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United Kingdom Visas

Although the Tier 1 General category is now closed to all applicants, if you have been issued a Tier 1 General or HSMP (transitional arrangements) before this category was closed, you may be able to apply for an Extension and must do so before the 5th of April 2015

Tier 1 General (Extension) visa entitles all applicants to:

  • Live and work in the UK
  • A route to settlement

In order to apply for a Tier 1 General Extension, an applicant must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Must be living and working the UK
  • Score a minimum of 95 points or 100 points for attributes which includes UK experience, Qualifications, Previous Earnings, Age, Maintenance and English Language
  • Must meet the genuine Tier 1 General test

Successful applicants will receive an extension for the duration of two or three years (depending on the length initially issued to you). When you have completed two or three years, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and must do so before the 5th of April 2018.

The Tier 2 visa is now one of the most important entry routes into the United Kingdom for skilled workers who are citizens of countries outside of the European Economic Area. In all cases, if you are applying for entry under this visa scheme you MUST be in possession of a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. You must fulfil the requirements of the particular Tier 2 visa for which you are applying.

Tier 2 has four categories:

  • General: for people coming to the United Kingdom with a job offer to fill a position that cannot be filled by a settled worker. In 2011, an annual cap on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas was introduced. It currently stands at 20,700. People who earn £150,000 a year or above are excluded from the cap.
  • Intra Company Transfers: for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a UK-based branch of the organisation.
  • Sports People: for elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level.
  • Ministers of Religion: for those people coming to fill a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order *.

To qualify for inclusion under the Tier 2 (General) or the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) visa, a job must require a skill level of S/NVQ level 3 or above as indicated in the codes of practice relevant to the sector and to the job.

Ministers of religion and sports people on temporary assignment should apply for entry under Tier 5 for Temporary Workers (Tier 5 (creative and sporting) visas last for twelve months. Tier 5 (religious) visas last for up to two years).

Some people who are in the UK with other UK visas can apply under Tier 2 (General).