Virginia, US

Feb 21 2018

Reminder: Deadline Approaching for Indefinite Leave to Remain Applications Under Tier 1 (General) Category

United Kingdom

At a Glance

Foreign nationals in the United Kingdom under the Tier 1 (General) visa category will no longer be allowed to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after April 5, 2018.

The situation

UK Visas and Immigration will no longer accept Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications from Tier 1 (General) visa holders after April 5, 2018.  

A closer look

  • Background.
    • The Tier 1 (General) visa was a self-sponsored visa category reserved for highly skilled foreign nationals. The category was closed to new applicants in 2011, but those already holding a Tier 1 (General) visa were permitted to renew their status as a transitional measure until April 5, 2015.
    • Those with  ILR can remain in the United Kingdom for an unlimited amount of time and may become eligible for British citizenship.
  • ILR eligibility. A Tier 1 General migrant may apply for ILR if:
    • S/he has have been a lawful resident in the United Kingdom for five continuous years;
    • S/he  has passed the ‘Life in the UK’ test;
    • S/he has not been outside the United Kingdom for more than 180 days in any 12 month period; and
    • S/he scores a sufficient number of points in the Points Based System (supported by documents) across a range of criteria including age, English language knowledge, education and earnings.


Impact on foreign nationals

Foreign nationals holding a Tier 1 (General) visa who plan to seek ILR must check that they will meet the requirements and submit their ILR application before the deadline.

Impact on employers

Employers should be tracking the expiry dates of any employees with time limits on their ability to remain in the United Kingdom and remind any existing Tier 1 (General) employees of the approaching deadline. Any migrants who have already applied should be required to routinely update their employer with the status of their application for right to work purposes.

Recent trends in ILR refusals

Fragomen has seen an increase in the number of refusals of ILR applications for applicants relying on periods of self-employment based on misrepresenting their tax liability to HMRC and therefore being considered a person deemed undesirable to be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom.

A refusal of an ILR application will almost certainly affect an individual’s right to work in the United Kingdom.

More information

For more information, access the blog post on this topic.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to