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Tier 1 General - Part one: Age and Qualification

11 January 2010

The Tier 1 General (G) Scheme has been introduced as an objective and fair system, somewhat akin to a mathematical exercise, however it might be more accurately described as an immigration minefield. This is because even the most thorough applicant can be misled by the small prints of the policy guidance and the mandatory nature of its requirements.

This article will focus specifically on these aforementioned "small prints". It is not meant to be an exhaustive guidance, but rather a final check to avoid the most common mistakes.

Only certain immigration categories can switch in country into the Tier 1 , so please do not assume that you can simply make an application because you are currently in the UK. You will need to ascertain whether your current immigration status is listed in the table found at page 12 of the policy guidance dated October 2009.

Since 31 March 2009, only applicants with a master's degree are able to claim points under the academic qualification category. However, some applicants such as HSMP holders or Tier 1 G holders, who were previously granted points for their bachelor’s degrees, might still able to claim points as awarded in their initial application. This also means that they will not need to resubmit their original degree. Please refer to paragraph 89 of the guidance.

Unlike the Tier 1  Scheme, a prospective Tier 1 G applicant might be able tor rely on his/her professional qualification as long as they are able to score the required 35 points having submitted the mandatory documents.

However, most applicants should check whether their master's degree or professional qualifications are in fact comparable to a UK master's degree. To assess the comparability of your foreign degree do not simply rely on the UK Points Based Calculator, but whenever possible try to contact NARIC directly. Always insert a copy of your Self-Assessment summary in the application bundle and a signed and dated copy of the PBS Appendix 1 General Migrant Self-Assessment form in case of an entry clearance – at the time of writing this form is dated October 2009. Remember that an invalid application form may render your entire application invalid. For instance, the PBS (Dependant) policy guidance and form have now been updated (01/2010).

You may be able to claim points for your age, however the UK Border Agency (UKBA) will only consider the applicant’s age on the date of submission. The date of submission will be taken to be the day of posting for an application made in the UK or when the application is submitted at the Public Enquiry Office. For applications made outside the UK is that date when the fee is paid online or in person.

The current fee for an entry clearance application is £675 and for an in country postal application is £820. Additional fees are to be paid by dependants or in the case of a same day service.

Kindly note that points for age vary according to whether the applicant is submitting an initial application or an extension as a Tier 1 General holder or a HSMP holder. Thus, for instance, a 30 years old HSMP holder applying for an extension will be able to score only 10 points, while a 30 years old Tier 1 G holder will be able to claim 20 points.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.