Tier 1 General

The Tier 1 General Visa (HSMP) has closed to all new applicants. Final Tier 1 General extensions will take place in 2015. We advise those who do not yet qualify for ILR to consider their extension options now. Only those already on the visa can apply for ILR to stay in the UK. If you need assistance or advice with this please contact our office.
An alternative immigration route to working in the UK is the Tier 2 sponsored work visa where a UK employer sponsors you to work in the UK. You will have to apply for a Tier 2 General visa under this category.

This Visa is part of the high skilled Tier 1 Visa class for skilled and experienced immigrants to use for migration purposes to the UK.

The Tier 1 General category is designed to allow non EEA nationals who are intending to work in the UK full time and will contribute most to the UK economy. Different to the rest of the Tier immigration system, the Tier 1 visa application does not require any sponsors and is solely dependent on the applicant successfully meeting the minimum point’s threshold.

The Tier 1 General visa gives highly skilled workers the opportunity to come to the UK without a job offer to live and work temporarily. This visa has been officially closed on 6th April 2011 but it may open again in the future when the economic situation improves. If you are currently on this visa you can extend under the old rules providing you meet the required criteria.

If you need to extend your Tier 1 General Visa contact WM Immigration today and we will give you a free assessment to ensure you are eligible for your extension. We will also be able to offer advice on planning for your future in regards to your permanent residence application (ILR) so that you don’t create any problems for yourself going forward. If you are in a hurry and need your Tier 1 General Visa extension processed quickly call us today so we can book you an appointment at the UKBA to attend the Public Enquiry Office and get your Tier 1 General visa in one day.

Tier 1 General Visa- Eligibility

This section explains whether you can apply to extend your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system.

You must read the Tier 1 (General) policy guidance before you apply. You can download the guidance from the right side of this page. The guidance is based on Part 6A of the Immigration Rules.

To be able to apply, you must meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

Are you in an eligible immigration category?

You can apply to extend your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General) if you are already in the UK with permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’) in one of the following immigration categories:

  • highly skilled migrant
  • writer, composer or artist
  • self-employed lawyer
  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), if you are eligible to switch into Tier 1 (General).

If you are not in one of the categories above, you cannot apply to Tier 1 (General).

How many points do you need?

Your total points score must be at least 95 points if you currently have permission to stay in the UK as:

  • Tier 1 (General) migrant under the Immigration Rules in place before 19 July 2010;
  • a highly skilled migrant;
  • a writer, composer or artist; or
  • a self-employed lawyer.eligible to switch into Tier 1 (General).

If you are in any other eligible category, your total points score must be at least 100 points (unless you are covered by the HSMP Forum judicial review judgment – see below).

Your total score must include 10 points for English language skills and 10 points for maintenance (funds).

How can you score points?

The points available are as follows:

Points available
Age5 to 20
Qualifications30 to 50
Previous earnings5 to 80
UK experience5
English language ability *10
Maintenance (funds) *10

* If you do not score points in these areas, your application will be refused, even if you have scored a total of 95 or 100 points in other areas.

Select one of the entries in the table above to find out how you can score points in that area.

You can use our points-based calculator to calculate how many points you will score.

If you have an HSMP approval letter

If you have an HSMP approval letter, your will need to review the Transitional arrangements for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme rules.

HSMP Forum judicial review

If you are covered by the HSMP Forum judicial review judgment, the HSMP Forum judicial review (extension of stay) page explains how you can apply to extend your stay in the UK.

If you require Help transitioning from Tier 1 General to ILR then contact WM Immigration

If you require Help transitioning from Tier 1 General to ILR then contact WM Immigration