14 March 2018

UNITED KINGDOM: Deadline approaching for Tier 1 General visa holders

As per 5 April 2018, settlement applications for holders of a Tier 1 General Visa from the United Kingdom will no longer be accepted.

Settlement applications are also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications and can be compared with permanent residence applications in other European countries; it allows the holder the legal right to remain in the UK as long as they do not spend more than 2 years out of the country and also allows them to submit an application for naturalisation.

The Tier 1 General visa category has been closed to new applicants since 2011 and since replaced by other categories. Further to this, it is also no longer possible to extend this type of visa meaning that the deadline to apply for settlement is a hard deadline that signals the complete closure of the category.

Tier 1 General Visa’s were open to highly skilled migrants who wished to live and work in the UK also including those who wished to sponsor themselves in self employment. As with the other categories under Tier 1 it is a points based system that covers age, experience, educational background and also English language skills.

In order to be eligible to apply for ILR the Tier 1 General visa holder will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Lived continuously in the UK for 5 years;
  • Has not been absent from the UK for a period of anymore than 180 days in any 12 month period;
  • Passed the test on ‘Life in the UK’;
  • Has a sufficient number of points accrued from the point based system.

How does this affect the client?

Employers should ensure that they assist their eligible employees holding a Tier 1 General visa to submit their ILR application before the deadline to ensure smooth continuity of employment and rights to live and reside in the UK.


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