Tier 1 (General)
This section explains whether and how you can apply for permission to extend your stay in the UK as a highly skilled worker under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system.
The Tier 1 (General) category allows highly skilled people to look for work or self-employment opportunities in the UK. Tier 1 (General) migrants can seek employment in the UK without a sponsor, and can take up self-employment and business opportunities here.
This category is now closed to applicants who are outside the UK, and to migrants who are already here in most other immigration categories.
To find out whether you can make an application under Tier 1 (General), see the Eligibility pages.
If you know the Tier 1 (General) requirements, and you want to make an application, you can go directly to the Applying pages.
Do you need to apply under the points-based system?
You do not need to apply under the points-based system if:
- you are an EEA or Swiss national;
- you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
- you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here; or
- you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.
If your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner (or one of your parents, if you are under 18) has permission to stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General), you can apply as a dependant.
If you have an HSMP approval letter
If you have an HSMP approval letter, you should read the section on transitional arrangements for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
If your HSMP approval letter was issued under the requirements in place before 7 November 2006, and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK on the basis of the letter, you may be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 8 April 2008. Before you apply under Tier 1 (General), you should read the section on the HSMP Forum judicial review (extension of stay). You are not affected by this judgment if you joined the HSMP under the arrangements in place from 5 December 2006.
If your HSMP approval letter was issued on the basis of an application made before 7 November 2006, and you obtained entry clearance or permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that letter, you may be affected by the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review judgment of 6 April 2009. The section on the HSMP Forum Ltd judicial review (settlement in the UK) will tell you whether you are affected by the judgment, and will help you decide what to do next.