After a few interesting months of businesses, individuals, agencies and the Home Office “feeling out” the Interim UK visa cap, Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday announced the new, permanent measures to control the numbers of people coming into the UK from outside Europe.
“The biggest change we will see in April 2011 is the effective abolishment of the Tier 1 General Visa” says Robyn Cory of 1st Contact Visas.
- Only 1000 visas will be granted from April 2011 to April 2012 under the Tier 1 Points Based System and these will be to people of exceptional talent, without a job offer.
The changes to the Tier 1 Visa category – the ‘highly skilled’ tier – were expected, particularly when it was revealed that around 30% of people coming through this route were actually doing low skilled jobs once they were in the UK.
- An annual limit of 20 700 visas has been introduced under the skilled route, for people with job offers and whose occupations are at graduate level. This is believed to be the solution to the issues faced by businesses since the interim Tier 1 cap was introduced. Applicants under Tier 2 will still be required to earn the minimum required points and will be awarded points based on the scarcity of their skills within the country.
- The intra-company transfer route into the UK will now also sit outside the annual limit and the minimum salary for those coming in for more than 12 months will be £40,000. Those on an intra-company visa may stay in the country for a maximum of 5 years.
Further changes are expected to be announced before April, including changes to the Tier 4 (study) visa, which has seen some controversy in recent months too.
May said yesterday that these government changes “are crucial if we are to limit the numbers coming here to work, while still attracting the brightest and the best to the UK.”
These changes will come into effect in April 2011 when the permanent cap is implemented. With the chances of being granted a Tier 1 visa becoming slimmer by the day, Robyn Cory of 1st Contact Visas suggests that people wanting to get into the UK this way should get their application in as soon as possible.
“With the impending cancellation of the Tier 1 General visa in April 2011 and the current interim cap imposed, it is imperative that non EU nationals who meet the current criteria submit their application as soon as is possible to beat the queue for the monthly caps in place on the Tier 1 General and before the scheme is cancelled in its entirety come April 2011” says Cory.
For media enquiries please contact Robyn Cory on (021) 657 2180 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cell: 082 923 0433 website: www.1stcontact.com
For expert advice on UK visas, visit 1stcontactvisas.com. Alternatively, call 0808 141 1664 (UK), 0800 003 163 (SA) or 1800 039 300 (Australia) and speak to a friendly and qualified 1st Contact visa consultant.