Goodbye to Tier 1

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: or Cell: 082 923 0433  website:

For expert advice on UK visas, visit 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.

  • Anu Arora

    what will be the plan of action for people who have been granted a Tier 1 work visa? Any views?

    • Robyn Cory

      Hi Anu,

      The changes will only affect new applications made after April 2011 when the Tier 1 (General) category will no longer exist.
      All prior applications made will still be treated under the immigration law and policy as at the time of the granting of the initial application.

      • Nicolene Viljoen

        Hi Robyn,

        To clarify, our Tier 1 General visas expires in December 2011. Do we need to renew the visa before April 2011 or will we be able to renew them in December 2011?

        Much appreciated

  • Bineet

    What will happen to the students who are already in Uk? any changes to post study work visa??

  • AK

    Hi Robyn,

    Hmmm, Visas are getting tight. I am on Tier 1 General Migrant valid issued in July 2010 and valid upto August 2012. At the time of extension/renewal, will new rules apply or the rules at the time of my initial application apply?

    And, my brother did his Masters in UK and he is on Post Study Work Tier 1 visa currently and valid until Feb 2012. What will he need to do once his current visa expires? He can’t apply for Tier 1 General Migrant visa, can he?

    Will Tier 1 General Migrant Visa folks apply for permanent residency?

    Please throw some light!

  • D

    If a person holds a Tier 1 (General) visa due to expire in two years’ time and wants to apply for an extension, will the application for the extension be carried out under the current Tier 1 rules? If not, it seems there will be no opportunity to extend unless the person fits into the ‘exceptional talent’ group of 1,000.

    I can’t seem to find any information on this question. I’d be grateful if anyone could point me to an accurate source.

  • Shayaan Ali

    I am currently doing my MBA and expecting to graduate in May 2011. Will I lose out, if the government decides to close down PSW? Also, what about student already on PSW and working inside the UK, what will they do?

  • Malik Jahangir

    HI Robyn,

    Do you think a new application form will be available for Tier 1 general extions when Tier 1 general closed completely in april 2010. If the policy for tier 1 general remains same then do you think all people will get indefinate leave (ILR) after five years as per current law even if ILR rules changed which we are expecting in near future.


    • Robyn Cory

      Hi Malik,

      It is unfortunately too early to speculate at this stage, however ‘our feeling’ is that rules for settlement and citizenship wont affect those migrants already part way through the process in the UK.

  • Akash Shah

    Hi Robyn

    Will this impact people who are already on a Tier 1 visa & would need to apply for an extention?

    Pls let me know

    Many Thanks

  • Sunil

    When after april there will be no Tier 1 option then people who will be due to extend their stay as extension for tiier 1, where they will apply? Will there be any transitional arrangement for them?

  • MC

    Hi Robyn,

    Is there any indication what will happen to current holders of Tier 1 visas at the expiration of their current visa?
    Will they be forced to transition to Tier 2 requirements or will they be able to renew with the current Tier 1 rights?
    Separately I understand Tier 1 visas holders will no longer be able to apply for permanent residency – is this correct?


  • Karthik

    I’m in my Tier 1 Post study work visa… And I’m doing a work with earnings of having the valid points for Tier 1… But I wouldn’t have completed 12 months of earnings by April 2011… is there a possibility to apply for me.. from within UK???

    • Robyn Cory

      Hi Karthik,
      Yes, there is. This would be based on you meeting the minimum points required through earnings which can be claimed over a 12 month period, however if you are able to meet the gross earnings amount in a shorter period, this would be acceptable for earning of the points required.

      Please feel free to contact us directly on 0808 141 5508 to have a full review of your circumstances and potential solutions.


  • Rahul

    For those living in the UK under work-permit etc.

    Would they be able to switch to Tier 2 (General) and have the same flexibility as that of Tier 1 (General), i.e. they can change their jobs etc. within the UK.

    Apparently, the limit of 20,700 of annual visas of Tier 2 will also not apply to those that are already living in the UK.

    Any thoughts: This is the link from Home Office of the UK on this issue:

  • Ash

    Hi Robyn,
    What about people who are already into Tier 1(Post study work) visa or will be applying for PSW visa before April 2011? Will they still be able to apply for Tier 1 (High skilled) visa after April 2011 under the same rules as now? Your reply will be really appreciated.



  • Robyn Cory

    Hi Ash,

    Unfortunately we have not yet obtained any further feedback on the Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa and the possibility of elimination or if this will form part of the Student Visa review consultantions due shortly.

    The current Tier 1 (General) Visa will be abolished as of April 2011, irrelevant of which category one previously was able to switch from within the UK.

    1st Contact will immediately release any further releases and changes on law and policy regarding immigration as soon as we receive such.

    Watch this space!


  • seema

    Hi how about the post work visa? is that also going to close from april 2010 because i will get my MBA result only around April 2011 so am i able to apply it or not?

  • Janelle


    My tier 1 gerneral visa expires in October 2011. Will the changes to this visa impact on my ability to extend this? What is the earliest time that I can submit my application for an extention as I am now considering extending this before April.



  • Anwar

    Dear Robyn,
    I am interested to know that poeple who are already on Tier 1 General visa, will they be able to extend their visa once the new rules come into force on April 2011?
    Looking forward for comments, thanks.

  • Shan

    i want to know that i am doing my masters right now and will i be able to apply post study work after april as i have started my masters before this rule comes.

    kindest regards,

    • Robyn Cory

      Hi Shan,

      Unfortunately, one must meet all the relevant criteria at the time of application, prior to the April 2011 cut off.


  • sam

    If you apply for the t1 visa now and it is approved will your visa be issued before the april 1 cut off

  • Hasan

    Dear Sir ,
    I will start my MBA in March 2011 ,
    would that affect my 2 years post study work ?

    Thanks for helping

  • Pranav Kumar Shah

    Hi Cory

    I am on Tier 1 and will be eligible for ILR in May 2012. Will I fall under old rules and get the ILR? I am working as a consultant engineer for a Multi national company
    I heard rules for ILR will change in 2011. will this affect me>?


  • arafatq

    hi , i am arafat. i have finished my MBA in december . but i will get my certificate after exam board which will be held in 16th of march. is there any chance to get the PSW if i wil be able to apply wihting 5 to 6 days after getting certificate..plz rply

  • Fiona (NZ)

    Is it possible to apply for a Tier 1 visa in Jan 2011, for the visa to begin in 2012?

  • Rashida

    I would like to know what are the options available to those who are currently under the Tier 1 (General) when they have completed the 5 years in total? What are the rules for the application for ILR? Is this still an option? Or are there any plans to change this in the future?

  • Manju


    I’m a student currently doing my masters and will be getting my degree by May or June 2011. Will there be any changes in the rule for PSW. What should i do now. If i need to apply for the Tier 1(general) then how much should my earning be and can it be a combination with my Husband.


  • Saba

    They announced that tier 1 general visa has been closed to overseas people outside uk from last December. Does this include overseas people living in republic of Ireland? will they be able to apply for tier 1 before April or considered as overseas living outside uk.

    your answer will be much appreaciated


  • Avinash

    Hi robyn,
    I have submitted my dissartation on 17th of december, however result would come around 15th of feb. Unfortunately i was not well informed about the results date of the dissartation and now would have to go back to my country(India) if i want to apply for PSW. Do i have any chances to get the psw from there if i complete all formalities required. Moreover, do i need to show funds in UK bank, as i have got funds here or back in my country a/c??

    Lookig forward to your reply

  • Tina


    I have received an offer from Strathclyde & Lancaster an dam wondering whether to accept it or not as I am concerned that the PSW visa will be cancelled….

    What do I do?

  • nitesh

    I am a MSc student from Lancaster University Management School and wud be completing my course by Sept 2011, so would I get a PSW tier 1 visa and what would the requirements be to fulfil the requirements if i am eligible?

  • Ashton

    hi robyn,

    my case is very similar to that of avinash above i will have to go back to know my results however should i get my results before the april cut off date . the biggest worry is that i need to have the funds in my account for atleast 3 months which i dont back home( 3 moths will be completed in may) but i do have the required in my bank here in the uk . so if i show the funds in the uk (which i have) when applying for PSW fem overseas what are my chances ???

    looking forward to your reply

  • Rodrigo

    It is certainly going to hinder the UK economy. Instead of getting rid of Tier 1 (General) they should create a policy so one MUST work in its own AREA, not in low level jobs! What a SHAME on UK! I’m very disappointed.

  • Rodrigo

    Is the Post Study work visa gone???

  • candy

    HI ,please can a fresh graduate apply for the post study work after April 2011? Thanks.

  • sandy

    hi robin,

    I m on post study work permit,and my visa is going to be expire 14th may 2011.How can i extend my visa in which category i should appy,I got a lease ,am running a corner shop as well,and do i need any minimum saving in my account or my business account is sufficient.
    Thanks for reply

  • Krishna

    Hi Robby

    I hold Tier1 (general Migrant) valid from Feb 2009 to Feb 2012. I am in UK currently and planning to apply for extension in some time in Nov or Decem 2011. Will my application be eligible under new rules..? Is there a possibility for getting extension ?. Pleas help me with the answer…these laws and rules are very confusing.


  • Saran

    Hi, Am currently holding PSW and working in a Bank for an year, is there any possibility of me extending the visa or changing to some other visa category? My company say It will issue letter stating my employment for another 2-3yrs but my earning is 15k a yr. I hold a Master degree too. What procedures shold i follow to apply? Please suggest me.


  • kuldeep

    people who are already on tier 1 general would apply for ILR , provided that they have lawfully worked here. keep all your p60s safe and send them with you ILR application. NEW rules only applies to the new applicants and noy on existing ones.

  • MIS


    My PSW visa will be expired 14th February, 2013. How could I extend my VISA in work-permit catagories? Could anyone please explain me briefly.

    thanks very much indeed.

    • Kelly

      Hi MIS

      At this stage, the best visa option is Tier 2 Sponsorship.
      Your current employer or a new employer can sponsor you under this category.

      For more information regarding the Tier 2 visa, please contact 1st Contact Visas Team @

  • Rashed

    Hi, I am in PSW. I got it on this january. I have a plan to apply for my wife within few months. We will get marry beginning of March. My question is how much money I need to keep my bank? I need to keep the money in my account or her account? For how long I need to keep the money?