With effect from April 2011, the new UK ‘Highly Skilled’ Tier would be introduced. This new type of visa has replaced the Tier 1 General Visa, which was known as the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP). The UK Border Agency has stopped accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made from overseas since 23 December 2010. Under the new Highly Skilled Tier Visa, entry in the UK would be open for entrepreneurs, investors and limited people under exceptional talent category. The new Tier 1 immigration system will concentrate on businessmen and people such as top scientists, artists and sports persons Thus, from April 2011, only the limited few Entrepreneurs and Investors and people with Skilled Talents would only qualify under the new Highly Skilled Tier Visa and would make it to the UK
The Tier 2 visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment, usually paying a salary of at least £20,800 per annum for "new entrants" and £30,000 for "experienced workers". In order to apply for this visa you must have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. You can apply for indefinite leave to remain twenty-eight days before the five year period ends in the UK if you meet the following salary requirements:
• £35,500 if applying on or after 6 April 2018
• £35,800 if applying on or after 6 April 2019
• £36,200 if applying on or after 6 April 2020.
Tier 2 General applicants as well as Tier 2 Intra-company transfer visa applicants must show that they have funds of at least £945, and that at no time over the last ninety days has the balance in their bank account gone below this figure. If you currently have a long term visa in the UK and can switch to a tier 2 visa you may be able to under the lower salary requirement of £20,800 per year as a new entrant. Tier 4 students who have finished their degree can come under this lower "new entrant" requirement.