uk tier1 extention visa

UK Tier1 Extension Visa

The Home Office, the UK government department that deals with immigration matters, has announced that it will stop accepting applications for Tier 1 (General) visa extensions from 6th April 2015.

The Tier 1 (General) visa stream opened in 2008 as a replacement for the Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP). It was part of the new five-tier points based immigration system introduced by the last Labour government.

The Tier 1 (General) visa allowed 'highly skilled migrants' from around the world to come to the UK to live and work for any employer including working for themselves. The initial visa lasted for two years

What is the Tier 1 Visa Extension?

The Tier 1 visa extension allows eligible candidates to apply for an additional period of leave to remain in the UK. Those granted a three (3) year initial Tier 1 visa will receive a two (2) year extension, and those issued with a two (2) year initial visa will be granted a further three (3) years. The Tier 1 visa was introduced to replace the highly skilled migrant programme (HSMP) visa, which was phased out in mid 2008.

Tier 1 extension eligibility

Eligibility for the Tier 1 Visa Extension is assessed using a points based system. Points are awarded on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Academic or professional qualifications
  • Previous earnings
  • Earnings or study experience in the UK

You must also demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself , and any dependents you have. As part of the initial Tier 1 visa application, you had to prove your English language ability, so there are no further requirements for this criteria.

Your previous earnings are particularly important when considering eligibility. If you have already been working in the UK and trading as a limited company, or as part of an umbrella company, you may find it difficult to provide this information. As a firm of chartered accountants, tax experts, independent financial advisors and visa specialists, 1st Contact Visas have the knowledge, experience and expertise to minimise the stress of obtaining your visa.

Qualifying Criteria for the Tier 1 Visa Extension

To qualify for the Tier 1 General Visa Extension you must meet the following criteria:

Primary Points-Scoring Requirements

You must score a minimum level of points to qualify. Points are awarded for your age, qualifications, past earnings and UK experience. The qualifying mark will depend on when you first applied for your Tier 1 General or HSMP Visa.

Find out if you qualify using our Tier 1 Visa Points Calculator. Tier 1 Visa Points Calculator If you score enough points then you can request a free assessment and receive expert advice and guidance from one of our highly experienced Immigration Lawyers.


You will need to show sufficient available funds to evidence your ability to support yourself and your family.

English Language

You will need to evidence your English language ability, either by way of nationality, education to a certain level in specific countries or an English language test such as IELTS or PTE Academic. If you have previously proven your English Language ability, which should be the case, then you will not need to do so again.