You can apply to switch from your current visa to a Tier 1 (General) visa if you have permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) in the UK in one of the following categories:
- writer, composer or artist
- self-employed lawyer
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)
You can also extend your existing Tier 1 (General) visa.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements.
You can’t apply for a Tier 1 (General) category visa if you’re outside the UK, and you usually can’t switch to it from other immigration categories. From 6 April 2015 it will be closed to applicants who want to extend their visa.
How much you pay for a Tier 1 (General) visa depends on your circumstances.
|Who’s applying||Applying by post in the UK||Applying in person in the UK||Applying outside the UK|
|You, if you’re a citizen of Croatia, Turkey or Macedonia||£1,552||£1,952||Not available|
How long you can stay
You can extend or switch to a Tier 1 (General) visa for 3 years. However in all cases you’ll be given enough leave to take the total leave granted in Tier 1 (General) to 5 years.
You may be able to apply for settlement once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years.
What you can and can’t do
- work in most jobs in the UK without a sponsor
- be self-employed
- bring family members with you
- get public funds
- work as a professional sportsperson (eg a sports coach)
- work as a doctor in training (unless you have a primary degree at a bachelor’s level or above in medicine or dentistry from a UK recognised body or a licensed sponsor under the Tier 4 visa category)