NEWSLETTER No. 32 - December 2010


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

* Our free Online Assessment Form

* United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news


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 sposnoring 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. 

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

* United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news

Previous Newsletters on migration issues:
Newsletter 1 - January 2007
  Newsletter 2 - March 2007
  Newsletter 3 - April 2007
  Newsletter 4 - May 2007
  Newsletter 5 - May 2007 - In Focus: Australia
  Newsletter 6 - June 2007
  Newsletter 7 - July 2007
  Newsletter 8 - August 2007
  Newsletter 9 - October 2007
  Newsletter 10 - November 2007
  Newsletter 11 - December 2007
  Newsletter 12 - February 2008
  Newsletter 13 - March 2008
  Newsletter 14 - June 2008

  Newsletter 15 - July 2008
  Newsletter 16 - September 2008
  Newsletter 17 - November 2008
  Newsletter 18 - December 2008
  Newsletter 19 - January 2009

  Newsletter 20 - February 2009
  Newsletter 21 - April 2009
  Newsletter 22 - June 2009
  Newsletter 23 - August 2009
  Newsletter 24 - October 2009
  Newsletter 25 - December 2009
  Newsletter 26 - February 2010
  Newsletter 27 - March 2010
  Newsletter 28 - June 2010
  Newsletter 29 - July 2010
  Newsletter 30 - September 2010
  Newsletter 31 - November 2010

Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA - 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

* Our free Online Assessment Form

* Australia info page with the latest migration news


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


Make sure you use a reputable and competitive currency provider when transferring funds to the UK or to any other country. 

Most banks offer poor exchange rates meaning that simply by using a dedicated currency provider, you can save a lot of money.

Make sure you use a currency provider that is fully registered by the UK authorities. 

We recommend Worldwide Currencies who have assisted many of our clients in the past and can offer exchange rates with no commission or charges, and often up to 5% better than the banks. 

For more information contact Richard Bass, Worldwide Currencies;
Tel +44 (0) 20 3326 4403

Commonwealth ImmigrationKEEP UP TO DATE THROUGH OUR


We hope that this newsletter has been informative for you.  However, remember everyone's circumstances are different so if you or a friend or family member want to check your eligibility to emigrate then either

1) complete the Online Assessment form on our website or
2) give us a call on +44 (0) 1223 830 916

We would love to hear from you!

Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration

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