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I was just issued a tier 5 Visa that's valid from September 5th, a date which I picked assuming that the process would take longer than it did. I've gotten this visa as a part of a process recommended to me by an immigration lawyer on the path to living with my wife in Scotland, who is a UK national (she doesn't make enough money for the spousal visa, or we would've gone that route).

I've previously been issued a visa for 6th months leave to remain when I visited back in May, which would technically still be valid, since it hasn't run up yet.

So, would I be able to enter the UK before September, and just not be legal to work until the start of the visa, or would this be be breaking some law that I'm not aware of?

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  • Your lawyer told you to enter with a T5 and then switch to the 10 year route? What's the duration of your T5? – Gayot Fow Aug 11 '17 at 20:28
  • The T5's duration is 2 years. – Micah Aug 11 '17 at 20:32
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You have a T5 visa and you want to come early as a visitor.

This situation is covered in Paragraph 30C of the Immigration Rules, which says...

30C. An Immigration Officer may cancel an entry clearance which is capable of having effect as leave to enter if the holder arrives in the United Kingdom before the day on which the entry clearance becomes effective or if the holder seeks to enter the United Kingdom for a purpose other than the purpose specified in the entry clearance.

Generally they don't like it because this type of thing is seen as an attempt to get more leave than you were issued. Also you wrote...

I've previously been issued a visa for 6th months leave to remain when I visited back in May, which would technically still be valid, since it hasn't run up yet.

No, not if you were given leave to enter for 6 months or less. This is where Paragraphs 20A and 20B kick in...

20A. Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom will usually lapse on the holder going to a country or territory outside the common travel area. However, under article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 such leave will not lapse where it was given for a period exceeding six months or where it was conferred by means of an entry clearance (other than a visit visa).

20B. Those who seek leave to enter the United Kingdom within the period of their earlier leave and for the same purpose as that for which that leave was granted, unless it (i) was for a period of six months or less; or (ii) was extended by statutory instrument or by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 (inserted by section 3 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999); do not need a visa to enter the UK.

They do have some discretionary latitude however.

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