Understanding the Tier 2 cooling-off period

The Tier 2 cooling-off period was introduced to prevent abuse of the Tier 2 work sponsorship visa route as well as to protect settled workers in the UK. The Tier 2 cooling-off period is an immigration rule that prohibits Tier 2 workers who last had Tier 2 leave from applying for another Tier 2 visa for a period of 12 months. However, there are some exemptions to the Tier 2 cooling-off period. 

What is the Tier 2 cooling-off period?

The Tier 2 cooling-off period prevents skilled workers from applying for Tier 2 work visas if they had entry clearance or leave to remain as a worker in the 12 month period immediately before the date of their application. There are a number of exemptions to the Tier 2 cooling-off period rules (see below).

Does the Tier 2 cooling-off period apply if your switching visa categories?

The Tier 2 cooling-off period does not apply if your switching visa categories. For example, if you were previously endorsed under a Tier 2 General work visa and you decided to leave the UK indefinitely, there is no prohibition for Applicants who wish to return within 12 months under a Tier 1 investor, Tier 1 start-up or Tier 1 innovator visa.

When does the Tier 2 cooling-off period start?

In most cases, the Tier 2 cooling-off period is effective from the expiry date of the Tier 2 visa or when the worker surrenders the Tier 2 visa and leaves the UK with the intention of not returning. It is important the Home Office is informed otherwise there is likely to be a clash in dates for future applications and the Tier 2 cooling-off period. This is a common ground for refusal and could be problematic. If you left the UK before the expiry of your work visa the onus will be on you to prove when you departed the UK. Therefore, you may wish to submit the following in a fresh application:

  • Travel tickets or boarding passes (if the Sponsor updated the SMS portal terminating the employment); or
  • Entry and departure stamps in the passport; or
  • If you started work with an overseas employer a letter confirming your start date; or
  • Any other evidence that shows you was not in the UK.

In circumstances where the Sponsor has curtailed the Tier 2 visa, the cooling-off period will start 60 days from the date of the curtailment.

What are the Tier 2 cooling-off period exemptions?

The Tier 2 cooling-off period test is applied strictly and the Home Office rarely exercises discretion on this controversial requirement. From the Home Offices’ perspective it is a question of fact with no excuses unless one the following exemptions apply:

  • You are applying as a Tier 2 high earner and your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) confirms your gross annual salary is £159,000 or higher; or
  • You are applying the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Long Term Staff route and you were previously granted leave under the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer, or under the Tier 2 (ICT) Rules in place before 6 April 2011; or
  • You are applying under the Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer route and your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) confirms your gross annual salary is £120,000 or higher; or
  • You were only in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant for a short period or you were assigned a CoS for 3 months or less.

My work visa has been curtailed can I switch without worrying about Tier 2 cooling-off period?

There are a number of different options for workers who have had their Tier 2 visa curtailed by their employers. In the vast majority of Tier 2 curtailment cases, the workers are not at fault as the issue is normally with their employers who may no longer be in a position to continue the Tier 2 Sponsorship due to the revocation of Tier 2 sponsor license. In most cases, workers will be given 60 days from the date of the curtailment notice to sort out their future. You may apply for another Tier 2 job from within the UK and the Tier 2 cooling-off period will not apply. However, if you decide to leave the UK the Tier 2 cooling-off period will apply and you must wait 12 months before submitting a fresh application.

How our immigration solicitors can help with Tier 2 visa applications?

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in Tier 2 General visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard ensuring successful results. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of different small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The key to submitting a successful Tier 2 application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. You must be aware of the Tier 2 cooling-off period if you are an experienced worker and applying for a new visa. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful Tier 2 visa extension application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to apply for a Tier 2 application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications, which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Tier 2 applications with our Immigration Solicitors in London

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of submitting a Tier 2 visa application before your application even reaches, the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a Tier 2 visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration Rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss a Tier 2 application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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