The last two weeks had been a little stressful in a completely unplanned way. It all started early last week when I received an email stating that the Home Office had changed the requirements for the tier 1 (general) visa.
…tighten new criteria against which highly skilled migrants seeking entry to the United Kingdom are judged, by raising the qualifications and salary required for tier 1 (General) of the PBS to a Master’s degree and a minimum salary of £20,000
What this meant was that after 1st April 2009, the minimum education requirement for Tier 1 is a Master’s degree as well as a minimum salary of 20,000 per year. It was the first bit that threw me out completely, as with only a Bachelor’s degree and no likelihood of attaining one in 3 months this will take me out of the running completely.
It dawned on me that unless I would like to have any chance of staying within the UK beyond July I will need to virtually rip myself away from my job, my home and head home as soon as I can. It took the next few days to go through all the the different stages from denial, anger to hope. It wasn’t the best 48 hours of my life, but I am hopeful that I have enough points to apply for the visa under the old system.
I was appalled at how quickly they were planning to make the changes, and not happy at all that no further information was available regarding the new requirements. In a lot of ways it felt like a knee jerk response to the economic downturn and I wonder whether they will reverse it in the next three years.
If you are reading this and are thinking of switching to the Tier 1 visa, but do not have a Master’s degree it might be an idea to start thinking whether it would be of benefit to apply for your Visa before the 1st of April 2009. Yes, it’s a nightmare, but it does give you the chance to stay for longer in the UK.