Tier 1 (General)
Scoring points for your qualifications
This page explains the points we award for your qualifications under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system.
You must read the policy guidance before you apply. You can download the guidance from the right side of this page.
You can score up to 50 points. Points are awarded for only 1 qualification.
The table below shows the points that you will score if you currently have permission to stay in the UK as:
- a Tier 1 (General) migrant under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010;
- a highly skilled migrant;
- a writer, composer or artist; or
- a self-employed lawyer.
If you are in another eligible immigration category, the table below shows the points that you will score:
* You will score no points for a bachelor's degree if, under the Immigration Rules in place between 31 March 2009 and 5 April 2010:
- you were given permission to enter the UK under Tier 1 (General); or
- you were given permission to switch into Tier 1 (General) from an immigration category other than those listed above.
How is your qualification assessed?
Points will be awarded for a qualification which is assessed and recognised by the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) as meeting or exceeding the recognised standard of a bachelor's or master's degree or a PhD in the UK.
The points-based calculator contains information from UK NARIC on the equivalency of overseas qualifications. We will use the calculator to assess the qualifications you use.
If you cannot find your academic qualifications on the points-based calculator, you may still wish to claim points for it. If so, you should contact UK NARIC directly for an assessment of the level of the qualification and, if UK NARIC confirms it is of the required level, obtain a letter and/or confirmation certificate from UK NARIC. You can find a link to the UK NARIC website on the right of this page. It is an independent website, for which we are not responsible. It may charge a fee for confirming qualifications.
If UK NARIC cannot confirm the equivalence of your qualification, we will not award points for it. In this case, you may wish to use an alternative qualification if you have one.
How do we award points for vocational and professional qualifications?
We award points for vocational and professional qualifications that are deemed by UK NARIC or the appropriate UK professional body to be the same as a PhD, master's degree or bachelor's degree.
If you cannot find your professional or vocational qualification on the points-based calculator, you may still wish to claim points for that qualification. In this case, you should get written confirmation from the appropriate UK professional body that the qualification is equivalent to UK academic levels.
HSMP extension applications
A very small number of people in the UK under Tier 1 (General) or the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme may have a qualification which has previously been assessed to be of a higher level than shown by the points-based calculator. These people may claim the higher points score, in line with the previous assessment. Appendix A of the Immigration Rules, which you can find on the right side of this page, contains more details.
If you are not sure what points you were previously awarded, you should email us at email@example.com.
In these cases, we will refer to our records. We will only be able to award a higher points score in very limited circumstances that meet all of the following requirements:
- you are currently in the UK under Tier 1 (General) or the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme;
- you are relying on the same qualification for which we previously awarded points in this area;
- the earlier assessment of the qualification confirmed that it was equivalent to a higher level of qualification than is now shown by the points-based calculator; and
- there is no evidence that you used deception to obtain the earlier decision.
The UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) is the only official source of information on vocational, academic and professional qualifications awarded in more than 180 countries worldwide. A national agency managed on behalf of the UK government, it compares overseas qualifications with those in the UK, and provides information on qualifications and education systems outside the UK.
- Tier 1 (General) policy guidance PDF 428KB opens in a new window