The Tier 1 General visa has been closed to new applicants since 5 April 2011.
Only extension applications can now be submitted in this category. At present there is no limit to the number of times that permission in this category can be extended. However, in order to conclude the Home Office’s intention to close the Tier 1 General visa scheme no further applications for an extension of stay can be submitted after 6 April 2015.
Extension applications can only be submitted from within the UK.
In order to successfully extend a Tier 1 General visa, the applicant is required to demonstrate that they score either 95 or 100 points. Points can be scored in the following six attributes:
- Previous Earnings
- UK Experience
- English Language
To make a successful extension application, the applicant will need to provide evidence that they score either 75 or 80 points in the first four attributes (depending on the date of original application). It is mandatory to score 10 points for both English Language and Maintenance.
RLegal will guide you through the complex evidential requirements and assist you from start to finish with your application. We have over 20 years experience of lodging successful applications in this and its predecessor categories. We will take the worry out of the process and give you peace of mind.
Alternatively click on the links below for frequently asked questions.
The date of application for a Tier 1 General visa, is either the date of submission of the application (for applications submitted in the UK by post) or the date that the associated application fee was paid (for applications submitted outside the UK or through the Home Office’s fast-track service).
The date of initial application dictates the criteria under which you will continue to extend the visa. It also dictates the criteria for which you will need to score points for an indefinite leave to remain application.
The date of your initial application may not be the same date that your visa permission was granted. For example, if you submitted your initial application by post on 15 March 2010 and your visa was granted on 20 May 2010. This would mean that you would continue to extend your visa permission under the Rules that were in place before 5 April 2010.
In 2010, the Home Office made two significant changes to the Tier 1 General points criteria.
On 5 April 2010, all points scoring attributes were amended to make achieving the necessary score significantly harder.
On 19 July 2010 the Home Office increased the threshold point’s requirement for the four main attributes from 75 to 80 points.
Key to an extension application in this category are the points awarded for previous earnings. Points can be claimed for earnings made either within the UK or from overseas.
If earnings have been made overseas, applicants should note that the uplift ratio that may have applied to an initial application will not apply to an extension.
Earnings can also be claimed from employment or through self-employment.
The evidential requirements for earnings made through either self-employment or ‘self-employment through the applicant’s own limited company structure’ are considerably more complex than compared with those for an employee working for a third party.
For an extension application, applicants can only claim points for UK Experience based on their previous earnings.
If you applied for a Tier 1 General visa before 5 April 2010 then you must demonstrate gross earnings of more than £16,000. For applications submitted after 5 April 2010 the threshold is £25,000 gross.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can support themselves and any dependants financially for the entire duration of their stay in the UK without recourse to public funds.
In order to show this they must provide evidence of a consistent level of cash funds for a 90-day period. The amounts an applicant will need to show for themselves and their dependants are detailed below.
Tier 1 General Migrant Present in the UK for more than 12 months £900, (£945 from 1 July)
Dependant where the main applicant has resided in the UK for more than 12 months £600 (£630 from 1 July)*
Dependant where the main applicant has resided in the UK for less than 12 months £1800 (£1890 from 1 July)*
* For each dependant.
Points will always be awarded for the qualification that was used in the initial Tier 1 General application. There is no strict requirement to resubmit the evidence used with the first application, however, the Home Office may ask to see the certificates of award at the extension stage.
Points are now always awarded depending upon the applicant’s age at the date of their initial application.
The requirement to demonstrate a minimum standard of English is mandatory. As all applicants will have scored points for this attribute for the initial application, it is accepted that they continue to meet this requirement when extending.
Once an individual has remained in the UK for five years under the Tier 1 (General) visa scheme, they will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (or permanent residence, as it also known).
Time spent in the UK under any or the following categories can be aggregated towards the five year period: HSMP, Work Permit, Tier 2, Writer, Composer or Artist or Self-employed Lawyer.
Key to an indefinite leave application is the ability to demonstrate that you attain enough points in the earnings and UK experience attributes to score 75 or 80 points under the same criteria as your initial Tier 1 General visa.
For those applying for settlement under the HSMP Judicial Review Policy (HSMP JR) document, the requirement is much simpler in that the applicant only needs to demonstrate economic activity at the date of application.
The rules applying to HSMP JR applications only apply where the applicant has an HSMP approval letter dated before 7 November 2006.
All applications for indefinite leave to remain under Tier 1 General will have to be submitted by 6 April 2018.
Applicants are now permitted absences of up to 180 days per year in each of the 5 qualifying years prior to the date of application for indefinite leave.
Although the number of permitted absences is generous, the applicant will now need to demonstrate that all absences were for a purpose that relates to their employment or business activities in the UK.
The rule that defines this requirement permits absences consistent with annual paid leave and allows for absences as a result of “serious or compelling reasons”.
– Comprehensive legal advice
- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements
- Completion and submission of all forms
- Booking a biometric appointment
- Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.