Extensions for Tier 1 (G) visa holders will close on 6 April 2015
The Home Office has announced that beginning 6 April 2015, Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be able to apply for an extension of their leave to remain in the UK.
This essentially means that migrants currently residing in the UK under this category will have to re-consider their options carefully before this date. If the migrant’s Tier 1 (General) status will expire between now and this date, it is possible to extend the status. It is also possible to submit an early extension application before this date if the Tier 1 (General) status expires later.
If Tier 1 (General) status was originally granted before 6 April 2010, then the extension will be granted for a period of two years from the date of the decision. If the Tier 1 (General) status was originally granted after 6 April 2010, then the extension would be granted for three years from the date of decision.
It is pertinent to note that Tier 1 (General) migrants will qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years of residence in the UK under this category, provided they continue to meet all of the criteria for Tier 1 (General) and criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain. However it is worth noting that applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain made under Tier 1 (General) will be closed from 6 April 2018. If the migrant does not qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain before 6 April 2018, or before the expiry of their extended Tier 1 (General) status if this is sooner, then they will have to consider switching into other immigration categories e.g. Tier 2 General, Tier 1 Entrepreneur etc.
We suggest all employers check and identify all employees who are currently employed on a Tier 1 (General) visa and start now to strategize the best way forward – ensuring they will qualify for the extension or Indefinite leave to Remain.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact one of our London Immigration Lawyers or call us on 020 3553 7711.