Tier 3 visa – Low Skilled Migrants

The third tier of the new points based UK visa service is designed to cater for people immigrating to the UK in order to perform temporary low skilled work. The new tiers immigration service has replaced the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) and the Sectors Based Scheme (SBS) and will grant leave to enter the UK to migrants from countries with which an effective returns arrangement with the United Kingdom is in place.

Our UK immigration consultants can manage your migration to the UK whichever tier visa is right for you. As a specialist immigration consultancy, we can assist you at every stage of your UK visa application with qualified immigration lawyer advice and on arrival services to help you adapt to living and working in the UK.

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Understanding tier visas
As with the old UK work permit visa structure, a tier 3 visa application is a largely employer led process. Like work permits, sponsoring companies in the United Kingdom will be required to attempt to source labour domestically before recruiting from a wider base outside the EU.

These UK visas for immigration will be based upon the creation of low skilled working schemes on an ad hoc basis when a shortage is identified which cannot be dealt with by the domestic workforce. The responsibility for identifying such shortages will lie with the Skills Advisory Body (SAB) and is intended to cater for the fluctuating need for low skilled workers throughout the year.

Entry to Britain as with tier 2 visas, tier 4 visas and tier 5 visas will require a certificate of sponsorship as part of each application. With the exception of tier 1 visa which replace the existing Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP and offer complete freedom to seek and undertake work in Britain, all levels of the new system require such a certificate of sponsorship from a sponsoring body. In this case, the sponsor will be the operator of a particular low skilled worker scheme and the certificate will serve as confirmation that the applicants immigrating to the UK will be bound by the terms of the route.

Unlike a Tier 1 visa or a Tier 2 visa, applications at this level do not constitute a route to settlement and will not provide an opportunity to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) or permanent residency in the UK. Although intended as a work visa, an application of this kind shares attributes with a UK visit visa or travel visa in that it is intended as a temporary arrangement and does not offer any progression to permanent residence or British naturalization as a UK citizen. A visa for the third tier of the five tier immigration system will be granted for a maximum of 12 months and applicants will be obliged to return home at the end of this period.

Switching to other tiers is not permitted and immigration visas of this kind do not make provision for spouse immigration and dependent immigration. Applicants living and working in Britain on this temporary route will not be permitted to bring dependents with them and whilst family immigration routes such as the marriage visa, fiance visa and De facto visa, or unmarried partner visa will continue to function independently of the new system, they will not be relevant to applications of this kind.

Language requirements:

Due to the temporary nature of this tier, and emphasizing the difference from the first two tiers as routes to settlement, no standard English language requirement will be imposed. Competency in the language is of more importance to some industries than to others and whilst language skills may be important in an industry such as healthcare, in another such as agriculture they may not be so relevant. To reflect this, the appropriate level of English required in any low skilled worker scheme will be determined by the operator of an individual scheme who will also ensure that any migrants brought to the country meet that standard.
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