Curtailment of your UK visa

When you are in the UK on a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa you are permitted to work for a sponsor employer that issued you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS). When your sponsor employer decides to end your employment for redundancy or other reasons, your visa will be curtailed (cancelled) by the Home Office.

Most common reasons for curtailment

  • Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor ends your employment;
  • Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsor has lost its sponsor licence (licence revocation).

How long you can stay in the UK

When your visa is cancelled you will normally be permitted to remain in the UK for 60 days. This 60 days is counted from the date of the Home Office curtailment letter is issued. It may take the Home Office between a few weeks to a few months or sometimes over half a year to issue such a letter. Until this letter is issued your 60 days do not start to run, so in practice you can stay in the UK much longer than the 60 days although it is unpredictable how long the Home Office will take to issue a curtailment letter in your case and it is important that you act promptly if you want to switch to a different visa category.

What to do next

In the curtailment letter the Home Office will state by what date you must depart the UK. Until this date you can remain in the UK, and depending on your individual circumstances you may be able to switch to a different sponsor if you are a Tier 2 General visa holder, or to a different visa category if you are on other visa types. From our experience migrants most frequently find a new sponsor, switch to a spouse visa, PBS dependant visa, EEA residence card or Entrepreneur visa (as of 29th March 2019 replaced by the Innovator and Start up visa categories).

Departing the UK

Those who are unable to switch to a different visa category will need to depart the UK the latest on the date specified in the curtailment letter. Your future visa applications will be impacted if you overstay your visa and therefore it is crucial that you do not overstay your permitted leave.

Cooling off period

Tier 2 visa holders are subject to a cooling off period, which means that unless your new Tier 2 sponsor employer offers you a base salary of £159,600 you are unable to return to the UK on any Tier 2 visa category for 12 months.

The information contained in the article reflects legal position on 24th April 2019 and is for general information purposes only and does not aim to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. We accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Carter Lemon Camerons immigration team. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with all immigration and business-related matters. Our years of expertise in these areas mean that we can provide tailored solutions for you. For more details, please contact our immigration team at or +44 (0)20 7406 1000.