UK Immigration has confirmed that the permanent limit on Tier 1 (General) applications under the points based system will start in April 2011. The interim limit on Tier 1 (General) visas will start on 19 July 2010.
Following are the major changes to the Tier 1 visa system:
* The passmark for the Tier 1 visa (General) will increase from 95 to 100 points from 19 July 2010 for many applicants. This will mean that fewer people will qualify for the Tier 1 (General) visa from 19 July 2010. Further details of people who do not have to come under the higher passmark can be found below.
* There will be a monthly interim limit on Tier 1 (General) visas from 19 July 2010. If in any one month your application is received after the limit is reached you will have to wait and your application will then be considered under the limit for the following month. The good news is that many people are excluded from this limit. Please see further details below.
* If you are already in the UK under the Tier 1 (General) visa and are applying for an extension or you are in the UK under another immigration category and wish to switch to Tier 1 (General) you will not come under the interim limit.
* If you are in the UK in any of the following categories and wish to extend your stay or switch to Tier 1 (General), you will only need to gain the lower points score of 95 points:
– Tier 1 (General)
– Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
– Writers, Composers and Artists
– Self-Employed Lawyers
* If you wish to come under the Investor, Entrepreneur and Post-study work categories of Tier 1 you will not come under the interim limit. There will be no limit on the number of applications that can be made.
* If you are in the UK in an immigration category not mentioned above for example Tier 1 (Post-study work) or Tier 2 visa then you will have to gain the higher 100 points to be able to switch into Tier 1 (General).
* If you are applying for entry at a British Embassy or Consulate from outside the UK you will have to gain the higher 100 points to come under Tier 1 (General).
Hence, if you are affected by the changes in the Tier 1 (General) points system and new Tier 1 limit you should consider applying before 19 July 2010.