UK Tier One Visa applications reach limit four months early

by Ray Clancy on January 6, 2011

UK Tier 1 visas quota reached early

The UK has stopped accepting Tier One visa applications from overseas as the quota under the current temporary cap system is already full, it has been confirmed.

It means that highly skilled workers from outside the European Union will have to wait until April before submitting a new application when the government’s new permanent cap comes into force but the route will be restricted.

The yearly quota of 5,100 was met at the end of December. The Tier One visa is for migrants who do not have a job secured in the UK but is allowed entry provided they could prove they are high earners and have skills that are in demand.

It has been criticised though after Home Office figures revealed that just one in four of those coming in through the route was actually in a highly skilled occupation. Nearly one in three were either unemployed or working as supermarket cashiers, security guards or call centre staff.

When the new rules come into force in April the Tier One Visa will be restricted to entrepreneurs and millionaire investors.

Immigration minister Damian Green has also reacted to a recent court ruling that ruled that the current temporary immigration cap is illegal after campaigners won a ruling in the High Court that it was unlawful because of the way it was introduced in Parliament.

Green said the ruling was on a ‘technical and procedural point’ and the judges did not find the principle of having a limit was unlawful. He has made changes to the rules that set out the details the court required.

‘This will enable us to reinstate the interim limits on a clear legal basis. I will also be laying changes to the rules to close applications under the Tier One general route from outside the UK immediately as the original level specified on this tier has been reached,’ he said.

‘The interim limit was a temporary measure introduced specifically to tackle a rush of applications ahead of the introduction of the annual limit. As a result of the volume of applications received since the interim limit was introduced last July, no more Tier One visa applications from overseas will be accepted after 23 December,’ he added.

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