Tier 2 migrants and ‘Tier 2 cooling off period
Our clients often ask us about the Tier 2 cooling off period and how it can affect them. Therefore, we have decided to put some answers to the most common questions asked in writing for you as a guidance.
What is a ‘Tier 2 cooling off period’?
If a migrant has been sponsored under Tier 2 and their leave has ended or expired, they must wait 12 months before applying again under any Tier 2 category. This is called the ‘Tier 2 cooling off period’.
How will the cooling off period affect me if I have left the UK?
The cooling off period will affect the migrants if they are outside the UK and their last grant of Tier 2 leave has expired or ended.You will not be able to apply under Tier 2 for the 12 months. You will need to apply for Entry Clearance in another category or, if you have a partner who can obtain sponsorship for job in the UK, you may come back to the UK as their Tier 2 Dependent.
How will the cooling off period affect me if I am still in the UK?
The cooling off period will also affect the migrants if they are in the UK and they had an earlier period of Tier 2 leave, but then switched into a different immigration category and now wish to apply again under Tier 2. You will not be able to apply under Tier 2 again until the 12 months expired since your last Tier 2 leave. You will need to apply for leave to remain in another category.
When does the Tier 2 cooling off period begin?
The Tier 2 cooling off period starts the day after the migrant’s last leave under Tier 2 ended or expired. If the migrant’s earlier grant of leave under Tier 2 was shortened, the cooling off period starts from the day after their shortened period of leave expired – at the end of the 60 calendar days.
What if I left the UK before the period of Tier 2 leave expired?
Where the migrant left the UK before their last period of Tier 2 leave expired, the cooling off period can start earlier than the date their leave expired. You will have to provide the evidence that you left the UK early, such as travel tickets, exit or entry stamps in your passport.
Are there any situations where the Tier 2 cooling off period does not apply to me?
Yes, there are some situations where the 12 months waiting period does not apply!
You do not have to wait for 12 months if you are in the UK and applying for an extension of your existing Tier 2 leave, or where you are applying as a high earner in Tier 2 category – gross salary of £159,600 for a Tier 2 (General) or £120,000 for a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer). You also do not have to wait where you are in the UK and making a change of employment application or you were only in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant with a Certificate of Sponsorship for 3 months or less.