The changes to the Immigration Rules affecting Tier 1 (General) migrants is fast approaching. Individuals who have permission under this category, and have (or will have, by the deadline) accumulated five years' Tier 1 (General) leave, have until 5 April 2018 to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. From 6 April 2018, applications for ILR from Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be accepted by the Home Office.

The importance of the changes for Tier 1 (General) migrants, and their sponsoring employers, cannot be overstated. If successfully granted ILR, an individual is permitted to live and work in the UK without time limitation or immigration restrictions. Furthermore, after a year with ILR, the individual will become eligible to naturalise as a British citizen. With Brexit on the horizon, and businesses no clearer in terms of the Government's strategy for migration, we strongly recommend that HR teams conduct regular audits on their workforce to, among other things, identify individuals who are eligible to apply for settled status.

Our dedicated immigration team regularly assist clients with global mobility queries and would be very happy to advise on any ILR applications, or indeed discuss the alternative options that are available to the business and its migrant workforce.