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Glossary of terms

The following are terms used by the Home Office:

Biometric

Biometrics is the science of using digital technology to recognise a person from a physical characteristic (for example a fingerprint or iris pattern of the eye) or another unique personal characteristic (for example a voice pattern or handwriting). These characteristics are your biometric details.

Certificate of sponsorship

This is a virtual document (a unique reference number) that an organisation gives to migrants they want to employ, and that the migrant uses when applying under the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to work, train or study. Also known as confirmation of acceptance for studies.

Civil penalties

A requirement to pay money that can be imposed for an offence without the need for a court conviction.

Confirmation of acceptance for studies

This is a virtual document (a unique reference number) given to students, that they then use when applying under the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to train or study. Also known as certificate of sponsorship.

Key contact

The key contact acts as the main point of contact between us and an organisation that sponsors migrants under the points-based system.

Points-based system

The immigration system for managing applications by people who wish to come to the United Kingdom to work, train or study.

Sponsor duties

The responsibilities organisations have when they sponsor migrants under the points-based system. The duties are record keeping, reporting, compliance, co-operating with us and tier specific duties.

Sponsorship management system

An IT system used by organisations that sponsor migrants under the points-based system. It will allow sponsors to allocate certificates of sponsorship to migrants, carry out the administrative functions necessary to comply with their sponsor obligations and duties, and communicate information to us. This is not available at the moment.

Tier 1 (General) - highly skilled worker

A category of the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to work, train or study. It applies to people who are looking for highly skilled employment in the United Kingdom, or are self-employed or setting up a business.

Tier 2 (General) - skilled worker

A category of the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to work, train or study. It applies to skilled people with a job offer who are looking for employment in the United Kingdom, or are self-employed or setting up a business.

Tier 2 - Religious workers

A category of the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to work, train or study as a religious worker. It applies to skilled people with a job offer who are looking for employment in the United Kingdom.

Tier 4 - Students

Applies to people who are coming to the UK to undertake a course of study at a UK educational establishment.

Tier 5 - Temporary workers

Applies to people who are coming to the UK to undertake a period of temporary work or coming to the UK via the Youth Mobility Scheme.

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