The scheme was introduced to ease the transition of highly skilled graduates with degrees from institutions outside the UK into getting longer visas such as a student visa or the HSMP. It provides valuable work experience for skilled migrants and generally is less constrained than previous schemes. As of the 30th June 2008, this category will be replaced and will become part of the Tier 1 (post-study work) and will therefore have to be done by post.

Tier 1 has four separate categories:

  1. General: if you are looking for highly skilled employment in the United Kingdom, or are self-employed or setting up a business;
  2. Investor: if you are making a large investment in the United Kingdom;
  3. Entrepreneur: if you are investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over the running of a business;
  4. Post-study: if you are studying now or have studied in the past in the United Kingdom.