If you are considering an application for extension or for Tier 1 General Settlement you should do so as soon as possible. However be aware that your application will go through extra scrutiny as you will need to prove that both your current and previous earnings are genuine (‘genuine earnings test’) else you will risk refusal.
Those who are self employed need to be extra cautious as it will no longer be sufficient to simply provide their payslips and bank statements to evidence their earnings. They will need to satisfy the Home Office that the earnings are “genuine”, proving which can involve significantly more paperwork and in some instances an interview.
If you have been in the UK on a Tier 1 General visa, and if you meet the following requirements you can apply for settlement also known as ‘permanent residence’ and ‘indefinite leave to remain’.
Your residence in the UK must be continuous and unbroken during the previous 5 years. This means that you can only be outside the UK for up to 180 days in any 12 months during that time.
You can include time spent in the UK in one of the following visa categories to fulfill the 5 years residency requirement:
You will need to score 75 points from Appendix A, Table 2 of the Immigration Rules if you held 1 of these visas before 6 April 2010:
You will have to score 75 points from Table 3 of the Appendix A of the Immigration Rules if you have been in the UK on one of the following visas between 6th April 2010 and 19th July 2010:
You will have to score 80 points from Table 3 of the Appendix A of the Immigration Rules if you haven not been any of these visas and were given the Tier 1 General visa on or after 19th July 2010.