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UK Immigration Glossary for New Points Based System

UK Immigration Glossary for New Points Based System:

UKVI has announced following explains what the key terms in the guidance mean in the context of the immigration routes under new immigration and visa systems for the UK:

English language

Many visa routes currently need the applicants to demonstrate their knowledge of English language and the number of immigration routes under new PBS will also have an English language requirement for applicants. The applications will need to demonstrate they have the English language ability needed to integrate well in the UK. The level of English language ability required is set as appropriate for each relevant route based on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages.

Immigration Skills Charge

This is a charge paid by a UK employer for each skilled migrant worker they employ through the Skilled Worker and Intra-Company Transfer routes. Small and charitable sponsors have to currently pay £364 for first 12 months and then £182 for each additional 6 months. Medium and large sponsors have to pay £1,000 for first 12 months and then £500 for each additional 6 months.

Immigration Health Surcharge

This is a charge paid by the applicant up front for the duration of their stay. It gives them free access to NHS services on broadly the same basis as British citizens. IHS is currently £400 per person per year including the dependants.


The majority of migrants coming to the UK from overseas must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their families while in the UK. This is known as the maintenance requirement. Current PBS scheme routes have Maintenance Fund Requirements and new provisions for new scheme will be announced in due course.


Most Visa applicants need to provide biometrics which are obtained as part of the application process.Biometrics are to be provided for applications from outside the UK as well as within the UK applications.


If a route is capped, it means there is a limit on the number of migrants who can come to the UK on that route each year. If it is uncapped there is no limit.

Switching - routes

Switching in this context refers to a migrant's ability to stay in the UK on a different immigration route without needing to leave the UK and apply from overseas. Even if the answer is 'yes', there will be some routes a migrant cannot switch from - for example, a visitor or short-term visa.


This is also known as indefinite leave to enter or remain and means a successful applicant can stay in the UK without any immigration conditions or time restrictions. Your stay in the UK under some specific routes is counted towards qualifying period towards settlement. Similarly your stay under some routeswill not be counted towards settlement.


Dependants are the spouses, partners and children (under the age of 18) of migrants, and in some cases other family members can also be dependants. Migrants under some routes can sponsor their dependants. We have included these details under each route as applicable.

Access to public funds

In most cases migrants are not eligible to access public funds, such as benefits, until they obtain settlement, though there are some exceptions. Detail of what does and doesn't constitute public funds can be found on website.

Supplementary work

Supplementary work is when a migrant takes on employment in addition to their primary work hours or study (upon which their permission to be in the UK is based). There are some routes that do not allow supplementary work. For those routes that do, restrictions will apply depending on the route.

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