Tier 1 (General) visa

The Tier 1 (General) Extension application is closed from 6th April 2015.

The Tier 1 (General) category allows highly skilled people to look for work or self-employment opportunities in the UK without a sponsor. This category is now closed to applicants who are outside the UK, and to migrants who are already in the UK in other immigration categories.

Applicants applying for an extension under Tier 1 (General) Scheme must show that they are eligible for a minimum threshold of 75 or 80 points relating age, qualification, previous earnings, UK experience. In addition to this, applicant must also qualify for English Language Requirement and Maintenance.

Visa Entitlements

Successful applicants will be allowed to live and work or set up a business in the UK without any restrictions. They will have free access to public schools, and National Health Service. Eligible dependants may also be able to work or study without any restrictions.

Visa under the Tier 1 (General) category is initially granted for three (3) years with the ability to apply for further stay for (two) years and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR entitles individuals to permanent residency in the UK.

  • How many days am I allowed to stay outside UK to apply for ILR?v
    • In order to meet the continuous residency requirement, applicant should not be outside UK for more than 180 whole days in any of the five consecutive 12 month periods, preceding the date of the application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). The specified continuous period is counted backwards from the date of the ILR application.

      For example, if the date of application is 1st December 2013, the 12 months period would start from 1st December 2013 to 31st December 2012 and every consecutive year counting backwards.

  • Rights of Dependantsv
    • Dependants (including children under 18 years of age) or (husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner) will be eligible to live and stay in the UK with the main applicant. They can live and work in the UK without any restrictions. They will be granted leave in line with the expiry date of the PBS migrant’s (or main applicant’s) leave.

      Dependants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:

      • No recourse to public funds;
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
      • No Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless:
        • They have obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a recognised UK;
        • They do not have any condition restricting such employment.
  • Overseas Earningsv
    • Applicants can take into consideration overseas earnings towards the calculation to score points for earnings. The applicant should provide details of the overseas earnings, in the original currency in which they were paid. There is no upliftment allowed while calculating these earnings.

  • How many extensions can I apply?v
    • There are no regulations with regard to the number of times an applicant can apply for extensions. As long as they meet the requirements they may extend their visa.

  • Self Employed Earningsv
    • Persons are self-employed if they have full control of how their business is run; responsible for any losses/profits of their business; higher other workers to carry out the work at their own expense and responsible for paying their own taxes and National Insurance.

  • Sole Tradersv
    • One of the Self Employed category is Sole Trader. Applicants who are Sole Traders can claim their net profit of their business after deducting all the expenses for the period they are claiming their income. They should pay their own Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.

  • Ltd Company Directorsv
    • Applicants who work as Company Directors and work through their limited company can take gross dividend and gross salary towards the calculation of their income. Company directors are employee of the company and therefore do not attract the Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.

  • How long will my visa be extended?v
    • Applicants will be granted visa for a period of 2 years whose initial Tier 1 (General) visa was granted under the Rules in place before 6th April 2010. And to all other cases, it will be granted for a period of 3 years.

  • Conditions of Stayv
    • Applicants will have the following conditions attached to their leave:  

      • No recourse to public funds;
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
      • No Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless:
        • They have obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a recognised UK;
        • They do not have any condition restricting such employment.
      • No employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).

  • What is my immigration status while my application is pending?v
    • If applicants submit their application before their authorised stay ends, their existing immigration status will continue until their application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of their permitted stay. Applicant can continue to work until their case is decided if the conditions of their existing leave allow them to do so.

  • Biometric Requirementv
    • Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area making certain applications to the Home Office have to apply for a biometric residence permit. This applies to both postal applications and applications made in person (known as ‘premium applications’). The biometric residence permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK. This also means that a UK visa will no longer be stamped in applicant’s passport and all applicants will be issued one of the new Biometric visa cards instead.  These cards look very similar to a (pink) UK driving license except they have a microchip on the back.

      Applicants who wish to extend their stay in the UK by post, the Home Office will send them a letter asking them to enrol their biometrics after the Home Office have received their application. Applicants will be able to enrol their biometric information one of the Post Offices offering this service across the UK using their walk-in service.

      Applicants who are submitting their application in person can do this at one of the Public Enquiry Offices (PEO) by using the premium service. Applicants will enrol applicants’ biometric information at the same time as making their application.

      For application submitted overseas, the applicants have to provide their biometric enrolment at one of the Visa Facilitation Centres.  Successful applicants will receive a 30 day ‘vignette sticker’ in their passport instead of a vignette with the full grant of leave. This 30 day visa will be the date they indicated as their intended travel date in their visa application. Applicants will be required to collect their BRP from the Post Office branch detailed in their decision letter within ten days of arrival in the UK. The Post Office branch is linked to the postcode that they submitted in their visa application. The BRP card can then be used as proof of right to work, study and access public services in the UK.

  • Immigration Health Surchargev
    • The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6th April 2015. People (non-EEA) coming to the UK for more than six months have to pay this health surcharge as a part of their immigration application towards the National Health Service (healthcare in the UK).  
      Offshore applicants will have to pay the health surcharge if they are applying for a visa for a period of longer than six months, and onshore applicant will have to pay the health charge for any length of visa.

      Applicants will have to pay £150 per year as a student or £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications. Dependants will usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicant. The  exact amount they have to pay  depends on how much leave they are granted. They can calculate how much they will have to pay before you apply. If the period of grant applied for is less than 6 months, then half of the yearly amount to be paid and if the period of grant applied for is more than 6 months, then whole year amount is to be paid.

      Visa application will not be granted if applicants do not pay the healthcare surcharge or application will be delayed if the right amount is not paid.

      Following persons are exempted to pay the IHS:

      • Applicants applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa and their dependants;
      • Applicant under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority;
      • Applicants who arenationals of Australia or New Zealand;
      • Dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces;
      • Dependant of a member of another country’s forces who is exempt from immigration control; and
      • Applicants of a relevant civilian employee employed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) or the Australian Department of Defence in the UK and their dependants. 
  • Government Feesv
    • Home Office fees for Tier 1 (General) Visa Application
        Postal  Super Priority Service Overseas
      Main Appplicant N/A N/A N/A
      Partner & Child (<18years), applying together N/A N/A N/A
      Partner & Child, applying later £1736 £2136 £944
  • Our Feesv
    • Service                  Fees (GBP)
      Manage your application          £150
      Postal- Full representation service £500
      Super Priority Service - Minus Representation £650
      Premium- Full Representative Service £850
      Same day checking service £350
      Document Verification Service £150
      Telephone Consultation £100 per/hour
      Face to Face consultation £100 per/hour
      Form Filling Service £150 per application
      * For full description of the services, please refer to our 'Services' section on our website.
  • Processing Timesv
    • In line with the Home Office service standards for processing UK visa applications, they decide 90 per cent of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks of the application date. Applicants apply for the Same Day at one of Public Enquiry Office (PEO) in the UK; the application is normally decided on the same day.

Which Visa ?


I'm coming to UK to