Closure of Tier 1 and Further Confirmation of Tier 2 Interim Limit

21st December 2010

Today the UK Border Agency has announced that it will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas after 22 December 2010.

As a response to the recent High Court judgment declaring the interim limits, as set by the Home Secretary this summer, as unlawful, and to ensure that the number of applications does not exceed the limit set by the UK government for issued Tier 1 (General) applications between 19 July 2010 and April 2011, the UK Border Agency has published a formal statement of changes to the Immigration Rules.

Further, the UK Border Agency has also announced that it will only accept applications which have a reasonable prospect of being granted before the limited is reached. Applications submitted up until the end of 22 December 2010 will be processed as normal, although under the pre-existing monthly monitoring system overseas posts will not start issuing Tier 1 (General) visas again until January 2011.

The UK Border Agency will only accept applications accompanied by a fee. Therefore applicants in the process of submitting a Tier 1 (General) application overseas or planning to do so will need to have paid their fee by the end of 22 December (UK time). After that date, the route will not reopen for new applications.

Tier 1 (General) in the UK will remain open until 5 April 2011. There will be transitional arrangements for some applicants made in the UK beyond 6 April 2011, with more detail to follow.

Also today, the UK Government has set a limit up until 5 April 2011 on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors. The level of the limit will be 10,832 and the changes will take place immediately.

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