Tier 1 (General)

Tier 1 (General)

Tier 1 (General) was the route under the UK’s Points Based System for highly skilled migrants to work in the UK with the freedom to work in any capacity and without requiring an employer to sponsor them.  This visa route was closed to new applicants in April 2011.

Those who already had a Tier 1 (General) visa prior to April 2011 can still apply for permanent residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR) after 5 years residency in the UK, up until 5th April 2018.

Under the Points Based System applicants must accrue the necessary points to qualify for immigration in the UK.  This remains the case with ILR applications for those who already hold a Tier 1 (General) visa.


You will require 75 or 80 points (depending on the date of your first application) under Attributes.  As with your first application, there are four areas where the points can be gained:

Age (5-20 points)

You will be granted points based on your age as at your initial application (not now).

Qualification (30-50 points)

You will be granted the same points for your qualification as you were in your initial application; if you have since completed a further qualification you could claim points for this instead.

Previous Earnings (5-80 points)

As with your initial application, you can claim points based on your earnings in 12 of the past 15 months (12 consecutive months); earnings can be from the UK or overseas.

UK experience (5 points available)

If you have scored points in Previous Earnings, and at least part of these earnings were earned in the UK (£16,000 if you initially applied before 6/4/10, £25,000 if you initially applied on or after 6/4/10) you can claim 5 points.

KOLL – Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

For all ILR applications there is also an English requirement and a requirement to pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test.


The documentary evidence for your points must meet specific requirements, including the type of documents to be presented and the format those documents are in.

The immigration officers assessing your application have no authority to exercise discretion; they will only ask for additional documents in certain specified situations (where one document from a series of documents, such as bank statements, is missing, for example).  If your documents do not meet requirements your application will be refused.

For this reason Tier 1 is difficult to get right on your own.  Why not use de Prey Consulting’s expertise and inside knowledge, and get it right first time?  Nikki de Prey would love to work with you!

Other Tier 1 visas: