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Highly skilled workers

A highly skilled migrant reviewing their application


This page explains the requirements you must meet to be accepted into the highly skilled worker category (Tier 1 General) of our points-based system to work in the United Kingdom.

Full details of all requirements are in the immigration rules at paragraphs 245G of part 6A, and Appendix A, B and C, which you can find on the right of this page. You must read the policy guidance before you apply under this category. You can download the guidance and application form from the Applying section.

What points you have to score to apply as a highly skilled worker

To apply under our points-based system and be accepted into the highly skilled worker category, you must pass a points-based assessment.

You must score:

  • 75 points for your attributes (age, qualifications, previous earnings, and experience in the United Kingdom); and 
  • 10 points for English language; and 
  • 10 points for available maintenance (funds).

If you do not score a minimum of 75 points for your attributes and 10 points for English language and 10 points for available maintenance (funds), your application will be refused.

Use the points based calculator to calculate how many points you have and whether you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled worker under the points-based system.

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How the points differ for first-time applications and extension applications

The requirements that you must meet in order to be awarded points differ depending on whether you are:

  • applying to enter the highly skilled worker category for the first time (initial applications) ; or
  • applying to extend your existing permission to stay in this category (extension applications), or
  • applying to extend existing permission to stay given to you under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP).

You should read all the information in this section before you apply. You must pay the correct fee with your application, and send the correct supporting evidence to support your application. If you make an application and it is unsuccessful because you do not meet the requirements, we will not refund your fee. See the section on costs for details of the fees.

If you have an HSMP approval letter, you should read the section on transitional arrangements for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.

If you meet the requirements in this section, read the section on initial applications for information on how to apply.

If you are in the United Kingdom now under a different immigration category, read the section on initial applications to find out if you qualify, because you can only switch into this category in certain circumstances.

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