In light of recent announcements made by Immigration Minister Damien Green, 1st Contact Visas is encouraging Tier 1, 2 and 5 visa holders as well as foreign nationals wanting to switch categories, to make the necessary applications soon so as not to be affected by the proposed changes by the UK Border Agency with a suggested date taking effect on 1 April 2012.
As part of what is being called “A crackdown on settlement”, Minister Green has said there should be a very clear distinction between those who are allowed to stay permanently and those who should be here only temporarily. Permission to stay will for instance be restricted to a maximum of 5 years for skilled workers, while the only most highly skilled candidates will be allowed to apply to stay on.
In particular, the government wants to restrict ‘switching’ between visa categories and through this practice eventually gaining the right to stay on.
“We urge Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa holders who may qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain prior to April 2012 to apply as soon as possible,” says Robyn Cory of 1st Contact Visas. “The same goes for those wanting to apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa – they should apply as soon as possible to obtain the current 2 year visa before the proposed 1 year validity on the visa potentially kicks in next year. Foreign nationals wanting to switch categories should do so immediately while there is still the opportunity to switch.”
Anyone with questions about visas and the changes to be implemented should visit www.1stcontactvisas.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0808 141 1664 to speak to a consultant about their visa needs.