Tier 2 (General)
Applying from inside the UK
This page explains how you should apply for permission to remain in the UK under Tier 2 (General) of the points-based system, if you are currently:
- in the UK under Tier 2 (General), and you want to extend your stay in the same category; or
- in the UK under a different immigration category, and you want to 'switch' into Tier 2 (General) - see 'More information' below to find out whether you can switch from your current immigration category.
Before you apply, you should read the Can you apply? pages to find out whether you will score enough points for a successful application.
As part of your application, you will need to enrol your fingerprints and facial image (known as 'biometric information') in order to obtain a biometric residence permit. The Biometric information page explains how to do this.
When should you apply?
You should apply as soon as possible, and before your current permission to stay expires.
The date of your application depends on how you submit your application. See 'More information' below.
How to apply
If you think you are eligible to apply, you can make your application and download the Tier 2 policy guidance by following the link on the right side of this page. You must read the policy guidance before you make your application.
When you have submitted your application form online, you must print out a cover sheet containing the details of your application. You will then need to:
- use our standard service to submit your supporting documents and cover sheet by post or courier, and then enrol your biometric information; or
- use our premium service to enrol your biometric information and submit your supporting documents in person at one of our public enquiry offices, and (in most cases) get a decision about your application on the same day. For more information, see the Applying in person section.
If you submit your supporting documents and cover sheet by post or courier, you must send them to the address on the cover sheet. Documents sent by courier must arrive during normal business hours (08:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays), or receipt cannot be guaranteed.
If you are making any applications for your family members ('dependants') to stay in the UK at the same time as your own application, you can also make their applications on your online application form. We will then consider their applications at the lower application fee.
If you apply using a paper form and you want to make applications for your family members ('dependants') to stay in the UK at the same time, you should send all the applications together in the same envelope. We will then consider your dependants' applications at the lower application fee. If a dependant's application is sent later than or separately from your application, it will be considered in its own right and will be subject to the full application fee.
There are special application requirements if you are currently in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man - see 'More information' below.
Which form should I use?
If you are applying for further permission to stay in the UK under this category you must apply using the Tier 2 application form on the right side of this page.
If you are applying for further permission to stay in the UK and you previously switched into this category under the transitional arrangements you may be able to apply, free of charge, to extend your stay under these arrangements. Please see 'Extension of leave using form T2(W)' for more information.
Can you switch into Tier 2 (General)?
If you currently have permission to stay in the UK under any of the following immigration categories, you can apply to Tier 2 (General) from inside the UK:
- any Tier 1 category
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer: established staff), if you are applying to switch sponsor
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010, if you are applying to change sponsor
- any Tier 4 category
- Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting), for a job as a professional footballer - but you must meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements, including English language
- dependent partner of a Tier 4 migrant
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
- International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
- Business and Commercial work permits (except multiple entry work permits)
- Sports and Entertainment work permits (except multiple entry work permits)
- Jewish agency employee
- Member of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
- minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
- overseas qualified nurse or midwife
- person writing up a thesis
- postgraduate doctor or dentist
- representative of an overseas business
- representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- student re-sitting an examination
- student nurse
- student union sabbatical officer
If you are not in any of these categories, you must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad.
If you are switching from Tier 4 or the former categories of student, student nurse, student re-sitting an examination, overseas qualified nurse, person writing up a thesis, postgraduate doctor or dentist or student union sabbatical officer, you must have lawfully obtained a UK bachelors or masters degree, postgraduate certificate in education or professional graduate diploma of education during your current or last permission to stay (period of continuous leave). This does not include, for example, vocational qualifications at degree level which are not degrees. If you are a PhD student, you do not need to have completed your course, but you must have completed at least 12 months' study towards it in the UK.
You must have obtained one of the named qualifications above:
- at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or one which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the points-based system; and
- during your most recent period of permission to stay, or period of continuous permission to stay that includes your most recent permission to stay - this must have included permission for you to study for the qualification.
- What is the date of your application? (Applying online inside the UK) The application date is the date when you submit your application form and pay your application fee online. Your application wont become valid until your supporting documents are received and your biometric information is enrolled.
What is the date of your application? (Applying by post or courier from inside the UK)
If you send your application form and application fee by post, the date of application is the date of posting. This is decided by the postmark. If the postmark is illegible or missing, the date of postage is taken as being at least 1 day before it is received by us.
If you send your application form and application fee by courier, the date of application is the date when it is delivered to our payment handling service.
What is the date of your application? (Applying in person inside the UK)
If you are applying in person using a paper application form at one of our public enquiry offices, your application date will be the date when you attend the public enquiry office to make your application.
- Withdrawing your application If you want to withdraw your application, you must use the online return of documents form. Your application will not be considered, and we will return your documents to you with no decision. We will not refund the cost of your application if you use this form.
- Duplicate applications If you send more than one application, you will be charged the application fee for each application.
How to pay your application fee if you are inside the UK
If you are applying online, you must pay your fee online as part of your application.
If you are applying by post or courier, you can choose how to pay your application fee:
- By cheque in sterling on a UK bank account. The application form will tell you who to make the cheque payable to, you should write your full name and date of birth on the back, and attach the cheque to the front of the completed application form.
- With a UK postal order. You should write your full name and date of birth on the back, and attach the postal order to the front of the completed application form.
- With a credit or debit card - American Express, MasterCard, Visa (including Electron), Delta or Maestro (including Solo). For postal and courier payments, we accept only Maestro cards issued in the UK. You must include the card number, the amount paid, the payer's name as it appears on the card, the 'valid from' and expiry dates, the card verification value (CVV) code, the cardholder's signature and the date. The issue number is also needed for Maestro cards.
If you are applying and paying in person at a public enquiry office, you can choose how to pay your application fee. For applications made in person at a public enquiry office, the total fee includes an additional fee of £375 for each person. This includes a £100 appointment fee, which may be retained should the applicant fail to attend their appointment without good reason. Please check the relevant application form to find out if you can make an application in person.
- With a UK postal order (except at our Glasgow and Cardiff offices). You should write your full name and date of birth on the back.
- By banker's draft (except at our Glasgow and Cardiff offices).
- With a credit or debit card - American Express, MasterCard, Visa (including Electron), Delta or Maestro (including Solo). We can accept any Maestro card for payments at a public enquiry office. You must include the card number, the amount paid, the payer's name as it appears on the card, the 'valid from' and expiry dates, the card verification value (CVV) code, the cardholder's signature and the date. The issue number is also needed for Maestro cards. The cardholder must be present for the payment to be taken.
Payment by any other method is not accepted.
You must send the full amount to cover the total cost of your application. If you do not do this, your application will be invalid and will not be considered. We will return your application and part payment to you.
We start considering the application when the payment has cleared. Payments are cleared:
- after 5 working days for cheques
- after 1 working day for credit or debit cards
- immediately for postal orders
Please note that when making large or multiple payments using your credit card, the anti fraud measures that banks operate sometimes stop the full payment being taken. This is can happen for a number of reasons.
To prevent this you may inform your bank of your intention to make large or multiple payments in advance so that your bank allows the full payment to be taken when you submit your application.
Please be aware that not all banks offer this service.
Payment information on the application form
It is very important that you complete the payment section of the application form correctly. If this section contains errors, we will not be able to process your payment. This will mean that your application is invalid.
Tier 2 policy guidance
- Tier 2 policy guidance PDF 608KB opens in a new window
Tier 2 - for applications made inside the UK
- Tier 2 application form and help textPDF 707KB opens in a new window