Extending a Tier 2 (General) visa as of January 2021

The process of extending a Tier 2 (General) visa was changed as of December 2020 when the Tier 2 (General) visa was replaced with the Skilled Worker visa. Workers that hold a Tier 2 visa can apply for an extension of their visa but this will now be through the new Skilled Worker category. An application to extend your visa will be granted subject to you meeting the eligibility criteria for a Skilled Worker visa.

Requirements to extend your visa

In order to extend your Tier 2 visa (or Skilled Worker visa) you must apply before your current visa expires and satisfy all the following conditions: 

  • You have the same job as when you were previously granted your visa 
  • You are working in the same occupation code as when you were previously granted your visa
  • You are still working for the same employer that provided you with your current certificate of sponsorship
  • You are within the UK when applying for your extension and whilst the application is being processed

Additionally, you will need to meet the minimum salary requirement, this will depend on when you got your certificate of sponsorship for your first Tier 2 visa application:

If you were granted your certificate of sponsorship before 24th November 2016

If you apply to extend your visa before 24th May 2023 the minimum required salary you must be getting is £20,800 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for your job is higher than this.

If you were granted your certificate of sponsorship on or after 24th November 2016

If you apply to extend your visa before 1st December 2026 you will still be subject to the minimum salary requirement but your salary can include certain allowances such as London weighting

Process of applying for an extension of a Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa

You are allowed to apply for an extension of your visa online 60 days before your current visa is set to expire. Before applying for an extension the worker must pay the application extension fee and pay the NHS Immigration Health Surcharge. 

Once the relevant fees have been paid and the online application has been completed you will be asked to confirm and prove your identity. This will be either by giving your fingerprints at a UKVCAS service point or using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity document.

When applying for an extension of a worker visa, the sponsoring employer must provide a new certificate of sponsorship to the worker. This certificate of sponsorship is essential when completing the Home Office application. Furthermore, you must apply for the extension of visa within 3 months from the date when the new certificate of sponsorship is issued or before the existing visa expires. Whichever is sooner.

It usually takes the Home Office 8 weeks to process your application but this may be longer if your supporting documents need to be verified, you need to attend an interview or your personal circumstances.

Documents required for the extension of a Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa

The documents that will need to be included in an application to extend the visa will be dependent on each applicant. However, the general list of documents usually includes:

  • Newly issued certificate of sponsorship’s reference number 
  • Valid passport with blank pages for a new visa 
  • Any expired passports to prove immigration history
  • Your current visa/ residency card
  • Proof you know the English language
  • National insurance number
  • Bank statements to prove personal savings 

How can we help at NA Law Solicitors?

If you are currently on a Tier 2 visa and it’s soon coming to an end, please contact us to get expert advice and assistance on how we can help you extend your legal stay in the UK, through an extension of a Tier 2 visa or any other options that you may be eligible for.

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