End to Tier 1 (General) Visa Extensions


The end to tier 1 visa extension

As of 6 April 2015, the Home Office have put an end to tier 1 visa extension and will no longer be accepting applications for Tier 1 (General) extensions. Applicants currently holding a Tier 1 (General) who want to extend their stay must submit an application before 6 April 2015.

Successful Tier 1 (General) extension applications will be granted for either:

  • Three years; or
  • The remaining sum of time needed to take their time in the UK to five years (making them eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain).

Whichever amount of time is longer, will be granted.

The Home Office also plans to close Tier 1 (General) application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from 6 April 2018. Applicants currently or soon to be eligible for ILR before 6 April 2018 are encouraged to make an application as soon as possible and to contact us to discuss their options.

Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain

To be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be physically present in the UK and hold valid leave under the Tier 1 (General) category.
  • Have been a continuous resident in the UK for no less than 5 years.
  • Have passed the Life in the UK Test.
  • Can satisfy the English language requirement.
  • Meet the same points threshold based on the criteria in place at the time of their initial Tier 1 (General) application.


In addition, they must:

  • Be in the UK legally.
  • Have not breached any conditions of leave.
  • Have no unspent convictions.
  • Have not been in receipt of public funds e.g. Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.


Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants must ensure that they do not have excessive absences from the UK throughout their five year period and can meet the specific Tier 1 (General) ILR requirements.

If applicants have any concerns that they will not satisfy the continuous residence requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain, they should apply for a further 3 year extension before the 6 April 2015 cut-off date.


What is Continuous Residence?

Continuous residence requires applicants to show that they have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in any 12 months period during their 5 year qualifying period.

Any travel outside of the UK should be provided by the applicant, along with employers’ letters stating the purpose of their travel. The purpose of travel can be for business or personal reasons consistent with annual paid leave.

5 years continuous residency can include time in the UK on another visa, if it was one of the following:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • Tier 2
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Work Permit
  • Innovator
  • Self-Employed Lawyer
  • Writer, Composer or Artist


The 5 years can include time in the UK on a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa if one of the following applies:

  • The continuous residence includes a period of leave granted under the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) rules in place before 6 April 2010.
  • Continuous residency includes time when applicants had a work permit granted because they were subject to an Intra-Company Transfer.


Applications for settlement can be submitted no earlier than 28 days before the date at which the applicant has reached the five-year qualifying period.


The end to tier 1 visa extension

To learn more about Indefinite Leave to Remain or to discuss your options and application, please contact our highly experienced DavidsonMorris team on 020 7494 0118 who will be delighted to assist you.


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

About DavidsonMorris

As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

Led by Anne Morris, one of the UK’s preeminent immigration lawyers, and with rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, we’re a multi-disciplinary team helping organisations to meet their people objectives, while reducing legal risk and nurturing workforce relations.

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