The UK Border Agency will stop accepting Tier 1 (General) applications made overseas from 00:01 on 23 December 2010, it was announced this week by Damian Green the UK Immigration Minister.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) the changes were necessary to ensure that they ‘do not exceed the limit set by the government for issued Tier 1 (General) applications between 19 July 2010 and April 2011’.
Tier 1 (General) overseas will be closed and will not reopen for applications, but Tier 1 (General) in the UK will remain open until 5 April 2011. There will be transitional arrangements beyond 6 April 2011 for some applicants who are already in the UK, and the UKBA will announce details of these in due course.
The news swiftly follows the Judicial Review court judgment last Friday brought by the JCWI on behalf of Tier 1 migrants.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
‘This ruling is about process, not policy – the policy of having a limit has not been found to be unlawful. The court’s ruling rests on a technicality, which we have set right today to ensure that from now on the interim limit is back up and running.
‘This judgment does not affect the annual cap in any way. 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 1 visa applications from overseas will be accepted after 22 December.
‘The government remains firmly committed to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands.’
The changes are set out in a new Statement of changes to the Immigration Rules (HC 698).
Damian Green has long been a critic of the Tier 1 visa, which replaced the HSMP scheme when the points based system was introduced, commenting that visa holders were not following the level of work expected for highly skilled migrants.
The move is part of the overall plan by the coalition government to slash UK immigration.
from within the EU labour market.
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