You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Tier 2 General migrant after you have been resident in the UK for 5 years with leave to remain as a Tier 2 General or in combination with other permitted work visa categories. Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application (for entry clearance or leave to remain) was approved. You can apply for ILR as Tier 2 General 28 days before completing the 5 years qualifying period. An application for ILR as a Tier 2 General migrant is made using application form SET (O).

Contents Table

Specialist Solicitors For ILR As Tier 2 General Migrant
Eligibility Requirements
ILR Tier 2 General - Combining Time Spent On Other Visa Categories
Salary Requirements For ILR Tier 2 General
ILR Tier 2 General - Absences From The UK
Super Priority Service (Decision Within 24 Hours) For Tier 2 General ILR
How Can We Help You?
How Much We Charge?
Need Help? Book An Appointment
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Specialist Solicitors For ILR Tier 2 General

Our expert team of Tier 2 visa solicitors are specialists in dealing with ILR applications for Tier 2 General migrants. As specialist Tier 2 visa solicitors, our Tier 2 lawyers have wealth of knowledge and experience to provide high quality legal services for Tier 2 General ILR applications. Our Tier 2 visa solicitors have helped thousands of Tier 2 General Migrants with their Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications. The high quality of our legal services is self-evident from the reviews of our clients for excellent immigration services provided by our highly experienced and qualified immigration lawyers.

Need help and assistance with ILR Tier 2 General? Contact our expert team of Tier 2 General visa solicitors in London, Manchester and Birmingham for fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for your Tier 2 General ILR application. Ask a question to our Tier 2 General visa solicitors for free immigration advice or schedule an appointment for detailed legal advice concerning your Tier 2 General ILR.

Eligibility Requirements For ILR As A Tier 2 General Migrant

You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if:

  • you have a Tier 2 (General) visa
  • you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)
  • your employer (sponsor) still needs you for your job - they’ll need to provide a document confirming this
  • your job pays £35,800 or more (unless you’re exempt from the ‘minimum earnings threshold’)
  • you get paid the relevant salary listed in the Codes of Practice (Appendix J)

You should also:

ILR Tier 2 General - Combining Time Spent On Other Visa Categories

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK, of which the most recent period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant in any combination of the following categories:

  • as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant or a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant, provided the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the UK includes a period of leave as:
    • a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
    • a Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because the applicant was the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer,
  • as a Representative of an Overseas Business,
  • as a Highly Skilled Migrant,
  • as a Work Permit Holder, or
  • as an Innovator, or
  • as a Global Talent migrant.

Salary Requirements For ILR Tier 2 General

To apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant, you must be earning at least the appropriate rate for the job, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J OR a gross annual salary of at least the minimum earnings threshold, whichever is the higher. The minimum earnings threshold is £35,800 gross per annum, if you apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General on or after 6 April 2019.

Exemption From Minimum Salary Requirement

You do not have to earn £35,800 if the main job you’re sponsored for:

Appendix K provides a list of all posts that have been listed as in shortage since 6 April 2015. You can confirm whether any of your previous Certificates of Sponsorship were issued for a shortage occupation by checking your previous applications or by speaking to your current and/or previous employer.

ILR Tier 2 General - Absences From The UK

You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 month period within the 5 year period. You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on your application form for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

For Tier 2 General ILR applications made after 11 January 2018, Home Office would consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes leave granted before this date, any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date as you make your ILR Tie 2 General application.

For example, you apply for ILR as Tier 2 General on 30 June 2020. Your continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. Home Office UKVI will not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when they assess this.

Work Related Absences Or Absences In Line With Annual Paid Leave

If any of your absences are in connection with employment or in line with annual paid leave you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual paid leave.

You will need to provide this information for the full 5 year continuous period. Therefore, if you are moving employers and are considering applying for settlement in the future, you may wish to request a letter detailing your absences before you move to your new post. If you are unable to obtain a letter as specified in the Immigration Rules, because your previous employer has ceased to exist for example, you should confirm this in writing when you make your application. The caseworker who considers your application will assess this on a case by case basis.

Absences Due To Serious Or Compelling Reasons

If any of your absences are due to a serious or compelling reasons, you must provide a personal letter which includes full details of the reason(s) for the absences and all relevant supporting documents in relation to those reasons - e.g. medical certificates, birth/death certificates, other information about the reasons which led to the absence from the United Kingdom.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days unless they fall under a specific exemption. This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Exemptions Where Absences Are Not Considered

There are two exemptions where absences are not considered as part of the maximum 180 days:

  • where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, or
  • where you are working in a PhD level occupation and you have been absent from the UK because you are undertaking overseas research.

Super Priority Service (Decision Within 24 Hours) For ILR - Tier 2 General

As the expert immigration solicitors based in London, Manchester and Birmingham, we are registered with the Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) and its commercial partners UKVCAS Sopra Steria to provide Super Priority Service (SPS) for your ILR application whereby decision on your ILR application will be made by the Home Office UKVI within 24 hours of the enrolment of biometrics at a designated service centre.

Our ILR solicitors can prepare and submit your ILR application to the Home Office, UKVI through Super Priority Service (SPS) and get decision on your ILR application within 24 hours. This way, you will not have to wait for the decision on your ILR application for months (sometimes years).

How Can We Help With Your ILR As A Tier 2 General Migrant?

Our expert team of ILR solicitors specialise in ILR Tier 2 General visa applications. If instructed to represent you regarding your application for ILR Tier 2 General, we will carry out all the work on your ILR application until a decision is made by the Home Office UKVI on your ILR application. The immigration casework to be carried out by our expert team of ILR solicitors will include the following:

  • Assessing your eligibility for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant by considering all your personal circumstances including assessment of salary threshold, absences from the UK, any adverse immigration or personal history etc;
  • Advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your ILR application as a Tier 2 Geneal Migrant;
  • Advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your ILR application;
  • Assessing your documents to ensure that the documentary evidence is as per requirements of the Home Office UKVI immigration Rules;
  • Completing and submitting the online application form SET (O) to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 Geneal by gathering all the relevant information from you;
  • Helping you with paying the ILR application fee for your application;
  • Booking your appointment with the application centre for verification of documents and enrolment of biometrics;
  • Providing you with templates of certain documents e.g. a letter from your current and previous employer (if applicable);
  • Providing you a template of letter from your current and previous employer (if applicable) to be submitted in support of your ILR application;
  • Preparing your statement in relation to your absences from the UK where your current and/or previous employer has not issued a letter in relation to your absences from the UK during your employment with the relevant employer.
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to introduce and support your ILR application;
  • Uploading online all the relevant supporting documents before you attend your appointment for enrolment of your biometrics;
  • Liaising with the Home Office UKVI for a timely decision on your ILR application.

Our Fixed Fee For ILR Tier 2 General Application

Our fees for providing expert legal help and assistance with an application for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant are given in the fee table below:

Our Service Our Fee
One-Off Immigration Advice & Consultation concerning ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant £80 (including VAT)
One-Off Documents Checking Service for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrant £200 + VAT
Full help with application for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant (all the work until decision by the Home Office UKVI on your Tier 2 General ILR application) From £700 + VAT To £1,200 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for helping with an ILR application as Tier 2 General Migrant, the applicant will also have to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the ILR application.

FAQs - ILR Tier 2 General

How can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant by completing application form SET (O) online.

When can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a Tier 2 General migrant after you have been resident in the UK for 5 years with leave to remain as a Tier 2 General or in combination with other permitted work visa categories.

Can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General 28 days before completing 5 years?

Yes, according to Home Office UKVI Guidance on Tier 2 General visa category, you can apply for ILR as Tier 2 General 28 days before completing the 5 years qualifying period.

When does my 5 years qualifying period for ILR as a Tier 2 General start?

Your qualifying period can include time from the date your initial application (for entry clearance or leave to remain) was approved. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

Can I apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if my Tier 2 sponsor's licence is revoked?

You cannot successfully apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if your sponsor's Tier 2 General sponsor licence is revoked before your ILR application. In such circumstances, you should make a Tier 2 General exetension application based on change of employment by seeking sponsorship for your Tier 2 leave through a different Tier 2 sponsor.

Do I need a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by my Tier 2 General sponsor for me to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General?

No, your Tier 2 sponsor does not need to assign you a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) for you to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. However, you will need a letter from your Tier 2 sponsor to support your application for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. As your legal representtive, we can provide you the required template of the letter from your employer as per Home Office UKVI requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant if:

  • you have a Tier 2 (General) visa
  • you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’)
  • your employer (sponsor) still needs you for your job - they’ll need to provide a document confirming this
  • your job pays £35,800 or more (unless you’re exempt from the ‘minimum earnings threshold’)
  • you get paid the relevant salary listed in the Codes of Practice (Appendix J)

You should also:

Can I combine time spent on other visa categories with Tier 2 General to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

Yes, you can combine time spent on certain other visa categories with Tier 2 General leave in order to complete 5 years qualifying period for ILR.

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK, of which the most recent period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant in any combination of the following categories:

  • as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant or a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant, provided the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the UK includes a period of leave as:
    • a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
    • a Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because the applicant was the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer,
  • as a Representative of an Overseas Business,
  • as a Highly Skilled Migrant,
  • as a Work Permit Holder, or
  • as an Innovator, or
  • as a Global Talent migrant.

What is the salary requirement for ILR Tier 2 General?

To apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant, you must be earning at least the appropriate rate for the job, as stated in the Codes of Practice in Appendix J OR a gross annual salary of at least the minimum earnings threshold, whichever is the higher. The minimum earnings threshold is £35,800 gross per annum, if you apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General on or after 6 April 2019.

Exemption From Minimum Salary Requirement

You do not have to earn £35,800 if the main job you’re sponsored for:

Appendix K provides a list of all posts that have been listed as in shortage since 6 April 2015. You can confirm whether any of your previous Certificates of Sponsorship were issued for a shortage occupation by checking your previous applications or by speaking to your current and/or previous employer.

How many days can you stay outside the UK to apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant?

You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 month period within the 5 year period. You will need to list details of your absences from the United Kingdom, including the reasons for those absences, on your application form for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant. You can include the time between your entry clearance being granted and you entering the United Kingdom as part of your continuous period. Absences between the date entry clearance is granted and the date you enter the United Kingdom are treated as an absence from the United Kingdom and will form part of the 180 days allowed within a continuous 12-month period. You do not need to provide evidence to demonstrate a period of absence between obtaining entry clearance and entering the United Kingdom.

For Tier 2 General ILR applications made after 11 January 2018, Home Office would consider absences from the UK on a rolling basis, rather than in separate consecutive 12-month periods. If your qualifying period includes leave granted before this date, any absences during that leave will be considered under the previous rules – in separate 12-month periods, ending on the same date as you make your ILR Tie 2 General application.

For example, you apply for ILR as Tier 2 General on 30 June 2020. Your continuous period includes the following grants of leave:

  • One grant of leave from 1 July 2015 to 28 July 2018 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered in separate 12 month periods, ending on 30 June each year.
  • One grant of leave from 29 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 – Any absences during this grant of leave will be considered on a rolling basis. Home Office UKVI will not include any absences from the previous grant of leave when they assess this.

What evidence should I provide for any absences which are work related or in line with annual paid leave?

If any of your absences are in connection with employment or in line with annual paid leave you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual paid leave.

You will need to provide this information for the full 5 year continuous period. Therefore, if you are moving employers and are considering applying for settlement in the future, you may wish to request a letter detailing your absences before you move to your new post. If you are unable to obtain a letter as specified in the Immigration Rules, because your previous employer has ceased to exist for example, you should confirm this in writing when you make your application. The caseworker who considers your application will assess this on a case by case basis.

What evidence should I provide for any absences which are due to serious or compelling reasons?

If any of your absences are due to a serious or compelling reasons, you must provide a personal letter which includes full details of the reason(s) for the absences and all relevant supporting documents in relation to those reasons - e.g. medical certificates, birth/death certificates, other information about the reasons which led to the absence from the United Kingdom.

Whatever the reason for absences from the United Kingdom, they will still be counted towards the maximum 180 days unless they fall under a specific exemption. This includes any absences for work reasons, or serious and compelling reasons.

Which absences are exempt from consideration as part of the maximum 180 days?

There are two exemptions where absences are not considered as part of the maximum 180 days:

  • where you have been absent from the United Kingdom assisting with a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis, or
  • where you are working in a PhD level occupation and you have been absent from the UK because you are undertaking overseas research.

What is the processing time of Tier 2 General ILR application?

The processing time of ILR Tier 2 General application depends on the type of service you use to submit your ILR Tier 2 General application. The service standards for ILR Tier 2 General application processing are as follows:

Standard Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through standard service is normally decided within 8 weeks.

Priority Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through priority service is normally decided within 5 working days.

Super Priority Service

ILR Tier 2 General application submitted through super priority service is normally decided within 24 hours.

Can I apply for ILR Tier 2 General from outisde the UK?

No, you can only apply for ILR as Tier 2 General Migrant from inside the UK.

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