As a Work Permit holder it is possible to apply for an extension to your visa prior to it expiring. The qualifying criteria differ depending on whether you are a Tier 2 General migrant or a Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer migrant. Details of these requirements are provided below.

Tier 2 General Visa Holders

Depending on when you were issued with your Tier 2 General visa, you may be eligible for an extension to your visa. Tier 2 General migrants who were issued a visa after 6 April 2012 will be subject to a maximum period of leave for six years.

To make an application for a Tier 2 visa extension you must:

  • Make your application from within the UK;
  • Have a new certificate of sponsorship from your employer and the certificate must confirm that an extension is sought for the same job for the same sponsor/employer.

Please note that a Resident Labour Market Test is not required for an extension application.

Provided that you make your extension application prior to your visa expiry date, you can continue to work for your employer while your extension application is pending.

Extension applications under the Tier 2 General category will be granted a period of 3 years.

Important Information
For Tier 2 General migrants who obtained visa from April 2012, the maximum period of time you can stay in the UK for on this visa is 6 years. If you do not obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) during this time, you will not be able to extend your stay in this category and will be expected to serve a 12 month cooling off period before applying for ILR again. Note that this does not apply if you switch to another category.

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Tier 2 ICT Visa Holders

Depending on when you were issued with a visa, you can apply for an extension of leave provided that you have not spent the maximum time permitted in this route (5 years). To make an application for an extension visa you must:

  • Make your application from within the UK;
  • Have a new certificate of sponsorship from your employer;
  • Meet the English language requirement if you are extending in the long-term sub-category and the application will extend your total stay beyond 3 years.

Please note that a Resident Labour Market Test is not required for an extension application.

Provided that you make your extension application prior to your visa expiry date, you can continue to work for your employer while your extension application is pending.

Extension applications under the Tier 2 ICT category will be granted periods of leave as follows:

  • Up to a maximum period of 12 months if extending in the short term ICT category
  • 3 years if your last visa issued was as an ICT work permit holder
  • 2 years if your last visa was issued before 6 April 2011 as a Tier 2 ICT migrant
  • 2 years if your last visa was issued from 6 April 2011 as a Tier 2 Long term migrant

Important Information

As a Tier 2 ICT migrant you will be permitted leave in the UK for a maximum period of 5 years. After this period you are expected to leave the UK and serve a 12 month cooling period. You should note that the ICT route dues not lead to settlement in the UK unless you have spent a continuous period of leave in the UK as an ICT migrant under the rules in place before 6 April 2010 or as a qualifying work permit holder for a period of 5 years.

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