What's The Validity Of My Tier 2 Visa If I Resign?
A Tier 2 General Visa is ideal for those who are looking to come to the UK to live and work, but what happens if you need or want to leave your current employer? Clearly, as you are tied to your employer for your visa, there are going to be some repercussions should you choose to move on. In this article, we are going to look at the repercussions of resigning from your job as a Tier 2 General Visa holder. We will look at your options and offer some alternatives if you wish to leave your job but stay in the UK.
Your notice period for your current job will be defined by the employment contract you have with them. In the vast majority of cases, this period is 1 month. To satisfy the rules attached to the Tier 2 General Visa, you must wait until you have your new Biometric Residence Permit before starting your new job. Due to the time required to gain a new Biometric Residence Permit and the mandatory notice period you have to give to your current employer, it can take quite a while for you to switch jobs.
As your work visa is tied to your current employer, theoretically you could have problems as you near the end of your time with them. While highly unethical, it is not unheard of for there to be issues at the end of a period of employment for Tier 2 General Visa holders.
In the majority of cases, the best way to handle the situation, if you want to leave your employer but remain in the UK, is to gain another job with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. You are able to switch employers at any stage on a Tier 2 General Visa but you have to apply for a new visa after receiving a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your prospective employer. You will need to apply for a new Tier 2 General Visa in exactly the same way you applied for your original one.
Once you have received your new visa, you will need to wait until the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship (and receive your Biometric Residence Permit) to start your new role. In an ideal world the gap between jobs would be as small as possible to avoid any future issues.
See also 'How switching companies can affect Tier 2 visa sponsorship' here.
Leaving The Country
If you choose to leave your employer without a replacement visa then you will have to leave the country. There is little in the way of options for those who have no visa. Of course if you have gained Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will not need another visa but otherwise you will need to leave the country within 60 days or the end date on your visa, whichever is earlier. As well as having to leave the country, you will also have to wait for 12 months before applying for another Tier 2 Visa.
If you are looking for alternatives then you will likely need to find a new Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder to apply for a new Tier 2 General Visa or find an alternative visa route to stay in the UK.
Related article: Read also 'How to find sponsor licenced employers in the UK'
In the case of your resignation and not having a replacement visa, you will need to leave the country. Your employer has 10 days to inform the Home Office that your employment has ended. Shortly after your employer has informed the Home Office, you will receive advice from them stating you must leave the country within 60 days or by the end date on your visa (whichever is earlier). You may be wondering about your options to appeal, but it is often far easier to spend your remaining time looking for a new job and maintaining your conditions that way.
Getting More Help
If you need help with what to do after leaving your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder then please get in touch. Often people feel like they have no options, which is rarely the case. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced immigration solicitors to help you to decide on your next step.