24/7 Immigration lawyers in London


Tier 1 (General) Visas

You can no longer apply or extend Tier 1 (General) visas. Family members can still apply to join you in the UK.

You may be able to apply to settle once you’ve been in the UK for 5 years. You can apply to settle as a Tier 1 (General) worker until 6 April 2018.

Contact us and find out how we can assist you to apply as a Tier 1 (General) worker

Tier 2 (General) visa

Switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.


You must already be in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer: established staff) visa and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa, or you’re on another kind of student visa – read ‘Switching from a Tier 4 visa’ below
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) for a job as a professional footballer and you meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Innovator Scheme
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
  • International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
  • Business and Commercial work permit (except multiple entry work permits)
  • Sports and Entertainment work permit (except multiple entry work permits)

You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re:

  • a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa
  • a Jewish agency employee
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • an overseas qualified nurse or midwife
  • writing up a thesis
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • a representative of an overseas business
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
  • a student union sabbatical officer

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad if you’re not in any of these categories.

Switch from a Tier 4 or other student visa

You must have one of these qualifications from your student visa if you want to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 (General) visa:

  • a UK bachelors degree
  • a UK masters degree
  • a postgraduate certificate in education
  • a professional graduate diploma of education

You must have got your qualification at a UK recognised body or an institution that has a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

The other student visa categories are:

  • student
  • student nurse
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • overseas qualified nurse
  • person writing up a thesis
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • student union sabbatical officer

PhD students

You must have completed at least 12 months’ study for your PhD during your most recent stay in the UK and had permission to take the qualification.

How long can you stay?

You can stay in the UK for up to 5 years after switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

We also have a dedicated team of Immigration Lawyers who can advise you on every aspect of the UK Immigration Laws ranging from Individual Visa applications through to Family Visas, Asylum and Appeal Matters.


We have lawyers who can speak in the following languages:

  • English
  • Vietnamese
  • Chinese
  • Cantonese
  • Urdu
  • Punjabi
  • Bengali
  • Sri-Lankan
  • Sinhalese

Do you want to obtain your old documents from the Home Office?

This can be done if, for example, you cannot, for whatever reason, obtain your previous file(s). A subject access request is where an individual asks the UK Border Agency to disclose personal information that it holds about him or her. An individual on whom the agency holds information is generally entitled to be provided with that information under the Data Protection Act 1998. This also applies to information held by other government departments and other organizations.

How to make a subject access request


Ashtons Solicitors can assist in making a subject access request. We will require your written authorisation, one of our advisers may be able to obtain your file by making a subject access request. A copy of that written authorisation should be provided with the request so as avoid delays. There is a £10 fee to make a subject access request – this can be by way of a cheque or postal order made payable to The Accounting Officer Home Office.

A subject access request can be made by sending a written request with the cheque or postal order to:


The Data Protection Unit

Lunar House

40 Wellesley Road




There is no specific form on which an application should be made. A request does not need to explain why the individual wishes to see the information held by the UK Border Agency.

We cover the following areas:

  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Westminster
  • Southwark
  • Lewisham
  • City of London
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Richmond Upon Thames
  • Wandsworth
  • Hammersmith & Fulham,
  • Lambeth
  • Camden
  • Islington
  • Newham
  • ​Redbridge
  • Havering
  • Dagenham
  • Essex
  • Walworth
  • Lewisham
  • Camberwell
  • Limehouse
  • Stratford
  • Greenwich
  • Woolwich
  • Harrow
  • ​Plumstead
  • Heathrow
  • Kent
  • North Kent (Dartford)
  • Medway
  • Maidstone
  • Cantebury
  • Folkestone
  • Dover
  • Swanley


We are only a matter of minutes away from the following Embassies:

  • Bangladesh High Commission
  • Jamaican High Commission
  • Dominica High Commission
  • Mauritius High Commission
  • Zambian High Commission
  • High Commission for St Vincent and the Grenadines

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