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Tier 2 Change of Employment

What if I change jobs – Tier 2 change of employment

If you are present in the UK under a Tier 2 General visa, you must be sponsored by an employer. But what happens if you change jobs during your stay in the UK? Does this mean automatic revoking of your immigration status?

Thankfully, no. There are provisions in place for Tier 2 visa workers to change employers and maintain their Tier 2 (General) visas. You will, not surprisingly, have to get your new employer to agree to sponsor you. Not only does this give tier 2 migrants the freedom to seek better work and the benefits of their growing experience, it allows UK employers access to highly trained people who are already present in the country.


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I’m changing employers

If taking a job with a new company, you must always make an application for further leave to remain in the UK. Your new employer must act as sponsor for the application.

The role itself must have either have been advertised or must appear on the Shortage Occupation List. It must also pay at least £155,300 per annum. There must also be a showing that no suitable, already settled workers can take the position.

Note that if you are changing company under TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings {Protection of Employment} Regulations), there is a special procedure that you must follow. If this is the case, ask an expert for advice.

I’m changing jobs at the same employer

Interestingly enough, you may have to go through the Tier 2 Change of Employment process even if you stay with the same employer, but the nature or title of your job changes substantially.

If the new job is still within the same occupational classification according to the Home Office, you will not need to apply for further leave to remain. Make sure you check not just the occupation list provided by the Home Office, but also the Codes of Practice. However, if it is truly within the same classification, your sponsor need only notify the Home Office via the Sponsor Management System.

If the new position is listed under a different classification, a new application must be made. The requirements are the same as for taking a job with a new company, in that the job must have been advertised, no settled workers are available to take it, and it must pay £155,300 PA or more.

Can I start the new job right away?

Not if you had to reapply. You must wait until your application has been approved to begin work in a job of another classification, or with a different employer. Failure to do so is a violation of the terms of your visa and could threaten your immigration status.

However, you can continue working at your previous job until the date your new employer listed on the new Certificate of Sponsorship.

Will changing my job in this way re-set the 5-year wait before I can file for ILR status?

No. Your 5 years of continuous Tier 2 (General) need not be with the same employer, or in the same position. All such time is cumulative unless it was interrupted by some other immigration status.

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