So You Want to Live and Work in the UK: Switching Sponsors on Tier 2 (General), Part 2

This blog is a continuation of the Part 1. Click here to read about the first part of my experience changing sponsors on a Tier 2 (General) visa.

  1. I attended an in-person expedited visa approval appointment with my application and documents

Because of my travel plans, I asked Deloitte for same-day service for my visa appointment. There are four options (speed-wise), but all four of them require you to submit your BRP card for a varying length of time. The Premium Service Centre option allows you to keep your passport, whereas you have to submit your passport for all other options. Technically, you’re not supposed to travel anywhere without your BRP, and while I’ve rarely been asked for my BRP at the border especially since I now use Registered Travellers e-gates, this was not a risk I wanted to take, so I did not travel whilst my new BRP was being processed. Below I’ve broken down the options:

Option Fees Location Estimated Processing Time

Super Premium Service

£10,500

+ fee of visa type (<3 yrs £677 / > 3 yrs £1,354)

+ immigration health surcharge (IHS)

Courier comes to you to collect Decision – Within 24 hours

BRP – not specified

Premium Service Centre £610 (inclusive of booking fee)

+ fee of visa type (<3 yrs £677 / > 3 yrs £1,354)

+ immigration health surcharge (IHS)

List of service centres Decision – 2 hours and 30 minutes

BRP – 7 to 10 working days

Tier 2 Priority Service £1,136 / £1,813

(<3 yrs / >3 yrs)

+ biometrics from Post Office fee

+ immigration health surcharge (IHS)

Via post Decision – 10 working days

BRP – 10 working days from decision date

Standard Mail £677 / £1,354

(<3 yrs / >3 yrs)

+ immigration health surcharge (IHS)

Via post

Decision + BRP – Up to 8 weeks

It is also much easier to book an appointment with the non-London service centres, so I was able to book an appointment slot 2-3 days from the day I booked online. I went out to the centre in Croydon and the entrance looks like this – don’t get confused by the staff entrance which does not look like this.

IMG_4754

  1. My visa was approved and I received my new BRP card

My appointment time was for 8am which is considered an “out of hours” appointment. (NB: You have to pay an extra £75 for “out of hours” appointments before 9am and after 4pm). I went in, queued for a counter that validated that I had all the documents I needed (my original passports, 2 x UK passport-sized photos, my BRP card, my application form, and my proof of IHS payment), and they gave me a number. I sat back down with my documents and waited to be called to a counter. Once I was called to a counter, they accepted and processed my documents and I was sent back to the waiting area to wait again.

Had it not been for a silly mistake that Deloitte had made on my application that required some time to clarify, I would have been approved within the hour. After approval, they called my number again and asked me to go into the Biometrics part of the office, and took my biometric details. Shortly after, I received a physical letter which confirmed the approval of my visa and stated that I should expect my new BRP to be mailed to me at the address I specified on my application form in 7 to 10 working days.

8 working days later, I received my new BRP in the mail to the address specified on my application form.

  1. I handed in notice to my old employer

When should I resign?

In the UK, at my level of seniority, the notice period was 3 months. This was something I was not used to as in North America, it was 2 weeks! This is an important, if not, critical point for timing between when your employer expects you to start, when you get your new visa, and when you resign.

Visa approval and processing takes up to 8 weeks, and you can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. A sponsor of a Tier 2 worker has a duty to report to the Home Office within 10 days of a worker’s contract ending. From the date of your contract ending, you would have 60 days to obtain a new visa.

All of this is to say, on the assumption that there are no issues having your visa approved, you could time your resignation to coincide with your notice period / your negotiated notice period if you think you can bring it down or the max processing time estimated for the application type you’ve chosen, whichever is longer. However if your notice period is more than 3 months and is non-negotiable, then you have to resign before you are even able to apply for your visa.

What’s worthwhile noting is that if you resign before you apply for your visa, if there are any issues processing your visa, you have the remaining time left on your notice period in addition to the 60 days after your last day to sort your new visa out. Otherwise, if you are unable to sort out the new visa by the end of the 60 days after your last day at your old job, you’ll have to go back to your home country and abide by a 12-month cooling off period before you can be sponsored in the UK again. Therefore, there is a risk that you won’t be able to stay in the country if you resign before your new visa is sorted; however, in my anecdotal experience, my friends have not had any issues getting their visa approved.

  1. Finish your notice period and start your new job!

Premium Service Centre Processing Dates / Times:

  • Offer Letter from New Employer Received: 26/01/2018
  • Offer Letter from New Employer Signed: 28/01/2018
  • Contact Initiated with Deloitte: 29/01/2018
  • Documents Gathered, Form Compiled, Unrestricted CoS Issued: 02/02/2018
  • Application Submitted, In-Person Premium Appointment Booked: 07/02/2018
  • Resignation Submitted to Current Employer: 08/02/2018
  • In-Person Appointment Attended: 13/02/2018 (approximate approval time: 1 hour; total appointment duration: 2 hours)
  • New BRP Received: 23/02/2018
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2 thoughts on “So You Want to Live and Work in the UK: Switching Sponsors on Tier 2 (General), Part 2

  1. Pingback: So You Want to Live and Work in the UK: Switching Sponsors on Tier 2 (General), Part 1 | Stephanie Cheung

  2. Pingback: So You Want to Live and Work in the UK: Series Index | Stephanie Cheung

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