1. Overview

You can apply to extend or switch your current visa to Tier 1 (General) if you have permission to stay (‘leave to remain’) in the UK in one of the following categories:

You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements.

The Tier 1 (General) category is now closed to applicants who are outside the UK, and to those who are already here and want to switch to it from most other immigration categories.


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 £1,607 £2,007 Not available
You, if you’re a citizen of Croatia, Turkey or Macedonia £1,552 £1,952 Not available
All dependants £1,607 £2,007 £874

How long you can stay

You can extend or switch to a Tier 1 (General) visa for a maximum of 3 years if you applied for a Tier 1 (General) visa on or after 6 April 2010.

You can extend or switch to a Tier 1 (General) visa for a maximum of 2 years if you applied for any of the following visas before 6 April 2010:

  • Tier 1 (General)
  • writer, composer or artist
  • self-employed lawyer
  • HSMP

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

You can:

  • work in most jobs in the UK without a sponsor
  • be self-employed
  • bring family members with you

You can’t:

  • get public funds
  • work as a professional sportsperson (eg a sports coach)
  • work as a doctor in training (unless you have a degree in medicine or dentistry from a UK recognised body or a licensed sponsor under the Tier 4 visa category)

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