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Understanding the Points-Based Immigration System

Understand the Points-Based Immigration System which covers individuals working in the UK.

The Points-Based Immigration System

From 1 January 2021, the UK introduced a new Points-Based Immigration System which allows employers to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific job in an eligible skilled occupation. With the exception of Irish citizens, this applies to both:

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arrived in the UK after 11pm on 31 December 2020 and don't have status under the EU Settlement Scheme; and
  • non-EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who applied for entry clearance or permission to stay on or after 1 December 2020.

Most individuals must pass a points-based assessment before they can get permission to work in the UK.

Each of the visas offered under the Points-Based Immigration System have different requirements; the number of points an individual needs and the way the points are awarded will depend on the visa type.

Visa types

Visa type Description of work
Skilled Worker for skilled workers with a job offer, such as Lecturers, Research Associates and Professors
Student / Tier 4 for students
Temporary Work for temporary workers, such as sponsored researchers or participants in the Youth Mobility Scheme

The Department of Human Resources administers the University's licence for Skilled Worker, Temporary Work - Government Authorised Exchange and Temporary Work - Creative Worker and, in particular circumstances, may be able to sponsor individuals under these types of visa.

Other non-sponsorable visas may allow for work in the UK such as the Global Talent Visa. For further information, please visit the GOV.UK UK Visas and Immigration website.

For any queries, please email the Staff Immigration Team


The University has a legal obligation to comply with the requirements set out under the Points-Based Immigration System. There are a number of responsibilities in relation to the Points-Based Immigration System which are required to be adhered to by: sponsored workers, line managers, and the Department of Human Resources.

You will need to read this guidance to ensure that you understand the responsibilities for all parties under the Points-Based Immigration System.