UK Tier 1 highly skilled Visas will end in less than three months time. The replacement exceptional talent visa will be extremely difficult to obtain. If you are in the UK and qualify for the Tier 1 (General) highly skilled migrant visa you should seriously consider applying soon. It may take some time for you to obtain the relevant documents. You should also note that since 23 December 2010 it has not been possible to make Tier 1 (General) visa applications from outside the UK.
Some of the immigration categories that will enable you to apply to remain in the UK as a Tier 1 skilled migrant are as follows:
- Any other Tier 1 category
- Any Tier 2 category
- Any Tier 4 category
- Work permit holder
- Dependent partner of a Tier 4 migrant
Recent reports suggest that some people are coming to the UK on Tier 2 intra-company transfer visas and are then applying to remain in the UK under a Tier 1 (General) visa.
In April 2011 the permanent immigration cap will go into effect. The UK Government has decided that in future most skilled based immigration into the UK will be dependent on a job offer. There have been concerns that some people coming to the UK under Tier 1 General have been working in low level jobs.
The immigration cap will be as follows:
- Tier 2 visas will see a significant increase in its quota to 20,700 visas.
- The Exceptional Talent Visa that replaces the current Tier 1 (General) visa will be limited to only 1,000 visas.
One bit of good news is that the limit will not apply to certain groups of people applying for Tier 2 visas including the following:
- In-country applications from people already in the UK
- Dependants of Tier 2 migrants
- Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) applicants
It will also become more difficult to come under the Tier 2 (General) visa as this will be limited to graduate level job vacancies from April 2011.
In conclusion from April 2011 if you wish to emigrate to the UK on the basis of your skills and experience you will probably need to have a job offer. It will also be more difficult in other respects to meet the requirements for a Tier 2 visa. The Tier 1 (General) visa will be almost impossible to obtain.