Tier 1 (General)
This section explains how you can apply for permission to remain in the UK under Tier 1 (General) of the points-based system.
You can apply to extend your stay in the UK under Tier 1 (General) if you are currently here in one of the following immigration categories:
- Tier 1 (General)
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
- Self-employed lawyer
- Writer, composer or artist
If you are outside the UK, or in the UK under a different immigration category, you cannot apply to Tier 1 (General).
How to apply
Before you apply, you should read the Eligibility section to ensure that you still meet the Tier 1 (General) requirements. You should also complete an online self-assessment using our points-based calculator, to find out whether you are likely to score enough points.
You must apply using the Tier 1 (General) application form. You can download the application form and the accompanying guidance, which you must read before you make your application, from the right side of this page.
The When to apply page explains when you should submit your application to us. You must send us the completed application form, your application fee (see below) and supporting evidence.
The Where to apply page explains how to submit your application by post, by courier or in person.
If you need to travel abroad, you should ensure that you return to the UK before your current permission to stay expires. If you are unable to re-enter the UK because your permission has expired, you will not be able to apply under Tier 1 (General).
How long can you extend your stay for?
If we approve your extension application, you will be able to continue living and working in the UK for a maximum period of:
- 2 years if you are currently a Tier 1 (General) migrant and your current permission to stay was granted before 6 April 2010; or
- 3 years if you are in any other eligible immigration category.
At the end of this period, you may have lived continuously in the UK as a highly skilled migrant for 5 years. You can then apply to settle permanently in the UK. If you are not yet eligible for settlement, you can apply for permission to extend your stay under Tier 1 (General) again.
Conditions of your stay in the UK
Your permission to stay will be subject to the following conditions:
- you will have no recourse to public funds (which means that you will be unable to claim most benefits paid by the state);
- you must register with the police if this is required by paragraph 326 of the Immigration Rules;
- you may not be not employed as a doctor in training unless you have obtained a degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK recognised or listed body, or from a licensed sponsor under Tier 4 of the points-based system; and
- you may not be employed as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach).
Tier 1 (General) application fees
Fee if you are applying by post in the UK Fee if you are applying in person inside the UK Fee if you are applying outside the UK Main applicant £1545 £1,920 Not applicable Main applicant (if they are a national of Croatia, Turkey or FYR of Macedonia) £1391 £1,766 Not applicable Partner or child aged under 18 (if they are applying at the same time as the main applicant) £1,159 for each family member included on the main applicant's application form £1,534 for each family member included on the main applicant's application form Not applicable Partner or child aged under 18 (if they are applying later), or child aged over 18 £1545 for each family member £1920 for each family member £840 for each family member
Fees for nationals of Croatia, Turkey and FYR of Macedonia
Nationals of these countries pay a reduced fee as shown above. These countries have ratified the 1961 Council of Europe Social Charter.
How to pay your application fee if you are inside the UK
If you are applying online, you must pay your fee online as part of your application.
If you are applying by post or courier, you can choose how to pay your application fee:
- By cheque in sterling on a UK bank account. The application form will tell you who to make the cheque payable to, you should write your full name and date of birth on the back, and attach the cheque to the front of the completed application form.
- With a UK postal order. You should write your full name and date of birth on the back, and attach the postal order to the front of the completed application form.
- With a credit or debit card - American Express, MasterCard, Visa (including Electron), Delta or Maestro (including Solo). For postal and courier payments, we accept only Maestro cards issued in the UK. You must include the card number, the amount paid, the payer's name as it appears on the card, the 'valid from' and expiry dates, the card verification value (CVV) code, the cardholder's signature and the date. The issue number is also needed for Maestro cards.
If you are applying and paying in person at a public enquiry office, you can choose how to pay your application fee. For applications made in person at a public enquiry office, the total fee includes an additional fee of £375 for each person. This includes a £100 appointment fee, which may be retained should the applicant fail to attend their appointment without good reason. Please check the relevant application form to find out if you can make an application in person.
- With a UK postal order (except at our Glasgow and Cardiff offices). You should write your full name and date of birth on the back.
- By banker's draft (except at our Glasgow and Cardiff offices).
- With a credit or debit card - American Express, MasterCard, Visa (including Electron), Delta or Maestro (including Solo). We can accept any Maestro card for payments at a public enquiry office. You must include the card number, the amount paid, the payer's name as it appears on the card, the 'valid from' and expiry dates, the card verification value (CVV) code, the cardholder's signature and the date. The issue number is also needed for Maestro cards. The cardholder must be present for the payment to be taken.
Payment by any other method is not accepted.
You must send the full amount to cover the total cost of your application. If you do not do this, your application will be invalid and will not be considered. We will return your application and part payment to you.
We start considering the application when the payment has cleared. Payments are cleared:
- after 5 working days for cheques
- after 1 working day for credit or debit cards
- immediately for postal orders
Please note that when making large or multiple payments using your credit card, the anti fraud measures that banks operate sometimes stop the full payment being taken. This is can happen for a number of reasons.
To prevent this you may inform your bank of your intention to make large or multiple payments in advance so that your bank allows the full payment to be taken when you submit your application.
Please be aware that not all banks offer this service.
Payment information on the application form
It is very important that you complete the payment section of the application form correctly. If this section contains errors, we will not be able to process your payment. This will mean that your application is invalid.
Tier 1 (General) - for applications made inside the UK
- Tier 1 (General) application form PDF 945KB opens in a new window
- Tier 1 (General) policy guidance PDF 496KB opens in a new window