In July 2010 we witnessed the coalition government’s introduction of a limit on the number of initial applications that the UKBA could issue under Tier 1 (General) of the Points Based System (PBS). The limit will persist until 31 March 2011.
However, existing Tier 1 visas are unaffected by the limit and it does not affect applications from dependents or applications for further leave to remain (extension applications).
The Agency has, thus far, administered the limit, which is in fact the “immigration cap”, on a monthly basis. The UKBA explained that:
“In order to avoid breaching the visa allocation of 600 for November 2010, no further visas for Tier 1 (General) applications will be issued in November. You can still submit an application for Tier 1 (General) during this closure period. However, if your application qualifies against the rules, you will not receive your visa until we begin issuing again on Wednesday 1 December.”
The Agency also announced that there would be delays in issuing visa under Tier 1 (General). It further stated that if applicants chased up why their visas remained unissued then this would delay matters further. These new delays no doubt stem from the policies introduced by the Spending Review and the streamlining of government officials. Entries on downsizing the UKBA are available here and here.
Moreover, it was recorded on the UKBA’s website that:
“If you currently have an outstanding Tier 1 application, there may be a delay in issuing your visa if your application qualifies against the rules. Once we restart issuing visas at the beginning of next month we hope to process applications as quickly as possible. In the meantime we would be grateful if you do not contact us as this is only likely to cause further delays.”
However, the UKBA explained that Tier 1 (General) applicants extending their leave or those who are switching into Tier 1 (General) from another immigration category, will not be affected by the limit imposed on visas in July subsequent to the Coalition government’s rise to power.