Understanding The UK's Points-Based Immigration System

Understanding The UK’s Points-Based Immigration System

The United Kingdom (UK) left the EU (European Union) in January 2020, and the country implemented a points-based immigration system that treated both EU and non-EU citizens equally.

Except for Irish citizens, anyone traveling to work in the United Kingdom must meet specific criteria for which they are awarded points under the points-based immigration system. Those who get enough points are granted visas.

This system allows UK employers to hire qualified individuals worldwide through various immigration methods. To apply for a job in the UK, you must have 70 points.

Points are classified into two types. The mandatory points are the ones that applicants must have to apply. To attain the 70-point requirement, Tradable points can be swapped.

Characteristics Mandatory/Tradeable Points
Job offer from an approved sponsor Mandatory 20
Job at appropriate skill level Mandatory 20
Speaks English at the required level Mandatory 10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 10
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Tradeable 20
Education qualification: Ph.D. in a subject relevant to the job Tradeable 10
Education qualification: Ph.D. in a STEM subject relevant to the job Tradeable 20

Under the UK’s immigration system, there are three primary types of work visas:

  • Skilled Worker Visa: The Skilled Worker route covers most UK jobs open to overseas recruitment.
  • Global Talent Route: The Global Talent Route allows highly skilled persons sponsored by a recognized UK entity and authorized by the Home Office to enter the UK without a job offer.
  • Graduate Route: The Graduate Route allows international students who have received their degree to stay in the UK for two or three years for doctorate students and work or look for work at any skill level. It is an unsponsored method, which means you do not require a sponsor license to recruit a Graduate visa holder.


Most UK visas are obtained under the points-based system implemented after the UK exited the European Union. People must earn 70 points to be eligible for a skilled worker visa. A job offer from an approved business for a skilled profession and the ability to communicate in English will get you 50 points. The applicant can earn the remaining 20 points if their annual salary is at least £25,600. Irish citizens are an exception, as they can still live and work in the UK as part of the Common Travel Area.

For further inquiries, contact our certified immigration consultants at 8595338595 or [email protected]

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