PBS applications for Individuals

In March 2006, the Home Office published A points based system: making Migration Work for Britain. Over the course of 2008, and the beginning of 2009 the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) has introduced, via progressive statements of changes in the Immigration Rules, the entirety of the points based system. This has replaced the previous range of immigration routes for those seeking to enter the United Kingdom for employment, to invest in the UK, to set up in business or to study in the UK, although many of the criteria which used to be applicable to those routes continue to operate for qualification under the new system. With a few exceptions entry under the points based system leads to eligibility to apply for settlement and thereafter for UK nationality.

The points based system comprises five Tiers (although implementation of Tier 3 - for unskilled workers to fill temporary labour shortages - is currently suspended indefinitely).

Eligibility for entry under the Points Based System is heralded as being genuinely objective. A key feature of this is the absence of any discretion exercisable by the UKBA's staff when considering applications for entry clearance and for leave to remain. To this end applicants must prove their entitlement to leave to enter or remain by the production of documents specified by the Secretary of State in guidance published on the UKBA's website. The Immigration Rules point out that if an application is not accompanied by these specified documents it will not meet the requirements of the Rules.

Very little of the regime which preceded the implementation of the Points Based System remains. A significant exception however is the Sole Representatives Category. For Sole Representatives the existing Immigration Rules remain in force.



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    • Tier 1, for which the Highly Skilled
      Migrant Programme (HSMP) was a forerunner, enables highly skilled
      individuals to enter the UK to contribute
      to its economic wealth and productivity. Read more ....

    • Tier 2, is for skilled workers who
      have been offered employment in
      the UK. It has replaced the previous
      Work Permit scheme. Read more ....

    • Tier 4 is for those wishing to study in the
      UK. It has comprehensively replaced the
      Immigration Rules relating to students.
      Read more ....

    • Tier 5 is for youth mobility and temporary
      workers. Their reasons for coming to the
      UK are non-economic. Read more ....


The Highest proportion of on-line applications were received in the Americas region.

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