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Switching from Tier 1 Entrepreneur to Tier 2

One of the less common ways of gaining a Tier 2 General Visa is to switch to it from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa. Unfortunately, entrepreneurial pursuits don't always work out and it is very possible that if you are in the UK on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you may be able to switch to a Tier 2 General Visa. In this article, we will look at the Tier 2 General Visa, the ways that you can switch to it and what you need to do if you're currently on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa and wish to switch.

Is it possible to switch from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa?

Yes, it is possible to switch from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa. There are many reasons why you might want to do this, but the most usual is that your business that you're here for as an entrepreneur is not quite working out and you are looking for an alternative way to stay in the UK for the long-term.

Unfortunately the life of an entrepreneur isn't always straightforward, and sometimes businesses don't quite take off in this situation. It might be better to switch for a while and build back up again. If you wish to remain in the UK, even though your business hasn't taken off, the Tier 2 General Visa is a good option as you may be able to source a job with a Tier 2 sponsor licence holder quite quickly and settle your status in the UK for the long-term.

How do I switch from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa?

To switch to a Tier 2 General Visa, you will need to source a job from a Tier 2 General Visa sponsor licence holder. The sponsor licence holder will give you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) that you will use as part of your application to verify that you've been offered a job under the scheme.

Once you have your documents in order, you will be able to make an application either in person, or online for a Tier 2 General Visa. Once you have sent the application, you should receive a decision within 8 weeks and can then decide on your future.

What is the eligibility criteria for a Tier 2 General Visa?

The eligibility criteria for a Tier 2 General Visa is as follows ;you must get a job with a Tier 2 General Visa sponsor licence holder. You will also need to ensure that the role makes the minimum wage requirements as required in the guidance. You need to ensure that you have sufficient minimum savings to come to the UK and you will also need to provide enough money if you are planning to bring any dependents to the UK with you as well. You will also need to ensure that your level of English language skill is good and that will potentially need to be proved with the provision of a certificate.

As long as you fit the eligibility criteria for the visa, you should be able to apply for it and get a visa for an initial period of 30 months. The initial 30 months is extendable for another 30 months as well. Added together, the time should see you up to the point where you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which is 60 months. This is a common way for foreigners to come to work in the UK, it is also a common way for people on other visa routes to extend their stay in the UK long-term.

Does my time on a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa count towards my Indefinite Leave to Remain needs?

Yes absolutely! As long as you were in the country during your time on your Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, you will be able to use that time towards your 5 years in the UK that will make you eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). It is this that makes it an attractive prospect for those whose business hasn't quite hit the heights or have had a change in circumstances that needs them to stop working on their business and to work elsewhere.

We understand that for many visa holders, gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is an integral reason for coming to the UK in the first place. With this in mind, it is important to ensure that any changes you make to your visa allows you to keep your time spent in the UK already as part of the deal. This is where switching from a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa is ideal.

If I switch to a Tier 2 General Visa will I lose my rights to have my dependents in the UK?

No absolutely not. While your visa conditions may change, your eligibility to remain in the UK will likely not. As long as you can show that you can support them, which if you are on the right amount of money should not be a problem, then staying in the UK will also not be a problem.

In fact the irony of a Tier 2 General Visa is that as a general rule, the dependent actually gets a better visa than the visa holder themselves. This means that the Tier 2 General Visa is an ideal visa for those who want to come to the UK if they want themselves and their family members to be able to work, live and study in the UK long-term. As long as your eligibility doesn't change, a Tier 2 General Visa is a relatively easy visa to maintain.

Where can I get more help?

For more information on our services or to start using them, please get in touch with our specialist immigration solicitors and we'll be happy to begin working on your case for you.

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Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

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