The UK’s points-based immigration system was introduced in 2021. It is a system that awards points to applicants who meet certain criteria, such as having a job offer from a UK employer, being able to speak English, and having a certain level of education. Applicants who score enough points are eligible to apply for a visa.
How many points are required to be eligible
The applicant must have a total of 70 points in order to be able to apply for a visa. Any less than 70 points will result in the applicant being denied a visa.
How points are broken down
There are 2 types of point characteristics ‘mandatory’ and ‘tradeable’. Different types of visas will have different mandatory and tradeable characteristics but all will require 70 total points to be eligible for a visa.
Mandatory characteristics are things that are required regardless of how many points the applicant has, for example for a Skilled Worker Visa, the mandatory characteristics are:
- Offer of job by approved sponsor (20 points)
- Job at appropriate skill level (20 points)
- Speaks English at required level (10 points)
In the case of the Skilled Worker Visa once all mandatory characteristics are fulfilled the point total sits at 50 points meaning the applicant only needs 20 points from their tradeable characteristics.
Tradeable characteristics are things that are not required for an application to be approved but each application will require some tradeable characteristics to be met. Using the Skilled Worker Visa example, the tradeable characteristics are:
- Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) (0 points)
- Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) (10 points)
- Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) (20 points)
- Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee (20 points)
- Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job (10 points)
- Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job (20 points)
These tradeable characteristic would be required to make up the 20 points needed to reach 70 points once all the mandatory characteristics are met.
People also asked
Can you move to the UK without a visa?
You are unable to move to the UK without a visa, however one of the easiest ways to move to the UK is to apply for a work visa, and for that, you need to meet the qualifying criteria.
Can I apply for a work visa in the UK without a sponsor?
There are a number of UK work visas which do not require a job offer from a UK licensed sponsor, although various other route-specific requirements must still be met.
Can I sponsor myself in UK?
Currently, the UK doesn’t offer a “self-sponsorship visa.” However, it provides three different means to work in the UK while sponsoring yourself. These routes include the Innovator, and Start-up Visa.