Tier 1: Highly Skilled Migrants to the UK must show healthy bank balance

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New visitors to our site are reminded that highly skilled migrants coming to the United Kingdom under Tier 1 of the new points based system will have to demonstrate a solid ability to support themselves and their families during their initial period of stay in Britain.

Detailed Home Office guidance for the new points-based system specifies that before a visa application can be granted, the bank accounts of each highly skilled migrant must show an amount equivalent to £2,800 for themselves and £1,600 for each family member. This equates to £7,600 for a family of four and is the amount deemed necessary for three months subsistence living.

The new rules, termed 'Maintenance' under the points based system, also relate to overseas students hoping to come to Britain under Tier 4 to study for 12 months or more. In this case bank accounts must show an amount equivalent to £9,600 pounds for the student and £535 for each dependent. This is in addition to the funds needed to pay tuition fees in full.

A Home Office spokesman commented "this is a fair, reasonable amount to require them to have" and went on to explain that the £2,800 represented a cash reserve for highly skilled migrants to support themselves for just over three months as they were not entitled to public funds. The student rate of £800 a month followed a British Council recommendation.