This section will contain information regarding the types of work categories available without the need of an employer to sponsor you. Some of the categories lead to a settlement, whilst others can count towards settlement.
If you are currently in the United Kingdom in the old category and your leave is soon to expire, then you would need to apply under the relevant category that you qualify. The highly skilled worker's scheme, renamed as being Tier 1 General, is designed to allow skilled people to come or remain in the United Kingdom to work or do self-employment. Post 6th April 2011, you cannot switch or enter the UK into this category. The extension is now closed and only until 5th April 2018, can you apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years in the UK.
The Home Office will assess what provisions are needed for indefinite leave to remain applications once all extension applications have been processed after April 2015, and will consider making adjustments in a future change to the Immigration Rules. Under the current Rules, however, applications for indefinite leave to remain will no longer be accepted in Tier 1 (General) category from 6 April 2018. Applicants who are currently in the UK and who wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain must submit an application on or before 5 April 2018.
General information on the Tier 1 policy and its previous association with HSMP
From February 2008, all HSMP applications have been submitted under Tier 1 of the new points-based system (PBS) for skilled migration to the UK. The PBS comprises 5 tiers, with each one covering a different level of skill or a specific occupation. Over the course of 2008, the HSMP visa was being phased out and entirely replaced with the Tier 1 visa.
The following will apply to those who are already in the UK and are on the Tier 1 General or HSMP. There is no requirement for you to have an employer. The points are awarded for age, qualifications, your last 12 months earnings, your UK experience, English language, and maintenance funds.
The rule is very restricted and only allows certain people to switch from in-country. The Home Office has stated that the following people can enter this category and they are as follows:
Already in the United Kingdom with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') as a Tier 1 or HSMP migrant.
Already in the United Kingdom as a highly-skilled worker and you want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category;
Already in the United Kingdom under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), you want to extend your permission to stay and you are eligible to switch into the highly skilled worker category.
Want to know more? Read about other UK Visa options: