Immigration limit for Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system

19 July 2010

From 19 July 2010, there are two important changes for migrants making initial applications under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system:

  • the introduction of an interim limit for Tier 1 (General) applications made outside the UK, for the period until 31 March 2011; and
  • an increase in the number of points required for an initial Tier 1 (General) application, from 95 to 100.

Interim limit for Tier 1 (General) applications

On 19 July 2010, the UK government introduced a limit on the number of initial applications from outside the UK that can be granted under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system until 31 March 2011.

The UK Border Agency is administering the limit on a monthly basis. However, the way that you apply for permission to enter the UK under Tier 1 (General) remains the same.

If your application meets all the requirements and the limit has not been reached for the month when you applied, we will issue you a visa in the usual way.

If your application meets all the requirements but the limit for that month would be exceeded if we issued you a visa, we will defer your application to the next month when the limit allocation reopens. If your application does not meet the requirements, we will process it as normal even if the limit has been exceeded. You can still submit your application even when a monthly limit has been reached.

All applications will be processed in the order in which they are received, as far as operationally possible. You will be informed in writing of the final decision on your application.

When making any travel plans, you should expect that your application may take longer than normal if the limit is reached.

The interim limit will not affect:

  • applicants who are already in the UK (with current permission to stay in any immigration category);
  • dependants of Tier 1 (General) applicants; or
  • applicants to the Investor, Entrepreneur and Post-study work categories of Tier 1.

The Monthly Tier 1 (General) immigration limit page contains more information about the interim limit.

Increase in the points required for Tier 1 (General) applications

From 19 July 2010, the number of points required for an initial Tier 1 (General) application has increased from 95 to 100. Additionally:

  • the points awarded to those with previous earnings of £150,000 have increased from 75 to 80; and
  • the points awarded to those who have an eligible MBA have increased from 75 to 80.

These changes apply to all initial Tier 1 (General) applications made on or after 19 July 2010, whether they are made inside or outside the UK.

The points requirement will remain at 95 points for applicants who are currently in the UK under one of the following highly skilled worker categories:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Self-employed lawyer
  • Writer, composer or artist

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