Further to our 11 July 2014 update on the ending of Tier 1 (General) extension applications from 6 April 2015 and indefinite leave to remain applications in this category from 6 April 2018, on 16 October 2014 the Immigration Minister announced in its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules some positive changes for Tier 1 (General) migrants as a result of lobbying and representations to the Home Office.
With effect from 6 November 2014, any Tier 1 (General) migrant applying to extend their visa before the 6 April 2015 cut-off will be granted either three years (as at present) or the balance an applicant needs to take their time in the category to five years, whichever is longer. This will allow applicants to accrue five years in the category and then apply for indefinite leave to remain before the indefinite leave to remain cut-off date of 5 April 2018, even if their original grant was delayed due to a refusal and appeal. The Home Office will assess what provisions are needed for indefinite leave to remain applications once all extension applications have been processed after April 2015 and will consider making adjustments in a future Statement of Changes.
As a reminder, migrants will need to meet the strict residency requirements of keeping their absences from the UK below 180 days per year in any 12 month period over the five years preceding an application for indefinite leave to remain, counting backwards from the date of submission of the application.