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Employers, starting work

If you have successfully completed a degree-level course at a recognised body or an institution in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution (check with your Tier 4 sponsor if it meets one of these requirements), and you apply under Tier 2 before your Tier 4 immigration permission expires, the Immigration Rules allow you to start your Tier 2 job after you have applied for Tier 2 leave, even if the Home Office has not yet decided your application. This allows you to start a full-time permanent job, which is usually not allowed before your Tier 2 leave is granted. This provision came into effect on 6 April 2012 as a result of a change to the Tier 4 work conditions.

Note that you must have completed a degree-level course. If you are applying after 12 months of study towards a PhD, but before you have been awarded it, you cannot rely on this provision unless you have previously completed a degree-level course in the UK.

You should discuss this with your Tier 2 sponsor before starting a full-time permanent job. Even if you could start your Tier 2 job before your immigration permission is granted, your employer might not want you to do this as it could lead to problems if your Tier 2 application is not successful. Your employer will let you know when you can start your job.

If you are not able to start your Tier 2 job until the Home Office grants your Tier 2 immigration permission, and you apply before your previous leave expires, you remain subject to the conditions of your previous leave while you wait for a decision. If you are a student, you should check our information about working during your studies for what this means for you. You cannot start a permanent full-time job or work as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.


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