The following is just a writeup about how I applied and got my Tier 1 general visa extended successfully:
I was not selfemployed when I came to the UK for the first time in May 2007. I was working with TechMahindra Limited and they had issued a UK work permit for me. The duration of the WP was for 2 years. I applied for a fresh Tier 1 general around 7 months before my work permit was due to expire which was somewhere in October 2008. The documents required for Tier 1 general were very straight forward as at that time I was not self employed. I got my visa on 6th April 2009. It was for 3 years. Hence my visa was going to expire on 6th April 2012. After 2 years of getting my WP, I went back to India and resigned and came back and searched for a job. I got a long term rolling contract job. For the first year I was under an umbrella company and for the next year starting from 1st Jan 2011, I am self employed. I applied my extension on 5th November 2011 (I did not go via any agent). The following is a time line of my Tier 1 general extension:
Date of application Submission : 05-NOV-2011
Date of acknowledgement letter : 09-NOV-2011
Date of deduction of amount : 10-NOV-2011. Description - VIS "HOME OFFICE" 1500.00
Date Biometric email : 23-NOV-2011, title - "Biometric Appointment Notification", from - ATier2BiometricAc@ukba.gsi.gov.uk
Date Biometric letter : 25-Nov-2011
Date of Biometric appointment : 09-DEC-2011
Date of all documents received : 30-DEC-2011
Date mentioned on the approval letter present in the above documnts bynch - 28-DEC-2011
Date of delivery of biometric card (wife) : 05-JAN-2012
Date of delivery of biometric card (me) : 17-JAN-2012 (Before I received it, I Phoned on 03001232412 (option 1). They said - Biometric card Production delay. Should receive in some days.)
How to book Biometric appointment
Option 1 : Post office : If you do not have any dependants, then you can directly go to any of the post offices mentioned in the following link or follow instructions mentioned in "option 2" below - Biometric via post office
Price - £16.20
Note: When I applied in November 2011, the postoffice option for biometric for applicants with dependants was not available.
Option 2 : UKBA biometric offices: If you have dependants or if you do not have dependants, you can either call on or book appointment online here - Book online appointment for biometric
Note that you need to book an appointment within 16 days of the receipt of the biometric letter. In my case: I live in Hounslow (south-west London) and work in central London. But I couldnt get an quick appointment in london. Hence I booked an appointment in Croydon office. The appointment was after 15 days. I called up on 03001238895 and made sure that 15 days was okay. The UKBA official said that since you booked the appointment as soon as possible and since that was the earliest date you could get, it is fine.
On the day of appointment be there 30 minutes in advance. they will give you a token number and you will be called and they will take finger prints of all the fingers of both the hands. They will also take the picture of your eyes. All this happens within 15 minutes.
Documents for my Tier 1 visa extension:
You can download the form here - Tier 1 general extension application form
I took a coloured printout. It is not mandatory, though.
The following guidance notes are quite helpful - Tier 1 general extension guidance notes
1. Post graduation degree certificate
2. Post graduation passing certificate
3. Post graduation marksheet.
Note: You might not have to submit the above in case of a Tier 1 general extension as you might have already shown your academics during your first Tier 1 application. You can tick the appropriate option in the form (Already proved previously)
English language ability
Special certificate from University of Pune mentioning my degree was taught in English
Note: Same as the above point's note.
Previous Earnings (combination of selfemployment and previous contract employment umbrella company)
1. Employment Letter from umbrella company (your name, company name, location,joining date, end date(if applicable), NI number, signed and on letter head, date)
2. Salary slips (in front of each slip, process date, month ending, invoice total, deposited in hsbc, a/c no, deposit date)
3. Letter from accountant (company name, my name as director,date of birth, NI number,gross income(salary + dividend), net income, from and to perod, split of money,rest the accountant should know)
4. Financial statement (balance sheet signed by me) (accountant should know)
5. HMRC self assesment tax calculation sheet
6. Certificate of incorporation of private limited company
7. Any important letters from HMRC mentioning that you are self employed or regarding your VAT etc.
8. Invoices raised by me
9. Employment Letter from my agent(mentioning my company name, agent's company name, end client name, start date my role, etc..)
10. pay slips from accountant
11. Dividend vouchers from accountant
12. Personal bank statement (highlight with marker - salaries deposited, dividend diposited,personal tax paid)
Note: If you require the details of my accountant(who is based in Aldgate) or Umbrella company want to register with him for your business or limited company, please email email@example.com
Address proof (not sure if required, but I submitted)
House tenancy agreement
Note: You can submit your dependant's bank statements, employee letter, etc..
My wife works but we didn't submit her bank statements etc thinking that the case worker may get confused between her bank statements and mine.
2 photos for main applicant (Name written on the back side)
2 photos for the dependant (Name written on the back side)
You can find the guidance here - Tier 1 general extension photos guide
I paid £1000 (for myself) + £500 (for dependant)
You can pay by cheque, postal order or by card. I payed by providing my debit card details in the application form.
For more details regarding payment options, see the last point in the following link - Tier 1 general extension payment options
Find more information on cost / fees here - Tier 1 general extension fees (see 1st point)
Address where you will post your application to
You can post your application to the address mentioned on the cover of the application form. Do a special and recorded delivery so that you can track your application using the royal mail tracking number.
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