The recent changes to the Immigration Rules have brought about various amendments to the Tier 1 routes. A summary of these changes is below:
- Tier 1 (General): As a reminder, extension applications under this category must be submitted before 6 April 2015, and indefinite leave to remain applications before 6 April 2018. A minor amendment has now been made to allow extensions of leave to be given for periods of either three years or the balance the applicant needs to complete the five years needed for settlement. Essentially, these are transitional measures to facilitate the complete closure of this category. Applicants under this category need to make sure that their absences from the UK do not exceed 180 days per year, otherwise their settlement application could be refused.
- Tier 1 (Investor): Changes have been introduced to increase the required amount of investment funds from £1 million to £2 million, with 100% of the funds to be invested in prescribed forms of investment as opposed to the current 75%. There has also been a removal of the need to sustain the value of the investment throughout the period of qualifying residence.
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur): A number of changes have been made to further limit abuse of this sub-category. As such, individuals submitting applications under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) within the UK must also hold their investment funds in the UK, thus helping to ensure that the funds are genuine. Additionally, those migrants applying for indefinite leave to remain in the accelerated routes will need to show that they have invested their funds, which is in line with those in the five-year route to settlement.
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): Initial applicants will now be granted five years' leave rather than the previous three years' leave. The English language requirement is also being removed for extension applications. Additionally, changes have been made to the criteria applied by the Designated Competent Bodies when considering endorsements for applicants.