UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

Tier 1 (General) Visa

The Tier 1 (General) route (previously known as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) was closed for new applicants on 6th April 2011. However, those holding leave to remain in the UK as Tier 1 (General) Migrants or as highly skilled migrants are eligible to extend their stay and apply for settlement after five years.

Our services for Tier 1 General migrants

We assist Tier 1 (General) migrants with applications for extension of stay and indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

We offer comprehensive document checking service, full preparation of the application and service to the Home Office either by post or in person to the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon for same day consideration. We work with close collaboration with a firm of accountants who, if necessary, will assist with the preparation of financial documents for self-employed Tier 1 migrants.

Tier 1 General extension requirements

The requirements for extension of a Tier 1 (General) visa are roughly matched to the initial requirements that were in place at the time of the original application. Thus, there are two streams of applicants for extension: those who applied before and after 6 April 2010. The first group must score 75 points, and the second group – 80 points. Points will be scored for Age, Qualifications, Earnings and UK experience – exactly the same as at the time of their original application. Age points are scored as at the date of the original application: thus, if you were 26 when you first applied three years ago, you still score 20 points when you apply for extension of stay.

For the first group, with original applications pre-dating April 6, 2010, the required 75 points are scored in the following fashion:

Age: maximum 20 points

PointsAge
20under 28
1028-29
530-31
032 and over

Qualification: maximum 50 points

PointsQualification
50PhD
35Master's Degree
30Bachelor's Degree

(Applicants who originally applied for a Tier 1 (General) visa between 31 March 2009 and 5 April 2010 would have not less than Master’s degree and will not score points for Bachelor’s degree)

Previous earnings: maximum 45 points

Points are awarded for earnings during a continuous 12 month period within the last 15 months before the application:

PointsEarnings at least
45 £40000
40£35000
35£32000
30£29000
25£26000
20£23000
15£20000
10£18000*
5£16000*

*An applicant will not score any points for previous earnings below £20,000 if given permission to enter the UK between 31 March 2009 and 5 April 2010 under Tier 1 General

UK experience: maximum 5 points

These points are scored where £16,000 or more of claimed earnings were made in the UK

The table below summarises minimum earning requirements for those whose original Tier 1 (General) applications were made before April 6, 2010. The required earnings are matched to qualifications and age on assumption that the applicant scores 5 points for UK experience:

PointsAgeEarnings Required (Minimum)
Bachelor's Degree* 32 or over £35000
Bachelor's Degree* 30 to 31 £32000
Bachelor's Degree*28 to 29 £29000
Bachelor's Degree*Under 28£23000
Master's Degree*32 or over£32000
Master's Degree*30 to 31£29000
Master's Degree*28 to 29£26000
Master's Degree*Under 28£20000
PhD 32 or over £23000
PhD30 to 31£20000
PhD28 to 29£18000**
PhDUnder 28£16000**

*An applicant will not score any points for a bachelor’s degree if given permission between 31 March 2009 and 5 April 2010 to enter the UK under Tier 1 General.
**An applicant will not score any points for previous earnings below £20,000 if given permission to enter the UK between 31 March 2009 and 5 April 2010 under Tier 1 General.

For the second group of applicants with original Tier 1 (General) application made after 6 April 2010, the requirement is 80 points scored for Age, Qualifications, Earnings and UK Experience (same as at the time of their initial application):

Age: maximum 20 points

PointsAge
20Under 30
1030 - 34
535-39
040 and over

Qualification: maximum 50 points

PointsQualification
45PhD
35Master's Degree
30Bachelor's Degree

Previous earnings: maximum 80 points

Points are awarded for earnings during a continuous 12 month period within the last 15 months before the application:

PointsMinimum Earnings
80£150000
45£75000
40£65000
35£55000
30£50000
25£40000
20£35000
15£30000
5£25000

UK experience: maximum 5 points

These points are scored where £25,000 or more of claimed earnings were made in the UK

In addition to the above, all applicants have to score 10 points for maintenance. Main applicants will meet this requirement by maintaining a balance of at least £800 in their bank account for at least 90 days prior to the application. An additional £533 has to be held for each dependant for the same period.

The English language requirement has remained without change, and those who had met it first time will score the required points.

Self-employed earners will only be able to rely on net income which has to be corroborated by evidence from at least two independent sources, such as by the HMRC and through bank statements. Applicants should pay their national insurance contributions for the period in question and must be registered as self-employed with the HMRC.

 

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