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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently in the UK on a tier 2 ICT visa, but I'm going to be made redundant on 30 september and am desperately trying to find a way to stay in the UK. Below are my visa details:

Current visa : Tier 2 ICT Long term staff migrant
Home country : US
Visa Issued on: Feb 2012
Valid till : Dec 2014
Extension (Residence Permit) Issued on: Nov 2014
Extension (Residence Permit) Valid till: Feb 2017
Entered UK: Feb 2012

What options, if any, do I have to stay in the UK (i.e. switch to tier 2 general w/diff company, tier 2 ICT w/diff company, tier 1 entrepreneur then to tier 2 general, tier 4 student visa then to tier 2 general)?

Is there any way to get around the 12 month cooling off period?

My partner is a British citizen. We've been together for about a year now (not married), but we only just started living together recently. Would this provide any options?

Is there free legal advice available?

If there's absolutely no way around the 12 month cooling off period, what are my options and what's the best way to ensure I don't have visa issues again (thinking its to get a job at a company that will sponsor me under a tier 2 general visa).

Apologies for all the questions, but I'm feeling a bit deflated at the moment as I don't think I have much options.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Aloha,
TJ
 

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Perhaps the most straightforward is to get married and apply to stay as spouse. Provided you together meet £18,600 income requirement, have somewhere to live and are a genuine couple, then you stand a good chance of being approved.
There is no way around 12-month cooling off period, except where you can be sponsored for a job paying at least £155,300 pa.
 

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Unless you are on a salary of £155,300/year or more there is no way around the 12 month cooling off period.

A year with your UK partner does not give you any options. You would have to be living together for at least 2 years to qualify as unmarried partners.

You can switch to a Tier 4:

https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/switch-to-this-visa

Tier 1 Entreprenuer requires a minimum of £50,000 to invest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Does the $155k threshold include annual bonus? I asked my company to pay me this for the remaining 6 months of my employment instead of an agreed up on bonus (separate from redundancy) after I transition my role, but they said that would seem unethical. My thought was that if I did that, I could switch to a tier 2 general then go work for another company. if I got them to agree to that, would that work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A year with your UK partner does not give you any options. You would have to be living together for at least 2 years to qualify as unmarried partners.
What would support living together for 2 years if my name isn't on any bills? Also, if I went back to the US after 6 months living together, observed the 12 month cooling off period and we were traveling/living together during this time, then came across on a tourist visa and lived together for another 6 months, then would I meet the definition of an unmarried partner?

You can switch to a Tier 4
If i switch to a tier 4 student visa, would it be possible to just do one course, interview for a job to sponsor me under a tier 2 general while studying, then finish my course and start the job under the tier 2 general?

Tier 1 Entreprenuer requires a minimum of £50,000 to invest.
Under the entrepreneur visa, if i have £50,000 saved in the bank, what else do I need? Would I be able to switch to an entrepreneur visa until I find a job that will sponsor me under a tier 2 general?

Thank you for your help.
 

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What would support living together for 2 years if my name isn't on any bills? Also, if I went back to the US after 6 months living together, observed the 12 month cooling off period and we were traveling/living together during this time, then came across on a tourist visa and lived together for another 6 months, then would I meet the definition of an unmarried partner?
You need to demonstrate that you have lived together continuously for 2 years with joint responsibilities. If your name isn't on any bills, it's not going to fly and time on a tourist visa doesn't count towards living together.




If i switch to a tier 4 student visa, would it be possible to just do one course, interview for a job to sponsor me under a tier 2 general while studying, then finish my course and start the job under the tier 2 general?
No. To qualify for a Tier 4 visa you have to be enrolled in a degree program.



Under the entrepreneur visa, if i have £50,000 saved in the bank, what else do I need? Would I be able to switch to an entrepreneur visa until I find a job that will sponsor me under a tier 2 general?
I don't think you're own funds can be used.

https://www.gov.uk/tier-1-entrepreneur/overview



Thank you for your help.[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
#3 Plus you need to create local jobs (two employees I believe) and meet other conditions
Thanks. I had a brief read through of that publication before and I understand what they're trying to accomplish. Think I can easily pull together a believable business plan and two employees, but seems like there's a bunch of other hurdles too.

As I feared, it does indeed seem like your response is it, blunt but true, get married or go home.

Appreciate that thats the most straight forward way, but I don't mind a not so straight forward solution, just trying to be pragmatic. However, seems like there aren't even any of those available!
 

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Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is a difficult one to get, and you can't apply by same-day premium service but only by post because they need time to scrutinise your application.
 
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