Penningtons Manches

UK 200 2013 position: 90

Immigration Update — May 2014: options for employers of Tier 1 (General) migrants

By May Cheung and Pat Saini

Of the many changes to the Immigration Rules on 6 April 2014, the Tier 1 (General) sub-category was greatly affected.

The changes mean that from 6 April 2015 existing Tier 1 (General) migrants will no longer be permitted to extend under this sub-category and will have until only 5 April 2018 to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) once they have been here for five continuous years and meet the requirements, including residency requirements. ILR, also known as settlement or permanent residency, allows individuals to stay in the UK without any time restrictions.

In practice, this means that current Tier 1 (General) migrants must ensure that they will be able to either qualify for ILR by 5 April 2018 or switch immigration categories before then. This may be particularly problematic for Tier 1 (General) migrants whose travel commitments mean that they have to spend more than 180 days outside the UK per year as such travel precludes obtaining ILR under Tier 1 (General). Therefore, employers of Tier 1 (General) migrants should take the necessary steps to ensure that these employees will either be able to extend, switch or apply for ILR in time…

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