UK Work Permits is not part of the Home Office: the official body for visa applications in the UK, and is not affiliated with it. We are a leading consultancy specialising in UK immigration. If you would like to prepare and submit your UK immigration application yourself you can do so by visiting the Official UKVI website. The specialist legal services we offer cannot be obtained directly from the Home Office. To find out more about these services, please read our FAQs.

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Tier 1 (General)

UK Work Permits Ltd has been preparing successful HSMP / Tier 1 (General)  applications since 2003, and in that time has helped thousands of satisfied clients to obtain approval.  Following a free initial assessment of any case, and if we believe that an application will be viable, we normally offer our unique 110% refund guarantee.

For a free initial assessment of your potential application under the new Tier 1 (General) rules, please contact our expert consultants now on 0845 226 4030. Alternatively send a CV to including a month by month breakdown of your earnings in the past 15 months (or the 15 months prior to any recent period of maternity or adoption leave), as well as confirmation of your highest qualification, and date of birth. Alternatively, contact us here with any questions.

Please see below for some basic background information regarding the Tier 1 (General) category.

Important notes:

Tier 1 (General) was abolished for new applications on 6th April 2011.

This visa category was closed from 6th April 2011 for all new applicants wishing to switch into this category from another visa category within the UK. From 23rd December 2010, the category closed for individuals wishing to apply from outside the UK. Individuals with current leave as a Tier 1 (General) migrant or a Highly Skilled migrant may continue to extend their visa under this category.


Tier 1 (General) was introduced on the 30th June 2008, and was based on the established and well known Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. Under the Tier 1 (General) category, an applicant can gain points in key areas including age, qualifications, earnings, and previous experience in the UK (working or studying). The Tier 1 (General) category does not require the involvement of any employer to “sponsor” the application – Instead the application is completely driven by the individual, who, if successful, will have the right to work freely within the UK.


To assess your eligibility, we must ask current that you please begin by contacting us as per the instructions above.

Aims and purpose

The purpose of this category is to allow highly skilled migrants to live and work in the UK, without restriction as to the nature of their work.


Points are awarded to applicants based upon their attributes. These attributes are split into 4 different sections:

  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • Previous earnings
  • UK Experience

Applicants who were last given leave as a Highly Skilled Migrant or as a Tier 1 (General) under the rules in place before 19th July 2010 must have 75 points from their attributes in these 4 categories. Applicants granted leave from 19th July 2010 must score 80 points from their attributes in these 4 categories. In addition, applicants must also be able to show that they have enough funds to maintain both themselves and any dependants.


The Tier 1 (General) category replaced the HSMP as of 30th June 2008. When participants of the HSMP come to renew their visa, they will need to do so under the Tier 1 (General) category. The above requirements will still need to be met, although applicants applying in this manner will benefit from raised age thresholds.

Necessary Documentation

Applicants need to evidence the points they gain by providing original documents. The UK Border Agency is very strict about documentation in terms of the format and information that it contains, and whether the documents correlate with each other. In most situations, The UK Border Agency will only accept original documents. The typical documents that an applicant would need to submit might include:

  • Passport (current and previous);
  • Original degree certificates;
  • A letter from the awarding institution;
  • Original payslips;
  • A letter from the employer;
  • Original bank statements.

Period of Stay

Successful applicants will be granted further leave to remain for a period of 2 years where the previous grant of leave was as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant under the Rules in place before the 6th April 2010. In all other cases, successful applicants will be granted further leave to remain for a period of 3 years. After 5 years of continuous residence under this category, Tier 1 migrants will generally qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Other Useful Information

An applicant may apply for his/her dependants (husband/wife and dependant children under 18) to be granted leave on the basis of his/her Tier 1 (General) visa.

Our services

Tier 1 (General) Consultancy Service

UK Work Permits Ltd offer professional, specialist assistance to individuals wishing to make Tier 1 (General) applications. Our consultants are experienced in preparing successful applications for individuals in a wide variety of professions as well as for entrepreneurs and business people. We operate on the basis of our “110% Refund Guarantee” (subject to initial assessment) and take full responsibility for the success of each application we undertake. Our service for Tier 1 (General) applications is in accordance with our normal process.

Document Checking Service

Our Document Checking Service (DCS) includes a full pre-application study and report of all supporting documentation relevant to a potential Tier 1 (General) application. It will provide a potential applicant with a breakdown of whether the documentation they possess will be enough to support a successful application. Any areas of potential concern will be highlighted in a full report. Following receipt of the report, an individual can make a confident and informed decision about whether to proceed with a Tier 1 (General) application, either directly, or with the assistance of UK Work Permits Ltd. If a person wishes to use our services following a positive DCS Report, they will be able to “upgrade” to our full Tier 1 (General) application service, by paying only the difference between the costs for the two services. For more information on our Document Checking Service, please refer to the FAQs below.

Document Checking Service FAQs

What do I receive from using the Document Checking Service?

You will receive a full pre-application study and report of all supporting documentation relevant to your potential application by one of our expert consultants. The report will be comprehensive and will cover all individual scoring areas, separate mandatory requirements, and will identify any relevant contradictions or inadequacies. If there are inadequacies or problems with your documentation, you will receive proposals regarding suitable solutions. The consultant will explain or clarify any issues if necessary.

How long will it take you to complete the Document Checking Service Report?

The study will be competed and the report will be provided within a 48 hour timeframe as standard. Depending on workload, we may be able to work more quickly than this.

If the report is positive what guarantee do I have of a successful application?

If a person submits their own application, we cannot be held liable for the result of the application under any circumstances. However, following a positive DCS report, we will offer to provide our full Tier 1 (General) application service, which includes a refund of 110% of our entire fees in the event of a refusal. At the stage of receiving a positive DCS report therefore, the client can be assured that UK Work Permits Ltd are certain that a positive outcome is feasible, based on the supporting documents available.

If problems are identified, where does that leave me?

If any problems or inadequacies are identified with the documentation that is sent to us, the DCS Report will include clear explanations of the issues, and will offer suggestions regarding potential solutions. Your consultant will clarify anything you are unsure of.

Must I send original documents for the DCS Report?

We strongly recommend that clients send through original documents, because we are then able to comment on precisely what the Border Agency, or Visa Application Centre are going to consider. If a client prefers, or needs, to provide us with copies, we can provide a DCS Report, but this will be on the assumption of accurate or authentic documents. We may also be unable to identify where documents are defaced or have an unusual or problematic appearance.

How does the DCS Report differ from the free initial assessment?

The free initial assessment is an initial check on eligibility resting on information provided by the prospective client on the facts relating to the potential application. It confirms whether a person should be eligible for the Tier 1 (General) category based on claims made by the individual relating to the scoring areas and an assumption that they will be able to provide the relevant evidence. It does not include a thorough study of the evidence available to support the claim. The DCS Report is a thorough and reliable report on the documentation available to support a potential Tier 1 (General) application.

How does it differ from the full Tier 1 (General) consultancy service?

The DCS Report provides an individual with professional feedback on their supporting documentation. It does not include assistance with the preparation or submission of an application. With the Document Checking Service, no work is carried out on the application form, covering letters, explanatory charts or other guidance documents, and no liaison with the authorities is included or provided. Following a positive DCS Report, a client may wish to entrust UK Work Permits Ltd with the preparation and presentation of the application.


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