakeholders of the skilled worker’s visa will be exempted from the usual 12-month re-entry ban.

If you are unaware of what a Tier 2 visa and the cooling off period are then the next section is for you. However, you may skip directly to the developments section to view what’s new.

UK Tier 2 Visa

A UK Tier 2 visa enables skilled workers to enter the United Kingdom to work in a skilled job vacancy for a long-term basis. The job vacancy has to be listed in the ‘Codes of Practice for Skilled Worker’ and usually includes sectors like IT, healthcare, and accountancy, among others. General Tier 2 and Intra-company (ICT) Tier 2 categories of Tier 2 have been under recent scrutiny concerning the new guidelines.

What does the Tier 2 Cooling Off period mean?

A special regulation policy guards the movement of the Tier 2 visa holders- the cooling off period. The cooling off period for the Tier 2 visa is a kind of re-entry ban on the Tier 2 visa stakeholders which spans for a duration of 12 months. Exemptions obviously exist.

The cooling off regulation affects both General Tier 2 and ICT Tier 2 skilled workers. A significant number of skilled immigrants have been affected by this rule of the UK Home Office, and it has also incurred losses for the employers/sponsors of those stakeholders.

The Developments – End of the Tier 2 Cooling Off period

The current cooling off period forbids the holder of a skilled worker (Tier 2) visa from returning to the United Kingdom for a period of a year post the expiry of their Tier 2 visa. Also, it debars them from switching back to a Tier 2 visa from a different UK leave category, say ICT Tier 2, within the period of a year.

UK General Tier 2

With the new Immigration System on the cards, the Home Office plans on curbing the “cooling off period” rule for the skilled worker Tier 2 (General) visa route. With this coming into effect, the skilled workers will have the liberty to leave and return to the UK without the need for the leave to entry or entry clearance.

UK ICT Tier 2

For the ICT Tier 2 visa holders, the Home Office has long proposed policy updates. The cooling off period is expected to end, although, with an exception. If you have already left for more than five years in the six years period, you need to apply for the entry clearance under the cooling off rule. However, further clarifications are still awaited.

The end of the Tier 2 cooling off period can be especially beneficial for immigrants who have been planning their return to their home country, in line with the cooling off period regulations. Besides, with the updated Tier 2 cooling off policy, the skilled workers can heave a sigh of relief.

If your visa validity permits you to reside in the United Kingdom until the new Immigration System comes into effect, you must leverage the opportunity and stay in the country. This will enable you to benefit from the new regulations, and you can save some of your hard-earned money on flights, visa applications, and other formalities

-The UK Visa experts at The SmartMove2UK suggest

What To Expect?

The “Brexit” referendum is said to bring along a multitude of brand new changes for the EU, EEA, Swiss, and other international citizens. Besides, the most prominent alterations are being made to the immigration laws in the United Kingdom. From the UK Tier 4 General student visa to the Tier 2 general skilled worker visa route, the point-based immigration system has something for everyone.

However, as a potential Tier 2 visa stakeholder, naturally, you may have multiple questions regarding the cooling-off period, the extension of Tier 2 ICT, or the new immigration laws. That being so, what you need are professional UK visa immigration specialists who can assist you with all your UK visa requirements.

If you need more information on the above or need assistance on understanding ‘Points-based Immigration System’ contact our expert UK Visa and UK Immigration Consultants are based in Mumbai | Delhi | Gurgaon | Chandigarh | Bangalore and London.


Thank you for subscribing!!
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

European Union Free Movement

What Are The Implications of Points Based Immigration System on UK Work Visas

The UK government exited the European Union to end free movement and introduce Immigration Bill to bring in a firm and fair point based system. The government has brought a system that works in the interest of the UK and focuses upon a person’s skills instead of their nationality. This system will tighten security at the UK border and deliver a better customer experience for those visiting UK.


This system is set to revolutionize the way migrants come to UK to work, study, and visit or join their families. Broadly the objectives of this scheme are:

  • EU and non-EU citizens will be treated with equality.
  • Top priority will be given to those with high skills and talents like scientists, engineers, academicians etc.
  • Commitment to protect individuals from exploitation by criminal traffickers and unscrupulous employers.

The UK government believes that it needs to shift its focus of the economy away from reliance on cheap labour from Europe and instead concentrate more upon investment in areas of technology and automation. This will also mean that employers would need to adjust accordingly. Since Settlement Scheme for EU citizens has already received 3.2 million applications from EU citizens, the employers will be able to meet the labour market demands. To further support the employers, the government will keep labour market data under scrutiny to monitor any key pressure areas.

UK’s Points-Based Immigration System

In the new points-based immigration system, points will be awarded for knowledge of English language, job offer at the appropriate skill level and payment of minimum salary.

  • Free movement will end and a multi-year programme of change led by Home office will be introduced to transform border operation and immigration system.
  • Further improvements will follow to the UK’s sponsorship system and the operation of the UK border.
  • Introduction of Electronic Travel Authorities will ensure those coming to the UK have permission to do so in advance of travel
  • A phased approach will be taken to ensure smooth delivery of the new system and to allow sufficient time for adaptation.

Impact on Salary Thresholds

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report on salary thresholds and point based systems which was accepted by the government. Following are its recommendations:

  • The general salary threshold will be lowered from £30,000 to £25,600.
  • Migrants will still need to be paid the higher of the specific salary threshold or going rate and the general salary threshold.
  • Applicants will be able to accept job offer against a lower salary.
  • For new entrants, the requirements will be set 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation.
  • There will be no regional salary thresholds for different parts of the country.

The Visa Process

Under the points based system, people coming from any country in the world for the purpose of work or study other than short term business visitors and short term students will be required to pay a fee in order to obtain a visa. Migrants will make their application online. Non-EU citizens will have to submit their biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and key routes will be opened so that migrants can apply before January 2021. Employers who are not currently approved by the Home Office should apply if they want to sponsor skilled migrants. Public service providers and employers will continue to accept the passports of EU citizens as evidence of permission up until 30 June 2021. For more information regarding the application process, visit SmartMove2UK .

Read Deadlines for EEA nationals and their family members

The UK government’s vision for their border system is to protect the public and enhance prosperity in the UK. Their intention is also to phase out the use of insecure identity documents for the migrants who are new arrivals which means that most migrants will use a passport when arriving at the UK border. The citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Singapore and South Korea will be able to use e-gates who possess biometric passports.


The UK government’s initiative regarding the new immigration system is a simple, effective and flexible system that will ensure that employers can recruit the skilled workers they need and also encourage the employers to train as well as invest in the UK’s workforce. It is also opening routes for those with exceptional talent or promise in the field of innovation and technology. This new system will also bring equality between the EU and non-EU citizens as they will be judged based on what they can contribute in the UK economy instead of just their nationality. This system will change the operation at the UK border and also protect migrants and citizens from trafficking. It will focus on improving the UK’s economy by allowing talented and skilled migrants to contribute in it.

Reach out to us if you are seeking legal help from expert UK Points Based Immigration System consultants in relation to your UK Visa application and want to know more about Implications of Points Based Immigration System on UK Work Visas.

Our expert UK Visa and UK Immigration Consultants are based in Mumbai | Delhi | Gurgaon | Chandigarh | Bangalore and London.


Thank you for subscribing!!
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

UK Work Visas

How is maintenance funds calculated for Tier 2 dependants?

While looking at attaining a Tier 2 Dependent Visa, the dependent must evidence that they can be supported financially whilst their stay in the UK.

Each dependent must show that they have £630 available with them (in addition to the £945 the main applicant must have to support for himself).

The dependent must have these funds available for at least 90 days prior to the application being made.

The UK Tier 2 A-rated sponsor can also provide an undertaking, if it becomes necessary, stating that the sponsor will accommodate the dependant for a month. The undertaking may be limited to at least £630 per dependant. A Tier 2 A-rated sponsor can do this by:

Endorsing the maintenance on the Certificate of Sponsorship

For instance, the Tier 2 migrant can make an application at the same time for their spouse and two children. The sponsor needs to show that they have £630 for their spouse and a further £630 for each of the two children; this is in addition to the £945 which is required by them to support themselves. In total, the family would require £2,835 funds to be available with them (£630 x 3 = £1890 + £945). If the dependant applies at the same time as the main applicant, they are required to show that they meet the maintenance requirement while the dependant is also required to meet the maintenance requirement.

We, at The SmartMove2UK (a division of SmartMove Immigration), have assisted thousands of applicants to apply for their dependent visas and join their partners in the UK. We provide expertise service for the UK visas. To ensure that your application has the best chance of success and to avoid additional delays or costs you can contact us on +91 98191 27002 or fill in the form below so that our team members can get in touch with you at the earliest.


Thank you for subscribing!!
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.