UK Tier 2 visa (Skilled worker visa after 2022) timeline

Posted on Tue 19 July 2022 in notes

I found these from my old notes and decided to put them here. These are my experience, and you should always double check the terms and conditions. Your PIs can potentially do more than what they are aware of.

If you have your PI's support and money, everything can be fast in the UK. If you don't have it, think again. If you are an incoming new faculty, good luck.

Here I share the time line of my two visa application and how I planned financially. Details related to personal events are removed, but they did impact the timeline to a degree.

Relocation expanses and visa-related fees

If your PI has no way to pay the fees, check if this is a financial sacrifice you are willing to pay to get the job. Please note, the fees for one person in total is about one to two months of salary after tax.

The visa fees and immegration healthcare surcharges are two different transactions. If the total fees go above your credit limits, plan stratigically.

The visa fees can only be paid by the applicant or a legal representative. As a postdoc or new faculty in a univerisity, you will have to pay for it from your own pocket. Please make sure you have cash or credit card to cover this expense before you apply for the job.

Some (or many, who knows) posts will say the visa fees will not be paid for by your department, but as a new employee, if you have to move for your job, you are entitled to relocation allowances. Claiming visa fees and immigration healthcare surcharge as part of the relocation expenses is possible. The important note here is reimbursment of visa fees as relocation expenses are taxable. This means you will not get the full amount you spent on your visa. Make sure to communicate with your PI clearly and see what are the possible options. If claiming it back through relocation expenses, factor in the tax as your financial loss.

If possible, negotiate the contract to be three years or five years. The visa fees for any post shorter than three years are the same. The difference is the immigration healthcare surcharge. It's more economical to get a three years visa than a shorter one.

Time line 1: York 2018, postdoc


  • I worked as a research assistant through out the PhD, thus the HR already had my files.
  • PI agreed to pay for the visa.
  • Used the same day premium service.


  • sponsorship can only start after my viva.
Dates Events
12 Sep Apply for job.
29 October Job offer.
30 October HR mapped out potential timelines of different visa options.
1 November Started my post as a postdoc, but part-time (constrain of student visa)
At some point in November Applied for the visa.
23 November Biometric appointment (note: Friday)
26 November Got my decision letter.
28 November viva.
1 December New biometric resident permit.
3 December Sponsorship start.

Time line 2: Sussex, postdoc


  • Used the 7 day fast service.


  • Have to claim the fees through relocation allowance.
Dates Events
2 May Job offer
28 May Line manager chased up the HR for paperwork.
30 May Interview expense reimbrusement invoiced.
6 June Document from HR received; replied to HR; resignation to previous employer.
5 July Visa sponsorship received; additional communication with HR.
11 July Reply received from HR.
13 July Visa application sent; no free biometric appointment available.
23 July Attend visa appointment (The earliest non-free appointment).
29 July Visa application result received.
1 August Biometric residential permit received.
1 September Start of the position.