December 7, 2010

The limit for Tier 1 (General) applications made outside the UK has been reached for the month of December.  Applications may still be submitted but will not be approved until 4 January (after the New Year holiday).

More About the Cap 

As part of the UK government’s decision to reduce net migration to the UK, a cap has been introduced for Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System.  The cap will be introduced on 1 April 2011 at which time, the Tier 1 (General) category will be closed, and replaced by a new Tier 1 Exceptional Skilled category, to run in conjunction with amended Tier 1 Entepreneurs and Tier 1 Investor routes.  More information on the recent announcement from the UK Border Agency regarding the implementation of the cap can be found in Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Global Brief here.

Until that time, an interim cap, in place until 31 March 2011, has been introduced.  More details on that can be found in our Global Brief here.

The cap is administered on a monthly basis for Tier 1 (General), meaning that the limit allocation is re-opened on the 1st of every month.  Currently, the limit is set at 600 approvals per month for Tier 1 (General) applications from abroad.

Future Predictions 

This is the third month running that the cap has been reached.  October’s limit was reached on 21 October, and November’s on 10 November.  Every month, the remaining applications are carried over to the following month.  Realistically, to have an application approved before the Tier 1 (General) route is closed at the end of March 2011, it should be submitted immediately. 

Who is Affected?

First time applicants for Tier 1 (General) applying from outside the UK are affected.  It is important to note that the cap does not affect applications from dependents, applications to switch into Tier 1 (General) from a different immigration category, or applications to extend existing Tier 1 (General) visas.


Note that the December cap for Tier 1 (General) applications submitted outside the UK has been reached.  Applications will be rolled over to January.  This will cause a delay of at least one month; but note that realistically, for an application to be approved before the Tier 1 (General) route is closed at the end of March 2011, it should be submitted immediately.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.