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How Long Can I Stay in the UK on a Tier 2 Visa

One of the most common queries for immigration specialists like us is how long can I stay in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa? In this article we will examine the Tier 2 General Visa in more detail and figure out just how long you can stay in the UK for whilst on this particular visa route.

So how long can you stay in the UK for on a Tier 2 General Visa?

The Tier 2 General Visa gives you an initial period of stay of upto 5 years and 14 days. Means that will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK this is the principal aim many migrants that choose to use the Tier 2 General Visa to travel to the UK and is by far the most common route for non-EEA migrants to enter the UK to live and work.

You can also extend this period upto a maximum of 6 years and this should be sufficient for those that are planning to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) should they choose to do so.

How hard is it to extend a Tier 2 General Visa?

In general as long as you haven't changed employers or job role within the initial visa period then you should have no issues get an extension to your visa. With an extension you should take you up to your five years in the UK so that you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) - if you are experiencing any issues with your extension application then please get in touch and our immigration specialists can help by looking at your case and helping with your application for an extension.

But in general Tier 2 visa extensions are reasonably straightforward and as long as not too many circumstances have changed there should be no reason to panic. If you are concerned then please get in touch and our specialists can help you further with your immigration query.

How hard is it to obtain a Tier 2 General Visa in the first place?

The Tier 2 visa is dependent on several factors, among these are non-negotiables such as a minimum earnings requirement and receiving a certificate of sponsorship (COS) which means that you have a firm offer of employment from a UK based Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. It is these non negotiables which are used to ensure eligibility criteria for would-be migrants and it means that you for match the criteria required for applying for a Tier 2 General Visa.

As well as the earnings requirements and job requirements you would also be required to prove that you have a decent level of English language - there are a few ways to prove this and it may not be necessary depending on your country of origin i.e. a commonwealth country as many of these are English speaking natively and will not require proof.

Can I become a British citizen off of a Tier 2 General Visa?

Not directly no, but if you spend the appropriate 5 years in the UK and you have had less than 540 days in total outside of the UK and more than 90 days in any one year then you will be eligible to apply to become a naturalised citizen once you have spent 12 months of having Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. The process of naturalisation can be tough, but is very worth the benefit of becoming a British citizen and no longer having to worry about immigration controls.

Can I have dependents on a Tier 2 Visa?

Yes, you can have a spouse and dependents, but you will need to be able to prove you have adequate accommodation for them and can afford to support their stay in the UK. This proof will be done by needing to have a higher minimum income and a reasonable level of savings in order to support their stay. For more information on Tier 2 Spousal or Dependant visas please get in touch and our immigration specialists will be able to point you in the right direction to get the information that you need on the subject.

Can I switch from a Tier 2 General Visa to another Visa route?

It is possible to switch from a Tier 2 General visa to some of the other UK visa routes, these are usually going to depend on whether you fit the eligibility criteria for the one that you are looking for. I.e. if you want to switch to a Tier 1 route such as the Investor route, you would need to fit the eligibility criteria for one of that specific route. If you do fit the appropriate eligibility criteria then you should be able to switch. if you are concerned about any change to your eligibility to stay in the UK long-term then please get in touch as every case is slightly different and we would need to look at your case individually to discuss the options with you.

It is not uncommon for people to switch visas to one that is more suitable, or in the case of the Tier 2 General Visa, switch due to a change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or their Sponsor Licence holder losing their eligibility to offer Certificates of Sponsorship. If this has affected you then please get in touch and we'll be happy to discsuss your options.

Where can I go for more help?

Our immigration specialists can assist you with all areas of immigration law, they can help with any and all queries relating to any and all visas. So to have your query looked at or to discuss your requirements then please get in touch today and a member of our team will be more than happy to help you.

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