UKBA To Extend stay for skilled workers formerly in closed work routes.


The UK Border Agency is setting up new arrangements for skilled workers who came here under work routes that have now closed, so that they can extend their stay in the UK to a total of 5 years.

When UKBA introduced Tier 2 of the points-based system in 2008, it made transitional arrangements so that migrants in closed work categories could apply to extend their stay under Tier 2. The Agency intended that their permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’) under Tier 2 would take their total stay in a work category to 5 years, but it is aware that some migrants may have been granted an incorrect extension owing to technical restrictions.

UKBA will soon introduce arrangements for these migrants to get additional leave to remain, taking their total stay to 5 years. This additional leave will be granted free of charge.

Can you apply?

To qualify for the additional leave, you must have previously been given permission to stay for less than 2 years as:
a Business and Commercial work permit holder (which includes ICT work permits);
a Sports and Entertainment work permit holder;
a Jewish agency employee;
a member of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline; or
a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order.

Additionally, you must meet the following requirements:
you applied for, and were granted, leave to remain under Tier 2 through the transitional arrangements in place for migrants in these categories;
you are still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship, and being paid the appropriate salary for your job;
you intend to continue working for the same employer;
you currently have valid leave to remain in a Tier 2 category (General, Intra company transfer, Minister of religion or Sportsperson);
you were granted the maximum period of 3 years’ leave to remain under Tier 2; and
you can prove that you still meet the conditions of your existing leave.
If you are granted additional leave, this does not guarantee that you will qualify for permission to settle in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) when you have been here for 5 years – you will need to meet all the settlement criteria in force at the time when you apply for settlement.

How to apply

To apply for additional leave under these arrangements, you will need to use THEIR application form T2 (W). ukba will publish this application form on its website in early August 2011.

You will not need to obtain a new certificate of sponsorship, but you will need to:
enrol your fingerprints and facial image (known as ‘biometric information’); and
provide evidence that you are working for the same employer.
The application form will list the supporting evidence that you will need to send with your application.

Your family members will need to apply on a T2 (W) (Dependent) application form, which will also be available on UKBA’S website in early August 2011.
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