Visa application process
UK points-based immigration system from 2021. New immigration routes will open later this year for applications to work, live and study in the UK from 1 January 2021.
You’ll be able to apply and pay for your visa online.
When you apply for UK points-based immigration, you’ll be asked to provide your biometric information. The process for this is:
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens
For most visas you’ll provide a digital photo of your face using a smartphone app. You will not have to give your fingerprints.
For a small number of low volume routes (to be confirmed later this year) you’ll need to go to an overseas visa application centre to have your photo taken.
You’ll continue to submit your fingerprints and a photo at an overseas visa application centre.
The points-based system will include a route for skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor.
From January 2021, the job you’re offered will need to be at a required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level). You’ll also need to be able to speak English and be paid the relevant salary threshold by your sponsor. This will either be the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for your job, whichever is higher.
If you earn less than this – but no less than £20,480 – you may still be able to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary. For example, if you have a job offer in a shortage occupation or have a PhD relevant to the job.
International students and graduates
Student visa routes will be opened up to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. You’ll be able to apply for a visa to study in the UK if you:
- have been offered a place on a course
- can speak, read, write and understand English
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
A new graduate immigration route will be available to international students who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021. You’ll be able to work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to 2 years, or 3 years if you are a PhD graduate.