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Work Permits

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which academic qualifications qualify work visa applicants for additional points under the points-based system. (305248)

The points based system consolidates approximately 80 immigration routes into a five tier system.

Academic qualifications score points only in certain categories of tiers one and two. The points value of the relevant academic qualifications are available at:



Qualification Attributes for tier one (general) migrants:

Bachelor's degree


Master's degree




Attributes for tier one (post-study work) migrants:

The applicant has been awarded: (mandatory)

(a) a UK recognised bachelor or postgraduate degree, or

(b) a UK postgraduate certificate in education or Professional Graduate Diploma of Education, or

(c) a Higher National Diploma (‘HND’) from a Scottish institution.


(a) The applicant studied for his award at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or which holds a sponsor licence under tier four of the points based system, or

(b) If the applicant is claiming points for having been awarded a Higher National Diploma from a Scottish Institution, he studied for that diploma at a Scottish publicly funded institution of further or higher education, or a Scottish bona fide private education institution which maintains satisfactory records of enrolment and attendance.


The applicant's periods of UK study and/or research towards his eligible award were undertaken whilst he had entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK that was not subject to a restriction preventing him from undertaking a course of study and/or research.


The applicant made the application for entry clearance or leave to remain as a tier one (post-study work) migrant within 12 months of obtaining the relevant qualification.


The applicant is applying for leave to remain and has, or was last granted, leave as a participant in the International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme) or as a participant in the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme.


Qualification attributes for tier two (general) migrants and tier two (intra-company transfer) migrants:

PhD or above


Master's or Bachelor's degree or above


GCE A-level or equivalent or above


None, or below GCE A-level