Tier 1 (General) to close overseas from 23 December 2010 and new interim limit for Tier 2 set
21 December 2010
The UK Border Agency has announced that it will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas from 00:01 (UK time) on 23 December 2010. They claim that this is to ensure that they do not exceed the limit set by the UK government for Tier 1 (General) applications between 19 July 2010 and April 2011.
By closing Tier 1 (General) to further overseas applications, the UK Border Agency claims that they will ensure that they only accept applications which have a reasonable prospect of being granted before the limit is reached. Applications submitted up until the end of 22 December 2010 will be processed as normal, although under the monthly monitoring system the UKBA have already announced that they will not start issuing Tier 1 (General) visas again until January 2011.
The UK Border Agency will only accept applications accompanied by a fee. If you submit your application without having paid the fee before the deadline, then your application will be ignored and not processed. This announcement is being made at the very last minute leaving proposed applicants with almost no time at all to comply. Therefore applicants in the process of submitting a Tier 1 (General) application overseas or planning to do so will need to have paid their fee by the end of 22 December (UK time). This means that irrespective of where in the world you are applying, you now need to comply with a deadline based on UK time. This refers to midnight UK time.
Tier 1 (General) overseas will not reopen for applications. Tier 1 (General) in the UK will remain open until 5 April 2011. There will be transitional arrangements for some applicants made in the UK beyond 6 April 2011, and the UKBA will announce details of these in due course.
Also today, the UK Government has set a limit up until 5 April 2011 on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available to licensed Tier 2 sponsors. The level of the limit will be 10,832 and the changes will take place immediately.