Tier 2 (General) visa

6. Extend your visa

You may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend. This includes children who have turned 18 during your stay. They’ll also need to submit a separate application.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must have current permission to enter or stay on a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You must also meet the following conditions:

  • you have the same job as when you were issued your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • you’re still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship
  • you’re still earning an ‘appropriate salary’ - read the guidance if you’re not sure

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

How long you can stay

You can apply to extend your visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

Fees

Check the fee for your type of visa.

How to extend your visa

Read the Tier 2 guidance notes before you apply.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

If you’re in the UK you can:

Biometric information

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

You can give your biometric information at:

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

How long it takes

Decisions are made:

You’ll be contacted if your circumstances or application are more complicated, for example if:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • you have a criminal conviction

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

If you change your job

You may need to make a new Tier 2 (General) visa application if:

  • you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer
  • your job changes to a different standard occupation classification (SOC) code, and you’re not in a graduate training programme
  • you leave a job that’s on the shortage occupation list for a job that isn’t on the list

You don’t need to apply again if you stay in the same job, but your job is taken off the shortage occupation list

You won’t need to make a new application if you’ll be staying with your current employer but your job will change in other ways, for example you want to change to a job in the same SOC code, or your pay will increase.

You must have a new certificate of sponsorship and you must meet all other application conditions, but you won’t need to send evidence in support of your application if you’ve sent it for a previous Tier 2 application.

You can continue working for your previous sponsor until the start date on your new certificate of sponsorship if your current permission to stay is still valid.

You should not start your new job until you’ve received your biometric residence permit with your new permission.