How to Extend the Tier 2 Visa
The Tier 2 visa is a form of work visa for non-EEA citizens who hold a skilled job.
The Tier 2 visa lasts for a maximum of five years and 14 days, or one month after the time which is shown on your certificate of sponsorship, whichever comes first.
When your Tier 2 visa expires you could be eligible for a Tier 2 visa extension, as long as you meet certain requirements.
Bear in mind that the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa and the Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa have slightly different requirements in comparison to the Tier 2 (General) visa. The Tier 2 (General) visa extension will be the main focus of this article.
Tier 2 Visa Extension Requirements
The main Tier 2 visa extension requirement is based around your working situation.
You must be able to show that you are in employment in a skilled profession, and that you are sponsored by your employer who intends to extend your employment.
You need to be able to show that:
- You have the same job as when you were granted permission to enter or stay in the UK
- You are still working for the same employer who assigned your original Certificate of Sponsorship
- You are still be earning what is deemed to be an appropriate salary for your role
- You meet a certain level of English language ability
Other points to consider with a Tier 2 visa extension application:
- You must have a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer as part of your application
- You cannot apply for a Tier 2 visa extension if applying from outside the UK, if you are changing employment, or switching from another category
- You will be required to provide biometric details for both yourself, and any dependants
- A resident labour test is not required for a Tier 2 visa extension
- Tier 2 Visa Extension Requirements
- Tier 2 Visa Extension Salary Requirements
- English Language Requirements
- Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Visa Extension
- Tier 2 Visa Extension Documents Required
- UK Tier 2 Visa Extension Fees
- How Long Can I Stay in the UK with a Tier 2 Visa?
- Tier 2 Visa Extension Processing Time
Tier 2 Visa Extension Salary Requirements
The minimum salary requirement depends on the particular job, and the appropriate rate for that role.
Generally speaking, the minimum salary requirement is £30,000. However, if the appropriate rate for your job is higher, that particular rate will be the minimum salary requirement.
Official Home Office documents state that only guaranteed gross basic pay (excluding overtime) and allowances which are guaranteed to be paid for the duration of the employment will be considered towards the minimum salary requirements.
There could be certain exemptions depending upon the nature of your employment. For more information, take a look at the recently revised official government Tier 2 policy document.
English Language Requirements
Applicants need to be able to show that they meet at least the B1 level of English as set out by the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework for Language Learning.
A test must be taken to prove a B1 level of English, unless an applicant falls under one of the following categories:
- Was given permission to stay in Tier 2 (General) under rules in place before 6th April 2011 and has not been granted with an extension through any other route
- Is applying for a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa extension (more below)
- Is a national of a majority English-speaking country
- Has studied a degree or higher qualification in English at a recognised institution in the UK or abroad
- Has exceptional circumstances such as a long-term illness or disability
- Is working as a doctor, dentist, nurse or midwife and passed an English language assessment which was accepted by the relevant professional regulatory body
Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Visa Extension
The Intra-company Transfer visa is a slightly different form of a Tier 2 visa, and it can also be extended.
This Tier 2 visa is offered to non-EEA citizens who have been offered a position within the UK branch of an overseas company.
There are two forms of the Intra-company Transfer visa: the ‘Long-term staff’ and ‘Graduate Trainee’ – both can be extended.
The applicant must meet the following requirements when applying for an Intra-company Transfer visa:
- Have the same or a similar job to the one which they worked when they received their previous visa
- Still be working for the employer who provided the Certificate of Sponsorship
- Still be earning an appropriate salary
- Already be living in the UK
Those on the Long-term Staff visa can stay in the UK for a maximum of five years. However, if you earn more than £120,000 per year, you can stay in the UK for up to nine years.
Those on the Graduate Trainee visa can extend their stay in the UK if the original visa was for less than twelve months. The Graduate Trainee visa can only be extended up to a maximum of a further twelve months.
Tier 2 Visa Extension Documents Required
In order to make a Tier 2 visa extension application, you will need to provide certain documents and information including:
- Your current visa
- National insurance number
- Proof of B1 level of English (unless exempt)
- Reference number of Certificate of Sponsorship
- Current valid passport or travel document
- Any expired passport
- Two passport photos
- Biometric information for yourself, and any dependants
UK Tier 2 Visa Extension Fees
The cost of the Tier 2 visa extension depends on which Tier 2 visa you fall under.
Up to 3 years:
|Who for?||Extension Cost|
|If you’re a citizen from Turkey or Macedonia||£649|
|All dependants||£704 pp|
Shortage occupation – up to 3 years
|Who for?||Extension Cost|
|If you’re a citizen from Turkey or Macedonia||£409|
|All dependants||£464 pp|
More than 3 years
|Who for?||Extension Cost|
|If you’re a citizen from Turkey or Macedonia||£1,353|
|All dependants||£1,408 pp|
Shortage occupation – more than 3 years
|Who for?||Extension Cost|
|If you’re a citizen from Turkey or Macedonia||£873|
|All dependants||£928 pp|
How Long Can I Stay in the UK with a Tier 2 Visa?
You can extend the Tier 2 visa for up to a further five years, as long as the extension doesn’t exceed the maximum total stay of six years.
When your Tier 2 visa expires, you will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
Tier 2 Visa Extension Processing Time
It takes around eight weeks for the Home Office to process standard applications.
At a cost of £500, you can receive a decision on your application within five working days of your UKVCA appointment through the priority service.
For £800. you can receive a decision by the end of the working day after your UKVCA appointment through the super priority service (or two working days after a weekend appointment).
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