NEWSLETTER No. 32 – December 2010

UK – TIER 1 GENERAL VISAS TO BE ABOLISHED
(TIER 1 EXTENSION AFTER APRIL 2011)

The UK Border Agency have announced that the Tier 1 General visa category will be abolished after April 2011.

This will apply to new first-time applicants both in the UK and applying from overseas.

This will NOT affect those who have already secured a Tier 1 General visa and wish to apply for an extension in the UK. This will still be possible, as normal.

However, this is a major policy change which will greatly affect the plans of many applicants. Already the number of overseas applicants for Tier 1 (General) visas is starting to impact on processing times.

UK based extension applications will need to be prepared thoroughly, as a refusal will mean the applicant will not have the current option to re-apply as a new applicant.

We advise anyone interested in applying for a Tier 1 (General) visa either in the UK or overseas, to look at starting this process immediately, before this category is closed.

For advice on applying for UK visas or citizenship, then please visit our website

UK – ANNUAL QUOTA AND NEW VISA CATEGORY

Following the long awaited report published by the Migration Advisory Committee, the Home Secretary has announced details of the new migration “cap” or quota for non EU workers.

From April 2011 – April 2012, the Tier 2 General visa category will be subject to annual limit of 20,700. This is a reduction of 6,300 comapred to 2009 levels. However, there are many applicants that are NOT subject to the cap. These include;

– Tier 2 Dependents
– Those already in the UK on a Tier 2 visa or work permit
– Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer applicants
– New applicants with an offered salary of over £150,000

It is already clear that the government are providing many exceptions to their plans to cap migration levels.

The Tier 1 General visa category will be abolished for new applicants and will be replaced by a new category for “persons of exceptional talent”. We await the publication of further details on this.

This is a major change in migration policy and makes the UK a much less attractive destination for migrants who do not wish to be “tied” to a sponsoring employer.

More positively, the government have stated they will be looking to reform the Tier 1 Entrepreneur route to make it more attractive. This will include more flexible criteria than the current rigid £200,000 requirement. Again, we will provide more details on this once published.

AUSTRALIA – APPLY NOW IF YOU QUALIFY!

As detailed in our last newsletter, the Australian government have announced that a new points system will be effective for all applicants from 1 July 2011.

Although many aspects of the proposed new system will be welcome, we are already seeing that some applicants will be disadvantaged by the new system and may well be ineligible on the proposed new points system.

In order to apply through the current system, applicants need to pass their trade assessment or skills assessment and ensure their migration application is submitted by 30 June 2011.

Bearing in mind, that many trade assessments or skills assessments can take several months to process, we urgently advise applicants to look at starting this process now if they qualify.

To be assessed for migration to Australia, please complete the online assessment form on our website

NEW EUROPEAN ECONOMIC NATIONALS (EEA)
FREE EEA GUIDE

Please see our dedicated webpage on all EEA applications – EEA Family Permits, Residence Cards, Permanent Residence.

You can also obtain your FREE EEA GUIDE (emailed directly to you) providing detailed information on making applications, supporting documents and specialist advice.

See our EEA webpage at

* EEA info page with free Guide on EEA applications

 

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