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Tier 1 General

This route was officially closed on the 6th of April 2015. However the route is still available for persons who hold extant leave in the Tier 1 General UK immigration route or are looking to make an settlement application under the route. It is important that individuals looking to make an Indefinite leave to remain application as a Tier 1 General migrant do so before the closure route on the 6th of April 2018.

Tier 1 General Extension

Tier 1 General visa extension was closed on the 6th of April 2015. ILR under the Tier 1 General visa category would also be closed on or after the 6th of April 2018; therefore ILR applications under the Tier 1 General route must have to be made before the 6th of April 2018.

Alternatively, Tier 1 general visa holders may consider switching to other visa categories if there are unable to extend their Tier 1 general visa category or apply for an indefinite leave to remain.

The following are UK immigration or visa categories that Tier 1 General Migrants can switch into: -

Tier 1 General ILR

Tier 1 General ILR applicants would need to have continually and lawfully resided in the UK as a Tier 1 General migrant for the last 5 year period in any combination of the following categories: - as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant; as a Highly Skilled Migrant; as a Work Permit Holder; as an innovator; as a Self-Employed Lawyer; as a Writer, Composer or Artist; as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant, or as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant, provided the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the UK includes a period of leave as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010.

It is important to note that Tier 1 General migrants looking to apply for an indefinite leave to remain or settlement would have to pass the Life in the UK test and also meet the English language requirements as well as pass the new genuine earnings test. The genuine earnings test is usually to allow the Home Office a greater scope for the purpose of testing the evidence presented in cases where there is a case of suspected abuse.

The genuine earnings test was introduced because the Home Office had observed that some applicants have been in the habit of submitting false claims of their earnings, especially self-employed earnings.

A summary of the relevant contributing factors to a successful Tier 1 General ILR application are as follows: -

  • Continuous residence in the UK for five years
  • Sufficiency of funds for maintenance
  • Being economically active in the UK throughout the relevant five years
  • Passing the Life in the UK Test

Please note that an ILR application as a Tier 1 Migrant can be made within 28 days prior to the completion of the 5 years residency period.

Dependants of a Tier 1 General Migrant

The UK immigration rules have specified who a dependant is. The definition includes the spouse, unmarried or same-sex partner and child of the main applicant. Child dependants must be under the age of 18. Importantly, child dependants that became over 18 in the UK while as a dependant of the main applicant may still be seen as a dependant even though they are now over the age of 18.

Entry Clearance

In order to obtain entry clearance as a dependant the parties in question must all be aged 18 or over apart from child dependants; on the date they will be arriving in the country.

Switching

The recent change to the immigration rules which was introduced on the 1st of October 2013 now makes it possible for applicants to switch to Dependant of a Tier 1 General migrant. The only persons that are not able to switch are persons on a visit visa or on temporary admission or release.

Extension

Holders of a Tier 1 General dependant can extend their leave in line with that of the main applicant. Please note that some PBS dependants of Tier 1 General Migrants are not able to submit an application for indefinite leave to remain in line with the the main applicant if they fail to meet the residency requirements. If this is the case, they would then need to apply for indefinite leave to remain when the main applicant is applying for Indefinite leave to remain.

Indefinite leave to remain

If you have remained in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years as a dependant of a Tier 1 general migrant, you may be able to apply for settlement (ILR). If you were granted your current leave (PBS Dependant of a Tier 1 migrant) before the 9th of July 2012, you may be able to submit an application for settlement if you have lived in the UK for at least 2 years and the main applicant has now obtained ILR. For applicants who were granted leave to remain after that period, they will have to remain in the UK for 5 years to be eligible for ILR regardless of whether or not the main applicant has obtained ILR or not.

Tier 1 General frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can I make an Application for extension of stay as Tier 1 General Migrant?

Applications for extension as a Tier 1 General was officially closed on the 5th of April 2015.

When is the official closing date for application for ILR as Tier 1 General?

Individuals who seek to make an application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 General Migrant is required to make the application before the 6th of April 2018. In a situation where the individual was not able to make the ILR application prior to the closing date (06-04-2018) for certain reasons, he/she is permitted to make an application from within the UK to switch to other visa categories and get an ILR for other reasons in the United Kingdom. The individual can still seek an extension prior to the 6th of April 2015 even though he/she holds a valid long term visa.

Who is permitted to make an application for Tier 1 General?

If you are in the United Kingdom with leave under any of the visa categories listed below, you are authorised to make an application for extension of stay under the Tier 1 (General):

  • writer, composer or artist
  • highly skilled migrant
  • Tier 1 (General)
  • self-employed lawyer
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), on the condition that you are permitted to make a switch into the Tier 1 (General).

How much points are required to be eligible for Tier 1 General?

If you hold a valid visa to reside in the United Kingdom in any of the categories listed below, you are required to get a minimum of 95 points.

  • a Tier 1 (General) migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 19th of July 2010;
  • a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer)
  • a highly skilled migrant;
  • a writer, composer or artist.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you are required to score a total of 100 points except you are protected by the judgement of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum Judicial Review. You will be required to score 10 points for English Language as well as 10 points for maintenance fund included in you total score.

What Are the Tier 1 General Extension/ILR points allocated for Age?

You will score points if you are authorised to reside in the United Kingdom as a: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant.

  • If you are aged below 28 years you will score 20 points
  • If you are aged 28 or 29 years you will score 10 points
  • If you are aged 30 or 31 years you will score 5 points
  • If you are aged 32 years and above you will not score any point.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points as thus:
  • If you are aged below 30 years you will score 20 points
  • If you are aged from 30 to 34 years you will score 10 points
  • If you are aged from 35 to 39 years you will score 5 points
  • If you are aged from 40 years and above you will not score any point.

What Are the Tier 1 General points allocated for Previous Earnings From Employment Or Self-Employment?

Earnings gotten from employment or from being self-employed can earn you up to 80 points. If you were issued entry clearance into the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 (General) migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 6th of April 2010, you will score points for earnings as thus:

  • 5 points for a previous earning of £16,000 to £17,999;
  • 10 points for a previous earning of £18,000 to £19,999;
  • 15 points for a previous earning of £20,000 to £22,999;
  • 20 points for a previous earning of £23,000 to £25,999;
  • 25 points for a previous earning of £26,000 to £28,999;
  • 30 points for a previous earning of £29,000 to £31,999;
  • 35 points for a previous earning of £32,000 to £34,999;
  • 40 points for a previous earning of £35,000 to £39,999;
  • 45 points for a previous earning of £40,000 or higher.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points for earnings as thus:
  • 5 points for a previous earning of £25,000-£29,99;
  • 15 points for a previous earning of £30,000-£34,999;
  • 20 points for a previous earning of £35,000-£39,999;
  • 25 points for a previous earning of £40,000-£49,999;
  • 30 points for a previous earning of £50,000-£54,999;
  • 35 points for a previous earning of £55,000-£64,999;
  • 40 points for a previous earning of £65,000-£74,999;
  • 45 points for a previous earning of £75,000-£149,999;
  • 80 points for a previous earning of £150,000 or higher.
In accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence on from the 31st of March 2009 to the 5th of April 2010, you will not receive any points if you have a previous earning that is less than £20,000 and:
  • A United Kingdom Tier 1 (General) visa was issued to you;
  • Authorisation to switch from a category not listed into the Tier 1 (General) category was issued to you; (the listed categories are: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant)

Can allowances be evaluated as part of Previous Earnings?

Allowances would be added as part of your previous earnings evaluation by the Home Office if it is supposed to be a part of your salary package and you were not repaid after you have previously spent money on reasons the allowance were to be paid for. For your allowances to be accepted by the Home Office it has to be made known on your pay slips while also stating in your employment contract that your employer is obligated to pay these allowances.

When am I to make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Under Tier 1 General Category?

If you seek to make an application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK under the Tier 1 General category, you should do so 28 days prior to the completion of your five years of residence in the United Kingdom. If you came into the United Kingdom within 90 days after the issuance of your entry clearance under Tier 1 General or Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) your period of stay starts counting from the date in which the Visa was issued. However you can count your residence period from the date of your entry if you entered the United Kingdom after 90 days of the issuance of your visa.

When am I permitted to lodge an appeal against a decision to reject my extension of Tier 1 General visa application?

In a situation whereby your application for an extension of the Tier 1 General leave is rejected by the UKBA, you might be permitted to lodge an appeal against the decision, if your application was made prior to the expiry of your visa and you did not hold a valid visa at the time your Tier 1 General application refusal decision was made. You are required to lodge a notice for appeal to the First Tier Tribunal in no more than 10 working days after the letter of refusal was received. In a situation where you were not permitted to make an appeal for the rejection of your Tier 1 General application, you are still permitted to appeal against the refusal decision of the Home Office via Judicial Review in High Court.

How Are Points allocated for Academic Qualifications?

For you academic qualifications you can amass up to 50 points. Note that points are only allocated for one qualification. You will score points if you are authorised to reside in the United Kingdom as a: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant.

  • If you have a Bachelor's Degree you will score 30 points
  • If you have a Master's Degree you will score 35 points
  • If you have a PhD you will score 50 points.

If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points for your qualification as thus:

  • 30 points for a Bachelor's Degree
  • 35 points for a Master's Degree
  • 45 points for a PhD

No points will be allotted for a Bachelor's Degree if, in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 31st of March 2010:

  • You were issued visa as a Tier 1 General to come into the United Kingdom; or
  • You were authorised to make a switch from an Immigration category not listed above into the Tier 1 General category.

Tier 1 General frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Applications for extension as a Tier 1 General was officially closed on the 5th of April 2015.
Individuals who seek to make an application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 General Migrant is required to make the application before the 6th of April 2018. In a situation where the individual was not able to make the ILR application prior to the closing date (06-04-2018) for certain reasons, he/she is permitted to make an application from within the UK to switch to other visa categories and get an ILR for other reasons in the United Kingdom. The individual can still seek an extension prior to the 6th of April 2015 even though he/she holds a valid long term visa.
If you are in the United Kingdom with leave under any of the visa categories listed below, you are authorized to make an application for extension of stay under the Tier 1 (General):
  • writer, composer or artist
  • highly skilled migrant
  • Tier 1 (General)
  • self-employed lawyer
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), on the condition that you are permitted to make a switch into the Tier 1 (General).
If you hold a valid visa to reside in the United Kingdom in any of the categories listed below, you are required to get a minimum of 95 points.
  • a Tier 1 (General) migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 19th of July 2010;
  • a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer)
  • a highly skilled migrant;
  • a writer, composer or artist.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you are required to score a total of 100 points except you are protected by the judgment of the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum Judicial Review.
You will be required to score 10 points for English Language as well as 10 points for maintenance fund included in you total score.
You will score points if you are authorized to reside in the United Kingdom as a: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant.
  • If you are aged below 28 years you will score 20 points
  • If you are aged 28 or 29 years you will score 10 points
  • If you are aged 30 or 31 years you will score 5 points
  • If you are aged 32 years and above you will not score any point.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points as thus:
  • If you are aged below 30 years you will score 20 points
  • If you are aged from 30 to 34 years you will score 10 points
  • If you are aged from 35 to 39 years you will score 5 points
  • If you are aged from 40 years and above you will not score any point.
Earnings gotten from employment or from being self-employed can earn you up to 80 points.
If you were issued entry clearance into the United Kingdom as a Tier 1 (General) migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 6th of April 2010, you will score points for earnings as thus:
  • 5 points for a previous earning of £16,000 to £17,999;
  • 10 points for a previous earning of £18,000 to £19,999;
  • 15 points for a previous earning of £20,000 to £22,999;
  • 20 points for a previous earning of £23,000 to £25,999;
  • 25 points for a previous earning of £26,000 to £28,999;
  • 30 points for a previous earning of £29,000 to £31,999;
  • 35 points for a previous earning of £32,000 to £34,999;
  • 40 points for a previous earning of £35,000 to £39,999;
  • 45 points for a previous earning of £40,000 or higher.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points for earnings as thus:
  • 5 points for a previous earning of £25,000-£29,99;
  • 15 points for a previous earning of £30,000-£34,999;
  • 20 points for a previous earning of £35,000-£39,999;
  • 25 points for a previous earning of £40,000-£49,999;
  • 30 points for a previous earning of £50,000-£54,999;
  • 35 points for a previous earning of £55,000-£64,999;
  • 40 points for a previous earning of £65,000-£74,999;
  • 45 points for a previous earning of £75,000-£149,999;
  • 80 points for a previous earning of £150,000 or higher.
In accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence on from the 31st of March 2009 to the 5th of April 2010, you will not receive any points if you have a previous earning that is less than £20,000 and:
  • A United Kingdom Tier 1 (General) visa was issued to you;
  • Authorization to switch from a category not listed into the Tier 1 (General) category was issued to you; (the listed categories are: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant)
Allowances would be added as part of your previous earnings evaluation by the Home Office if it is supposed to be a part of your salary package and you were not repaid after you have previously spent money on reasons the allowance were to be paid for.
For your allowances to be accepted by the Home Office it has to be made known on your pay slips while also stating in your employment contract that your employer is obligated to pay these allowances.
If you seek to make an application for an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK under the Tier 1 General category, you should do so 28 days prior to the completion of your five years of residence in the United Kingdom. If you came into the United Kingdom within 90 days after the issuance of your entry clearance under Tier 1 General or Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) your period of stay starts counting from the date in which the Visa was issued. However you can count your residence period from the date of your entry if you entered the United Kingdom after 90 days of the issuance of your visa.
In a situation whereby your application for an extension of the Tier 1 General leave is rejected by the UKBA, you might be permitted to lodge an appeal against the decision, if your application was made prior to the expiry of your visa and you did not hold a valid visa at the time your Tier 1 General application refusal decision was made. You are required to lodge a notice for appeal to the First Tier Tribunal in no more than 10 working days after the letter of refusal was received. In a situation where you were not permitted to make an appeal for the rejection of your Tier 1 General application, you are still permitted to appeal against the refusal decision of the Home Office via Judicial Review in High Court.
For you academic qualifications you can amass up to 50 points. Note that points are only allocated for one qualification.
You will score points if you are authorized to reside in the United Kingdom as a: Tier 1 (General) Migrant in accordance to the Immigration Rules existing prior to the 6th of April 2010; a writer, composer or artist; a self-employed legal practitioner (Lawyer); or a highly skilled migrant.
  • If you have a Bachelor's Degree you will score 30 points
  • If you have a Master's Degree you will score 35 points
  • If you have a PhD you will score 50 points.
If you hold visa in any other permitted category, you can score points for your qualification as thus:
  • 30 points for a Bachelor's Degree
  • 35 points for a Master's Degree
  • 45 points for a PhD
No points will be allotted for a Bachelor's Degree if, in accordance to the Immigration Rules in existence prior to the 31st of March 2010:
  • You were issued visa as a Tier 1 General to come into the United Kingdom; or
  • You were authorized to make a switch from an Immigration category not listed above into the Tier 1 General category.

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