Tier 1 (General) applies to highly skilled potential migrants looking for a job or wishing to become self-employed in the UK, and has replaced the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). Applicants to Tier 1 (General) are awarded points for attributes including age, previous or prospective salary and qualifications. Applicants must score at least 75 points for primary attributes and 10 points each for English language and having the necessary funds to ensure maintenance in the UK. Applicants do not need to have a formal job offer made by a licensed UK employer in order to apply under this category.
The current Highly Skilled Migrant Programme has been phased out over the course of 2008 and highly skilled migrants already in the UK now come under Tier 1 of the new points-based system.