UK Tier 1 and Tier 2 Visas – Difficult times ahead

The temporary immigration cap has already affected applications for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa categories. Many employers do not have certificates of sponsorshipavailable to employ more overseas workers under the Tier 2 visa category; Therefore the temporary immigration cap has had a serious affect on the ability of employers to employ people from abroad.

Recently under the Tier 1 (General) category it has been announced that all visas have been used up under the October 2010 monthly immigration limit. No Tier 1 (General) visas will be issued until 1 November 2010.

Future changes that are likely to make it more difficult for you to apply or remain in the UK include the following:

• Changes to indefinite leave to remain or UK citizenship requirements; Even if the previous labour Governments proposals to replace indefinite leave to remain with a "path to citizenship" do not go ahead it is likely that it will be more difficult in future to gain indefinite leave to remain or UK citizenship. Probably you will have to wait years longer to come under one of these categories.

• It seems likely that there will be changes some time soon on the salary multipliers used to calculate previous earnings points under Tier 1 (General) visa category. This will affect Indian visa applicants many of whom will no longer qualify for the Tier 1 (General) visa.

• The temporary immigration cap has resulted in many employers being unable to employ overseas workers under the Tier 2 visa category. It has also resulted in delays in the processing of Tier 1 (General) visas. The current temporary cap has only reduced the visas available under the Tier visa categories by five percent. It is likely that the permanent immigration cap to be introduced in April 2011 will significantly reduce the availability of Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas.

UK immigration changes result in tougher requirements for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa categories and other categories as well. If you wish to apply for a UK visa, if you can, it is probably better to apply sooner rather than later.