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Tier 1 General visa: still an attractive immigration category to enter the UK!

07 June 2010

The Tier 1 General (G) category is still an attractive immigration option for migrants who intend to work and settle in the UK, but have not yet secured a job offer. In fact, this category might be the best course of action even for those individuals who DO have a job offer, however do not wish to be tied to a UK company and prefer to leave the door open to future self-employment. In brief, under the Tier 2 Scheme a migrant can only be sponsored and thus employed by one single  company, while Tier 1 General migrants can work for as many employers as they wish.  Further, a Tier 1 G holder can be accompanied by his/her family in the UK, namely spouse, partners and minor children under the age of 18. 

Leave to enter and remain is initially granted for two years, following which a migrant will need to apply for a three years extension.  In addition, this category  unlike the Intra-Compay Transfer still leads to settlement after 5 years of lawful residence and then to British Citizenship.  In terms of criteria, an applicant may qualify and score the required 75 points for age, academic qualification (45 points are awarded for PhD, 35 for a Master’s degree and 30 points for a Bachelor’s degree), UK experience and gross earnings. A ratio multiplier will be applied to earnings accrued overseas for countries listed in Band B, C, D and E.

Applicants will also need to show that they are sufficiently fluent in English and have held enough founds in their bank account to support themselves in the initial period.  This is known as the" maintenance requirement" under Appendix C.  To meet this requirement, a migrant applying for an Entry Clearance will need to show that he/she has held £2,800 on any single day in the three months preceding the application. An in country applicant switching into the Tier 1 General Scheme,  will need to show £800 as a minimum daily balance.

As the Tier 1 guidance has been recently updated with new requirements, we would strongly recommend prospective applicants to seek expert legal advice.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.