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Can I Change My Employer as a Tier 2 General Visa Migrant and How?

The Tier 2 General Visa is probably the UK's most popular visa route. It's lack of specialisation means that many people can become eligible to apply for it. Though you must earn a minimum amount of money to qualify to apply for the Tier 2, it is one of the UK's easier visa routes to join and therefore is heavily subscribed. But what if you want to change employer while you're in the UK on a tier 2 General Visa? What are your options in this situation? In this article, we're going to look at the Tier 2 General Visa in a little more detail and look at the options for those who wish to switch jobs and the way in which they can do so if they're already here on a Tier 2 General Visa.

Can I change my employer while in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa?

Yes, you are able to change employer whilst you're in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa. There are many reasons as to why you would want to switch employer, perhaps you've been offered a better role somewhere else, or the company that you work for now is struggling, whatever the reason, you are able to move employer whilst in the UK. You must ensure that you follow the set process to ensure an easy transition between employers, failure to do so could harm your prospects and ability to remain in the UK.

It is important that you handle this situation with care, your current employer could theoretically make life a little awkward for you if you're planning to leave. If you are unsure of where you stand, please get in touch with our immigration specialists who can help you with your situation and ensure that your transition from one employer to another is as smooth as possible.

How do I go about changing my visa when I am going to move to a new employer?

Moving to a new employer while in the UK is barely any different to making a brand new application for a Tier 2 General Visa. You will still need to gain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your new would-be employer and then lodge an application to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) much the same as you did when you first came to the UK. The only real difference is that you will be able to keep the time that you've already earned in the UK as part of your 5 years if you're looking at Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as your end target.

You will still need to ensure you hit all of the relevant eligibility criteria that you did the first time round and as we say, very little has actually changed, you are essentially applying to start over again but you will be able to keep the time you've already earned. This process can be a daunting one and if you need some help and advice, please get in touch with our specialist tier 2 immigration solicitors and we'll be more than happy to help.

Will I lose my time earned towards my 5 years in the UK for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) ?

No, the time you already have in the UK will still be eligible to be used for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application further down the line. For many people, this is the big concern about moving between employers when on a Tier 2 General Visa, but rest assured this is not the case. we understand there's a lot of poor information that goes around about the Tier 2 General Visa and if you are looking to get solid advice, please get in touch and our immigration specialists can help to point you in the right direction.

We appreciate that for most people, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is the ultimate aim of their stay in the UK and this is the reason why the time already earned can be used for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application. It would be wholly unfair for people who have spent time in the UK paying taxes and keeping on the right side of the law to be punished because they wanted to change their employer, and for this reason the rights are retained.

Will I have to apply again for my dependents?

Yes, you would need to apply again for your dependents as part of your new application much like you did the first time round when you applied to live in the UK. They, like you, will also get a new Biometric Residence Permit and will be given the same amount of time as you are in order to live and work in the UK. They too will retain their time already earned in the UK to put towards an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application and none of their other rights will be affected.

This is another area of contention for many people, but please rest assured that your dependents will be treated exactly the same as they were the first time round, but will retain their rights for the time that they have earned during their stay in the UK for an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application and your change of employer would not affect their long-term prospects. If you are concerned about your dependents who are on your Tier 2 General Visa application, please get in touch and our immigration specialist can help you.

Where can I get more help?

If you need more help with a Tier 2 General Visa enquiry, or indeed any other immigration related enquiry then please get in touch. Our experienced immigration solicitors have a wealth of knowledge that they can put to use to help you with your situation. So don't panic, get in touch and let our experts help you with your case.

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Kind regards
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