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October 16, 2020

Tier 2 General Visa: Changing employers

If a Tier 2 General visa holder wants to change to a new job with a different employer whilst on the Tier 2 General visa, a change of employment application must be made. The visa holder needs to apply for a new Tier 2 visa.

Many workers assume that they can transfer their Tier 2 visa to a new employer. However, this is not the case; the applicant must apply for a new Tier 2 visa.


Requirements for change of employment

To successfully apply for a change of employment, the applicant must:

  • Have a new job offer.
  • Apply for a new certificate of sponsorship (COS) from the new sponsor.
  • Meet all the other point requirements for a new Tier 2 General visa.

The new employer must be a UK licensed sponsor and meet all the requirements for the category that the applicant is applying for. If the new employer does not have a sponsor licence, they will need to apply for one.

The new employer may be required to do a new resident labour market test unless the job is on the shortage occupation list or the applicant will earn more than £159,600. The applicant may not replace a suitable settled worker.

The applicant must receive a new biometric residence permit (BRP). A BRP serves as proof of the applicant’s immigration status, plus right to stay and work in the UK.


Documents required for new Tier 2 General application

To apply for a new Tier 2 visa, the applicant must provide the following documents:

A new certificate of sponsorship from the new employer with a sponsor licence reference number.

The new certificate must confirm:

  • The commencement date of the new COS.
  • The applicant’s personal information and contact details.
  • The sponsor’s full details.
  • The job title, the salary (at least the appropriate rate for the job) and the employment start date.
  • A current passport or travel document with at least one blank page for the visa.


When applying for a Tier 2 visa, applicants must provide:

  • Proof of finances such as an original bank or building society statement.
  • Proof of English language knowledge.
  • Tuberculosis test results.
  • Criminal record certificates.

Applicants applying for change of employment and a new Tier 2 visa are legally required to submit all the above-mentioned evidence for the new application. However, if the applicant is already in possession of a Tier 2 visa, it might not be necessary to re-submit all the supporting evidence if these were provided with the previous Tier 2 application. This will depend on each application, and it is always good practice to have the evidence and supporting documents available.

  • If the applicant’s circumstances have changed, for example, a change in marital status or the birth of a child, marriage/divorce/civil partnership or birth certificates must be provided.

Starting the new job

The applicant may only start at the new job after the application is approved.

The applicant may continue to work for the previous sponsor until the start date on the new certificate of sponsorship if the applicant’s current permission to stay is still valid.

Applicants should not start the new job until they receive their new biometric residence card with the new permission.


You can request consultation from our immigration lawyers over the phone as in person.

Mann’s Solutions is international immigration law firm with offices in London, Hong Kong and Moscow and has expertise in offering UK Visas and Immigration by Investment services to high net worth individuals. Our immigration lawyers regulated by OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).

For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation with our immigration lawyers in London Office, please contact us at or call +44 207 993 63 46.