Under the Tier 2 (General) route, the initial visa is granted for a maximum of 3 years. If applicants are employed in the UK under the Tier 2 (General) visa, the amount of time they may remain in the UK is limited. If applicants wish to be granted further leave to remain in the UK after the visa has expired, they need to apply for a Tier 2 visa extension which can last 2 years.
Applicants already in the UK on Tier 2 (General) visa may extend their visa before it expires. Applications cannot be made to extend the Tier 2 (General) visa from outside the UK. Extensions will depend on whether the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria under the visa category, which is employment in a qualifying role at the required salary and for a sponsoring employer. This must be evidenced in the extension application.
Applicants must have a new certificate of sponsorship for the extension application and meet all application requirements. If the applicant’s visa is set to expire during their period of employment, it is their responsibility to apply to the UKVI for an extension or for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
Applicants can include any dependents on their current visa on their extension. This includes children who have turned 18 during their stay who will also need to submit a separate application.
As part of our visa extension service, we will provide full support with application preparation for submission to the Home Office, ensuring complete guidance throughout the entire process. Our dedicated Immigration lawyers have an established reputation for providing expert, effective and efficient management and processing of all UK visa applications, extensions and advice for UK settlement options.
Eligibility Criteria visa extension under the same employer
Tier 2 visa holders may extend their visa provided that the requirements set in the Immigration Rules.
Applicants should have current permission to enter or stay on a Tier 2 (General) visa.
This includes having the same job as when the previous permission to enter or stay in the UK was issued, with the same employer who assigned the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
Immigration UK provide comprehensive advice on meeting all the requirements for extension of Tier 2 (General) applications.
Change of Employment applications
If applicants change their employer, their new employer will need to issue them a new CoS before they can make their new application.
If applicants are changing roles but staying employed by the same sponsor, they may also need to make a change of employment application where:
- Their core duties change such that a different Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code applies, or
- Under TUPE (or similar) protection, applicants change jobs where the new one is in the same SOC code, but their new salary is less than the required rate as shown in the relevant code of practice; or
- There is a change to their core duties where they changed jobs from one which is currently on the shortage occupation list, to a job which is not on that list; or
- Their pay reduces from the level indicated on their current CoS, rather than changes due to company-wide reductions defined as acceptable in the Sponsor Guidance, or reductions due to maternity, paternity, adoption leave, and/or sick leave lasting a month or more; or
- Changes to their core duties which means their job changes within the same SOC code, provided their pay remains above the acceptable rate for the new job.
- Applicants are permitted to submit their extension application up to 60 days before the current visa is due to expire.
- Super Priority Service may be available for visa extension which should allow for a decision to be made within 1 working day.
- Priority Service may be available for visa extension which should allow for a decision to be made within 5 working days.
- Standard processing times for visa extension applications is approximately 8 weeks.
- Applicants may be contacted if their application is complicated and can take longer if authorities require that they attend an interview, if any supporting documents require verification, or due to personal circumstances e.g. criminal convictions.