Tier 2 Work Visa Extension
The Skilled Worker visa, once known as the Tier 2 general visa, can be extended or renewed before it expires if you still meet the UK Skilled Worker visa requirements. After spending 5 continuous years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
At UVSUK, we recommend submitting your Skilled Worker visa / Tier 2 visa extension application as soon as possible before it expires. The earliest you can apply is 60 days before your current visa’s expiry date. Even after your visa expires, you can stay in the UK lawfully while UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) consider your case, as long as you’ve applied before expiry.
Unlike the old Tier 2 (General) visa, there’s no 6-year maximum stay rule for Skilled Worker visas. You can renew your visa as many times as you want.
Skilled Worker Visa Extension Requirements
To apply for an extension, you must meet these requirements:
- Still in the same job with the same employer as before
- The occupation code hasn’t changed
- You have a new UK Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the extended period
- Your employer has a valid UK sponsorship license
- You earn at least £25,600 (£10.10 per hour) or the ‘going rate’ for your job.
Salary requirements are lower if you have a Ph.D. in a STEM subject, are in a shortage occupation, or if you’re under 26, studying, a recent graduate, or in professional training.
Tier 2 General Visa Extension Requirements
Since the Tier 2 general visa is closed, you can extend it under the Skilled Worker visa route with similar criteria. Specific rules apply based on when your CoS was issued:
- CoS before 24th November 2016: Extend by 23rd May 2023, annual salary of £20,800 or higher.
- CoS on or after 24th November 2016: Renewal extensions before 1st December 2026 need to meet the new Skilled Worker visa salary requirements, but can include guaranteed allowances like London weighting. The minimum salary (£25,600) is lower than the £30,000 required previously.
Skilled Worker Visa Extension Cost
The costs for extending a Skilled Worker visa are:
- Up to 3 years: £719 per person
- More than 3 years: £1,423 per person
- Immigration healthcare surcharge: £624 (£470 if under 18) per person yearly, granting full access to UK healthcare.
What Happens After Extending Your Skilled Worker Visa?
After extending, you can further extend your stay or apply for ILR after 5 continuous years in the UK. ILR frees you from immigration control, letting you change jobs without UKVI permission and apply for UK citizenship after 12 months.
At UVSUK, we’re here to help you navigate the complexities of extending your Skilled Worker visa. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!