The Points Based System was introduced in 2008 for all forms of business and employment related immigration as well as those seeking to study in the UK and their dependents. Heralded as a transparent and objective scheme, it remains beset with complexity, inconsistency and poor decision making.
The system comprises five categories or tiers each with several sub-categories:
- Tier 1 self-employment and investment (no UK sponsor required)
- Tier 2 Skilled Worker (replaced the old work-permit scheme and requires a UK employer to hold a Home Office sponsor license to enable them to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to a prospective employee to support their application as a Skilled Worker.
- Tier 3 (obsolete).
- Tier 4 Students (again, requires the UK sponsor/educational establishment to hold a Home Office sponsor license to enable them to issue a Certificate of Acceptance to a prospective student).
- Tier 5 Temporary employment comprising two sub-categories, Youth Mobility enabling a young person under 30 from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Monaco and Japan to live and work in the UK for up to two years or Temporary Workers for those sponsored by UK employers to work for up to six months.
Eligibility in each category was intended to be an objective exercise with the success of an application dependent upon the production of prescribed evidence set out in Home Office guidance; in practice, however, guidance frequently conflicts with legislation (i.e. the Rules) resulting in a plethora of case law and precedents which further complicate legislation.
E2W have a history of success with Points Based applications in Tiers 2, 4 and 5 and associated litigation in connection with adverse decisions based on our experience and familiarity with relevant legislation, its application and case law. Advising on eligibility, requirements, evidence and procedure have formed the cornerstone of our advice for businesses of all sizes and in a diverse range of industry areas since the inception of the Points Based System; the constant amendment of legislation in this area, and the increasingly punitive approach of the Home Office towards those that transgress, makes seeking professional legal advice imperative.