Tier 1 Highly Skilled Worker Permits

The Highly Skilled Work Visa, formerly the HSMP or Highly Skilled Work Permit was designed to encourage the migration of young, skilled and talented. You could work in any capacity for any employer, or start up a business or be self employed. Its was great for contractors.

However, from April 2011 it was effectively abolished. Just 1,000 Tier 1 visas will be granted from April 2011 to April 2012 and these will be to people of 'exceptional talent'. This will cover individuals who have won international recognition in scientific or cultural fields, or that show sufficient promise to be awarded such recognition in the future.

If you have a Tier 1 Visa then the previous regulations will remain. The Visa is initially awarded for 3 years at which point you need to re-qualify by the same criteria to get an extension. The extension will cover you for the additional 2 years you need to apply for Indefinite Leave To Remain

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You may still qualify for the Tier 2 Work Permit or the Tier 5 Permit / Working Holiday Visa / Youth Mobility Scheme

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Highly Skilled Migrant Permit

*If you're considering getting an Tier 1 / Highly Skilled Worker Permit or you have an HSMP and want to be sure you can extend it then contact us for a financial management solution that will ensure your earnings qualify for the maximum points AND that you will net 80%+ of gross billing. Its unbeatable!

If your earnings were outside of the UK, you may be able to apply an uplift ratio - obviously £18,000 is a much higher salary in Kenya than it is in London. Details of the ratios are found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/immigratio...


If its your initial application, you can score five points for United Kingdom experience if:

  • you have successfully scored points under previous earnings and those earnings were made in the United Kingdom; or
  • you have been in full-time study in the United Kingdom for at least one full academic year, and have been awarded a qualification at bachelor's degree level or above. The qualification should have been awarded within the last five years. If its an extension application, you can only score points for previous earnings. You can get five points if:
  • you have successfully scored points for previous earnings and those earnings were made in the United Kingdom.


If you don't get 10 points in this category you'll automatically fail your application.

You'll get 10 points if you:

  • are a national of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago; or
  • pass an English language test; or
  • hold a degree assessed by UK NARIC as being taught in English and is equivalent to a United Kingdom bachelor's degree or above.
  • are applying for an extension to an HSMP or Tier 1 visa.


If you're already in the UK you must show £800 in your bank account. If you're not in the UK you must show at least £2800 (or local equivalent) has been in your bank account for the last 3 months. If you can't show these funds, your application will be refused. Source: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping