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PBS Tier 1 (General) additional information

Contents

Age

This area recognises that younger people will have less work experience and will be less well-placed to claim points for their previous earnings.
This section also recognises that younger people, while having gained less experience, are likely to have a longer working life ahead of them.
Points are awarded in three tiers for people based on their age range. These tiers change depending on the type of application you are making. For example, if you are extending your HSMP visa, each tier is 2 years higher to reflect the fact that HSMP holders first applied 2 years ago. Likewise, holders of a Tier 1 (General) visa benefit from tiers that are 3 years higher when they come to make an extension application.

Qualifications

Points are awarded for academic qualifications at Bachelor’s degree level, Master’s level, and PhD level.
Only the highest qualification counts, and an individual can only be awarded either 30 points (Bachelor’s degree), 35 points (Master’s degree) or 50 points (PhD).
Qualifications have to be equivalent to the recognised British standard of Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD in order to be awarded the respective points for each level.
Overseas qualifications will be compared to a UK standard by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC).

  • A candidate will have to provide evidence (normally an original degree certificate) that they have completed the relevant course successfully and that they have been awarded the relevant academic or professional qualification.
  • No extra points are available for a 4 year Bachelor’s degree rather than a 3 year degree, or for having more than one degree at any one level or several levels.

Earning Power

It is expected that a highly skilled person will normally earn more than average.
Points are awarded in this category according to the individual’s highest earnings over a 12 month period in the country in which they have resided and worked for the past 15 months.
The applicant’s nationality is not part of the equation. The higher an applicant’s earnings in the last 12 months, the more points can be awarded to them in relation to this category (up to a maximum of 45 points for the top income band). Income is counted at a local level, and converted to UK currency.
The current Tier 1 (General) rules convert this to a relative income in the UK depending on the average income level in the relevant country. Points are awarded accordingly.
Therefore in this section of the calculator it is only necessary to select the country you have been living in for the last 15 months and then to directly convert your last year’s earnings (or any 12 month period beginning up to 15 months ago) from local currency to GBP to see whether any points can be awarded in this category.

  • If an applicant is currently in full time study, on maternity or adoption leave, or if they have been within the last 12 months, then a period before the applicant began study (or maternity or adoption leave) can be considered (based on the highest earnings in a 12 month period in the 15 months before they began study, maternity or adoption leave).
  • Please note applicants will be required to provide evidence of their earnings. Suitable forms of evidence include income tax returns (mandatory), 12 months’ pay slips, letters from accountants or a letter from an employer detailing salary, and confirming that the total figure was declared for tax purposes.
  • Those who have lived in more than one country during the past 12 months will need to apply the uplift ratio and then ‘add up’ the earnings from the multiple countries in which they lived.
  • Unearned or “passive” income such as dividends from investments, property rental income, and interest on savings will not be taken into account when calculating points based on an individual’s income. However, such income could count where it forms an aspect of the individual’s business activities.

UK Experience

It is possible for an applicant to gain an extra 5 points if they have recent experience of actively working or studying in the UK, either through successful degree level study or through work experience.
In order to gain points relating to education in the UK, the applicant needs to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD from a UK Institution or awarding body from within the last 5 years.

In order to claim points for work experience, an individual must also be claiming points for earnings in the UK (at least the minimum of 5 points based on UK earnings).

It is only possible to gain 5 points for this category, in one of the two ways above.

English language requirements

It is a mandatory requirement for the Tier 1 (General) rules that the applicant meets a set level of English Language. This requirement can be met in a number of ways:

  • A person may be a national of one of the following countries:
    • Antigua or Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • New Zealand
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and The Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • United States of America
  • A person may have obtained a qualification equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD in one of the following countries :
    • Antigua or Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Ireland
    • Jamaica
    • New Zealand
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and The Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • UK
    • United States of America
  • A person may have obtained an academic qualification, equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or PhD, which was taught in English to the level indicated below.
  • Holding an original test certificate (from an approved test centre) confirming a knowledge of English equivalent to level C1 of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning (or above). This requirement can be satisfied by a number of tests. If in doubt, please ask the providers of your course or test, or feel free to contact UK Work Permits Ltd for clarification.

Maintenance requirement

Qualification for 10 points under this section is also a mandatory requirement for all applicants. The requirement generally is in place to ensure that individuals are able to support themselves for the initial period of leave in the UK, without resorting to public funds. The qualifying criteria are different depending on whether a person is applying from within the UK (in a category which will allow them to switch into Tier 1 (General) status), or making their application from outside of the UK.

In-country applications
For those making applications from within the UK, an applicant must be able to demonstrate funds of £800, plus £1600 for every dependent who is outside of the UK, or who has been in the UK for less than 12 months, or £533 for every dependent who has been in the UK for a period of more than 12 months.

Out-of-country applications
For those making applications for entry clearance from outside of the UK under the Tier 1 (General) category, the requirement is for the main applicant to have a total of £2800 available in funds (including start-up costs), plus £1600 for the first dependent, and £800 for each subsequent dependent.

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