Tag Archives: Tier 1

Tier 1 Overview – High Value Individuals

Are you a ‘high value individual’? Are you looking to work as a professional Consultant in the UK? Or maybe you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur and setting up a new business? Whatever your area of interest Commonwealth Contractors can help!

Tier 1 has been designed for the so called ‘high value individuals’. Those that are interested in opening a business in the UK, investing sizeable funds in a UK company or those with an ‘exceptional talent’.

Formerly Tier 1 included the well known ‘General’ or HSMP subcategory however this has now been scrapped by the UK Border Agency.

If you’re a professional IT Consultant, Engineer, Actuary or Financial Services Specialist please Contact Us Now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details to find out how we can help!

Tier 1 Subcategories

Tier 1 is currently made up of four subcategories:

  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur
  • Tier 1 Post Study Worker
  • Tier 1 Investor
  • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Throughout this section you will find detailed information on the four subcategories of Tier 1 and also detailed guidance relating to Tier 1 General (formerly the HSMP).

Tier 1 General / HSMP Guidance:

Tier 1 (Post Study Worker)

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Tier 1 (Investor)

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

Find out More

To find out more about our solutions call now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!

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UK opens its doors for exceptional talent

Aiming to remain a competitive force around the world the government has decided to encourage exceptionally talented leaders from science, humanities, engineering and the arts fields to come to the UK in order to maintain excellence.

A new Tier 1 category- Exceptional Talent- will open on 9 August 2011 available to those who have been recognised and those with the potential to be recognised as leaders in their respective fields. During the first year of implementation a cap of 1,000 places has been issued. Between the 9 August and 30 November 500 places are available and from 1 December to 31 March 2012 a further 500. At the end of March 2012 places will be reviewed.

The UK Boarder agency will be advised by the world renowned ‘competent bodies’, on Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) to ensure ‘exceptionally talented’ migrants are the brightest and best in their field:

  • The Royal Society, a fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists, will be able to nominate up to 300 places;
  • Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts, will also be able to nominate up to 300 places;
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain’s national academy for engineering, will have up to 200 places to nominate; and
  • The British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences will be able to nominate up to 200 places.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
“The UK is a global leader in science, humanities and engineering and we are a cultural centre for the arts: we will continue to welcome those who have the most to offer and contribute to our society and economy. Our new exceptional talent route, available for up to 1,000 applicants, will ensure that we continue to attract the brightest into the UK and keep the UK a global leader. This comes at a time of major reform of the immigration system to bring net migration back down to the tens of thousands, tackle abuses and make sure that the immigration system meets the needs of the country.”

Migrants seeking entry to the UK under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) will not need to be sponsored by an employer, but will need to be recommended by one of the competent bodies.

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said:
‘We welcome the launch of this special visa scheme, which will enable the very best artists of international standing to live and work in the UK. ‘The international exchange of artists enriches their art, and I’m sure audiences will welcome the opportunity to experience the finest artistic talent from across the world.’

Each competent body will select those who will qualify for recommendation; the UK Boarder Agency has published the criteria for their endorsement.

The President of the British Academy, Sir Adam Roberts, said:
“The Humanities and Social Sciences are flourishing in the UK and attract many excellent scholars from overseas. The British Academy is ready to play its part in identifying those outstanding scholars for whom Tier 1 is the appropriate visa category.”

The government has allotted a number of places to each body; nevertheless it will be open to the competent bodies to transfer additional places to those with more demand if necessary.

The President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse, said:
“The UK is a global leader in science because we can attract the best minds from around the world to work with our own home-grown talent. The government has listened to the science community’s concerns about jeopardising our international leadership by restricting the immigration of scientists and the Royal Society will play its part in ensuring that the very best international talent can continue to come to the UK to work.”

Those admitted under Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) category will initially be granted permission to stay for 3 years and 4 months. They will then be able to extend their stay for a further 2 years, and settlement may be available after 5 years residence in the UK.

President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Sir John Parker FREng, said:
“In order to safeguard the UK’s future competitiveness, we must ensure that it remains an attractive destination for world class engineers. I am confident that this new visa route will help to encourage global excellence to come to the UK.”

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.

For more Information call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you. Please see other areas of the Commonwealth Contractors site for interesting articles on tax, immigration and contracting.

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Tier 1 Application Limit Reached for December 2010

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that theTier 1 application limit (Immigration cap) for December 2010 has now been reached and no more applications will be processed until January 2011. If you are considering applying under Tier 1 General your last chance to apply may be in January 2011 as (1) Tier 1 General will be abolished in April 2011, AND (2) there is already a backlog of cases that the UKBA will look to casework before addressing any newly submitted applications.

On the UK Border Agency’s website the following announcement was made ‘’On 19 July 2010, the UK government introduced a limit on the number of UK Visa applications that can be issued under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system until 31 March 2011. The limit does not affect applications from dependents or applications to switch into Tier 1 (General) from a different immigration category, or applications to extend to existing Tier 1 (General) visas. The limit is administered on a monthly basis, and as the December allocation has been reached the department will not issue any more visas under Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas until allocation reopens in January 2011. If you are applying under Tier 1 (General) from overseas you can still submit an application for Tier 1 (General) during this closure period but if your application is successful the visa will not be issued until the limit re-opens.”

If you believe that you qualify under Tier 1 General please contact us immediately for a professional assessment of your case. In April 2011 Tier 1 General will be abolished and stricter Immigration Controls will be introduced which will make it far more difficult to apply for a work visa in the United Kingdom. At the present time Commonwealth Contractors has a range of solutions which allow highly skilled and skilled workers from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) to work in the UK however the number of options will be reduced in April 2011 (with the abolition of Tier 1 General).

Tier 1 changes in April 2011

  • Tier 1 General: The ‘General’ subcategory of Tier 1 will be closed all together
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur):  The ‘Entrepreneur’ sub category of Tier 1 will be reformed to make it more attractive to international Entrepreneurs. Promising start up companies which do not meet the investment threshold will be offered an route to doing business in the UK. This Immigration route will not be subject to the Permanent Immigration Cap
  • Tier 1 (Investor): The ‘Investor’ subcategory will be reformed to offer an ‘accelerated route to settlement, depending on the level of investment’. This Immigration route will not be subject to the Permanent Immigration Cap
  • A new route for Persons of Exceptional Talent: A new Immigration route will be introduced for persons of exceptional talent (the old HSMP route used to include points for such people). This category will be limited to 1,000 places and will be for those migrants who have ‘won international recognition in scientific and cultural fields, or who show sufficient exceptional promise to be awarded such recognition in the future’. Migrants applying under this category will need to be endorsed by a competent body in the relevant field.

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partner

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Tier 1 Immigration Cap Reached For October

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that is has reached the interim Immigration Cap for the month of October and no more visas will be issued to overseas applicants under Tier 1 General until the limit allocation reopens once more on Monday the 1st November 2010. If you are applying from outside of the UK you can still submit a Tier 1 General application during the current period however the visa will not be issued until the limit reopens once more. If you are applying from inside of the UK for a Tier 1 extension or to switch into Tier 1 General from another UK immigration category you will not be affected by the interim limit. How does the Temporary Immigration Cap work? The UK Border Agency operates the system on a first come first served basis with a limit placed on the number of Tier 1 General Visa applications considered in any one month. If an application is submitted after the limit for a month is reached, the application is held and considered in the following months limit. Applications continue to be accepted during the period in which the limit has been reached; however the UK Border Agency will not process an application until the next month. Applications are held in a queue by order of the date in which they are received. Applications in the queue are processed when the following month’s limit is open. If application numbers look as though they will exceed the total limit for the whole of the interim period, the UKBA will notify the individual at the time of application. What Subcategories of Tier 1 does the Immigration Cap relate to? The Temporary Immigration Cap relates to out of country Tier 1 General Visa applications only. If you are already in the UK and you wish to submit a Tier 1 extension application you will not have to worry about:

  1. The Immigration Cap, this will not apply to you, OR
  2. The Increase in Tier 1 General Points. You will not have to gain 100 points rather than 95 points to qualify

The other subcategories of Tier 1 will be excluded from the limit, namely; Investor, Entrepreneur & Post Study Worker (see below). In 2009 there were only around 1,000 Investor & Entrepreneur Visa applications and the Government believe that applicants make such a contribution to the UK that they should be excluded. Although the Post Study Work subcategory of Tier 1 has been excluded for the moment it remains to be seen whether this will be the case in April when the permanent cap is introduced. Commonwealth Contractors Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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Changes To Tier 1 In 2010

The Points Based System (PBS) is a flexible tool for controlling migration to the UK. It allows changes to be made based upon the circumstances of the day e.g. changing economic circumstances. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) recently completed its review of Tier 1 and recommended the following changes to the UK Border Agency for the year 2010 / 2011:

Recommendations for Tier 1 General (formerly the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme):

  • A minimum Bachelors Degree qualification should be reintroduced to Tier 1 General, at present applicants require at least a Masters Degree of better: In April 2009 following challenging economic conditions the UK Border Agency increased the minimum requirements for Tier 1 General from a Bachelors Degree to a Masters Degree. This change not only reduced applications from those looking to come to the UK for the first time but also the retention of existing visa holders (such as those already in the UK on a Working Holiday Visa (now Tier 5) or Tier 1 Post Study Work Visa). By reducing the minimum education requirement the UKBA will:
    • encourage more fresh Tier 1 visa applications
    • improve the retention of those on Working Holiday Visas & Tier 1 Post Study Work Visas
    • reduce the number of applications currently made under Tier 2 General (formerly UK Work Permit)
  • Successful applicants should receive an initial two year stay rather than the current three years. If they are in highly skilled employment they should be able to apply for a three year extension at the end of two years.
  • Professional qualifications should be considered equivalent to a Masters Degree. Qualifications include those in Accountancy, Healthcare, Finance etc
  • The ‘Salary Multipliers’ should be reviewed: Salary Multipliers are used where an individual has income from a foreign country. The multiplier takes into affect the regional differences in income
  • Significant increases should be made to the thresholds under which applicants claim points for previous earnings. Anyone with income below £24,000 should not receive any points: At present those with income between £20,000 & £22,999 receive 15 points and those with income between £23,000 and £25,999 receive 20 points. Those that wish to claim maximum points for previous earnings in the future may also require greater income (at present 45 points are awarded for £40,000+)
  • High earners with income of at least £150,000 should not need to satisfy the educational requirement
  • Applicants under the age of 39 should receive points: At present anyone aged 31 or below scores points under Tier 1. The age category is likely to be raised due to the fact that the Previous Earnings requirement will be increased and the Salary Multipliers will be made more difficult. Younger applicants are less likely to earn as much as older applicants.

Recommendations for Tier 1 Post Study Workers:

  • The Post Study Work sub category of Tier 1 should continue, however the MAC suggests that the Government should access whether all courses and colleges should be treated in the same way.

The Government is expected to make an announcement on changes to Tier 1 in early 2010. Normally the MAC’s recommendations are fully implemented.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0800 294 4388 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.

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