(click here for a table of transitional arrangements for Tier 2 & 5)
Following the introduction of Tier 2 under the points based scheme (PBS) on 27 November 2008, a number of immigration categories have been abolished. The UK Border Agency has implemented transitional arrangements for those overseas nationals currently residing in the UK in a category that no longer exists.
Overseas nationals currently in the UK are permitted to remain in the UK under the terms of their existing leave to remain, for the duration of their current approval, providing they continue to meet the terms of the leave, e.g. work permit holders may remain in the UK for the duration of their existing permit providing they remain in the employment specified on the work permit.
Overseas nationals that have already been granted entry clearance abroad, but have not yet entered the United Kingdom will still be able to enter the UK and complete the full period of leave.
Overseas nationals granted leave of more than six months will still be permitted to travel in and out of the UK for the duration of their stay. However, those overseas nationals that have been granted less than six months will not be able to re-enter under one of the abolished categories. They will be required to submit a fresh application for entry under the new requirements of the points-based system.
Overseas nationals issued with a work permit under the old scheme are permitted to apply for leave to enter or remain under the immigration rules relating to work permits, within six months of the date of issue of the approval letter or permit.
Overseas nationals currently on a multiple entry work permit will not be permitted to extend or change their status, and after their current leave expires must return to their normal country of residence and make a fresh application under the PBS.
In addition, there are no transitional arrangements for the following categories:
- the working holidaymaker scheme;
- the Japan: Youth Exchange scheme;
- gap year entrants working in United Kingdom schools concession.
Overseas nationals can apply under the transitional arrangements in place for Tier 2 and Tier 5 providing:
- they are currently in the United Kingdom; and
- they have a Tier 2 (General) certificate of sponsorship reference number issued by a licensed sponsor; and
- their certificate of sponsorship confirms that the job is identified as skilled in the codes of practice (unless working as a Senior Care Worker); and
- their certificate of sponsorship confirms that the job is being paid at or above the appropriate rate; and
- they are applying to continue to work for the same employer in the same job, that your previous leave was granted for (unless working as a senior care worker; and
- they have currently been in the United Kingdom in a combination of any of the categories below and/or as a self-employed lawyer, writer, composer or artist for a total period of less than five years; and
- you were last granted leave as:
- a Business and Commercial work permit holder (this does not include multiple-entry work permits); or
- a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation; or
- a member of airport-based operational ground staff of an overseas owned airline; or
- a Jewish Agency employee.
Under this transitional arrangement, overseas nationals will not have to score points for their qualifications, prospective earnings, the resident labour market test, their English language skills, or maintenance.
Existing work permit holders wishing to change employment (with the exception of Senior Care Workers) will need to meet the full Tier 2 criteria.
Overseas nationals can apply for an extension for enough leave to take their total stay in the United Kingdom up to five years.
Where overseas nationals have currently been in the United Kingdom for five years or more and wish to extend their stay, they must apply under the full points-based system criteria. Alternatively, they may apply for settlement provided they meet the requirements that exist at the time of application.