New Rules – New Restrictions

Finally, the Home Secretary Ms. Theresa May has announced new rules which will bring drastic changes to the existing criteria of certain immigration categories while removing a few all together.

Tier 1 General: From April 2011, this category will be closed and no new applicants either from in-country or from outside the country will be able to apply under this category. The Tier 1 (G) migrants who already have been given visas will not be affected and they will be able to continue enter / reside in the UK.

Tier 1 Exceptionally Talented People: From April 2011, a new category will be introduced as a part of the Tier 1 program, which will be for those who are exceptionally qualified and talented people who have gained international recognition in scientific or cultural fields. There will however be a limit on such visas i.e. 1000 for one year.

Tier 1 (PSW): The UKBA will also look at whether they should close this immigration category as well. Any such decision is however unlikely to be taken before April 2011.

Tier 1 Entrepreneurs: This immigration category will not be affected by the quota. But this route will be reformed to make it more attractive. It is expected to have more flexibility for the start up companies who do not meet the investment threshold.
Tier 1 Investors: This immigration category will not be affected by the new quota. Instead they might be accelerated to settlement depending on the level of their investments.

Tier 2 (General): From April 2011, the maximum persons who could be given visas will be limited to 20700 only. The Tier 2 (G) migrants already in the UK or those who earn at least £150,000 per annum will not be affected by this quota.

Tier 2 (General) applications will be restricted to graduate-level vacancies. Existing Tier 2 (General) migrants in jobs below graduate level will only be able to extend their permission to stay if they meet current requirements. If they are not working at a graduate level position, they will not be able to extend their leave to remain for a further period.

The minimum level of English language competency for Tier 2 (General) applications will also be increased from basic to intermediate level (B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference).

Tier 2 Sports person: This immigration category will not be affected by the new quota.

Tier 2 Minister of Religion: This immigration category will not be affected by the new quota.

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer): The quota will however not affect the number of Intra company Transferees. However, if they want to come to the UK for more than 12 months, they should be earning at least £40000 per annum. For those who will be coming for a shorter period should be earning between £24000 and £40,000 per annum. From April 2011, the Intra company transferees will only be able to come for a maximum period of 5 years.

Tier 4 (G): The UKBA will be launching consultation on whether they should allow only those students who wish to study at bachelor’s level or above. They will also be looking at whether they should allow only Highly Trusted educational establishments to offer lower level courses to overseas students. This will restrict a large number of students from coming or remaining in the UK.

Family Migration: It will also be considered whether the probationary period of two years for spouse / unmarried partners / civil partners can be increased for a longer period.


  • From April 2011, all the applicants who wish to seek Indefinite leave to remain in the UK will be subject to a criminality check and they will be expected to be clear of any unspent convictions at the time of their application.
  • From April 2011, All Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants will need to meet the salary criteria that applied when they last extended their permission to stay in the UK. This will mean, if a Tier 1 (G) earned £35000 to seek further leave to remain in the UK and is now applying for settlement, they will be required to show similar level or higher level of earnings to qualify for settlement in the UK.

If you wish to make an application to apply for any of the above listed immigration categories we would encourage to not to delay further and make your application as quickly as possible.

We are ideally placed to advise and represent you in respect of your immigration matter by making the postal application or by using premium service.

We can be contacted at [email protected] or at 02079071460 to discuss your options and merits of making any immigration related applications.

Posted on Nov 23, 2010.

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