Blogs > Visas

Tier 2 Visa Cooling Off Period

  • August 16, 2019

What is the Tier 2 Visa Cooling Off Period?

When you successfully obtain an NHS post, you will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa to enter the UK and take up your employment.

During your employment, you will be free to leave the UK and visit your home country, adhering to your annual leave AND your Tier 2 visa is still valid.

However, if your employment contract is terminated early or your visa runs out and you leave the UK, a 12-month cooling off period may apply.

The Tier 2 Cooling off period will apply to you if:

  • If you leave the UK with the intention of giving up your Tier 2 leave
  • If your Tier 2 visa is curtailed before its expiry date (this means your Tier 2 visa end date is cut short)
  • If you forfeit your Tier 2 visa

When does the Tier 2 Cooling Off period not apply?

There are some scenarios where your Tier 2 Cooling Off period may not apply. Some, but not all of the scenarios are listed below:

  • Where you make a change of employment and apply for a Tier 2 visa extension
  • Where you were in the UK for a short period with a CoS only issued for 3 months or less
  • You are returning back to the UK as a ‘high earner’, for which the annual salary is £120,000 or higher

When does the Tier 2 cooling off period begin?

  1. After the date your Tier 2 visa has expired, or
  2. If you left the UK before your visa expired, the earliest date from which you can evidence that you had left the UK and have not since returned
  3. If your Tier 2 visa was curtailed, the expiry date will be 60 days from the date of curtailment, as notified by the Home Office

What evidence can I use to show I left the UK on a particular date?

Travel tickets, boarding cards, exit or entry stamps on your passport, a letter from your employer overseas stating you started employment with them.

So, can I not leave the UK at all whilst I am employed by the NHS?

You can leave the NHS to visit your home country or go on holiday as you please as long as you are still employed by your NHS hospital.

However, you should not leave the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period as this will impact your indefinite leave to remain application.

It is important to note that BDI Resourcing are not immigration law specialists, if you need advice on your Tier 2 visa please do contact an immigration lawyer.

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London's Leading UK Immigration & Visa Lawyers | LEXVISA Solicitors. (2019). Understanding the Tier 2 Cooling Off period? | LEXVISA Solicitors. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].

Johnstone, J. (2019). When Does The Tier 2 Cooling Off Period Apply? - DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors. [online] DavidsonMorris - Immigration Solicitors. Available at: [Accessed 15 Aug. 2019].


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