The Highly Skilled Worker Visa


The Program (HSW UK) or Visa Tier1 (General) Migrant was created for highly skilled individuals wishing to come or to remain in the United Kingdom to work as employed or self-employed persons. You do not need a prior job offer letter or self employment opportunities in order to have this visa application approved by the UK Home Office. The Visa Tier1 (General) Migrant is one of the most accessible skilled immigration programmes of any "Western Country" in the World.
Visa Tier1 (General) Migrant is a work permit given for 3 years, which is a Family Class Visa, includes spouse and children (if married). It allows you to work with any employer or work as a consultant or do business. It is an extendable Visa.

The Visa Tier1 (General) Migrant has undergone three major changes since being introduced on 28 January 2002. The first change on 28 January 2003 meant that more people could come under HSMP. A revised Programme and the Young Persons Assessment were introduced on 31 October 2003. On 12 April 2005 the MBA provision was introduced, to enable applicants with an eligible MBA to meet the points criteria on the basis of their MBA alone. On 3rd April 2006 the initial grant of leave under the HSMP was extended to 2 years, in line with changes to the qualifying period for settlement.

On 7 November 2006 the HSMP was further revised. The overall points score required for approval was increased to 75 points. The Work Experience, Achievement in applicant’s chosen field, HSMP Priority Applications for General Practitioners, and the Partner’s Achievements sections were removed from the Programme and the points awarded for qualifications and previous earnings were amended. The Young Person Assessment was also amended to include additional age bands. An additional points scoring section was introduced for UK Experience, as was a mandatory requirement to demonstrate an appropriate level of English language skills. The HSMP requirements may change in the future. The Immigration Rules, which provide for entry into the UK under immigration categories like HSMP, are also subject to change.

The application process involves two stages:

Stage 1: The HSMP application has to be filed to the UK Home Office, to be considered under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. An HSMP approval decision does not grant permission to come to the UK or to remain (if already inside the UK)

Stage 2: Once your HSMP application is approved and you are presently abroad, you must make a separate Entry Clearance application to come to the UK. If you are already in the UK in another category which allows you to switch in-country into the HSMP you must make an application for further leave to remain as a Highly Skilled Migrant.