As of 6th April 2014, some changes to UK visas apply.
Tier 1 (General)
- The Tier 1 (General) category is now closed for new applications
- Tier 1 (General) extensions will close on 6th April 2015.
- Tier 1 (General) settlement applications will close on 6th April 2018. This applies to applicants who have been in the UK for 5 years.
- This category applies to people investing in their own businesses for up to 12 months before application.
- Applicants switching Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) to Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) can now do so after 2 years (instead of one).
- Some other minor change to the rules apply
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)
- The requirement for applicants to have obtained their degrees within the last 12 months, or from a particular institution, have been removed.
- Applicants may have two periods of leave to remain in this category, to allow a second period with a different endorsing body to the first.
- The restriction of some places to MBA graduates only has been removed. There are 1900 places available to graduates of any subject from UK institutions and 100 places available to global graduate entrepreneurs identified by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
- Those granted a visa under this category are required to invest their funds within three months of entering the UK; failure to do so means that applicants cannot be granted extensions.
As of 6th April 2014, extensions will be granted if there are exceptionally compelling reasons for the delay in investing. Investors who do not invest within the first three months may still have to wait longer before they become eligible for settlement.
- Applicants are now permitted to apply from any overseas country, not just their own
- Applicants are now permitted to switch into the category from all other Tier 1 categories
- Applicants will be permitted to make extension applications whilst overseas
- Applicants will be permitted to amalgamate time spent in other Tier 1 and Tier 2 settlement routes towards the 5-year qualifying period
Tier 2 (ICT) and Tier 2 General applicants can now apply to stay in the UK for 5 years (increased from current 3 years), with possible extension.