I am a Tier 2 visa holder employed by a large accounting firm in London, UK.

I was dismissed from my job 2 weeks ago whilst out out of the UK (was overseas). I left the UK on 31 Nov 18, was dismissed on 13 Dec 18 and returning to UK on 1 Jan 2019. I need to return to the UK to pack up and send back my personal items in my rented apartment back my home country, and also say goodbye to my flatmate and friends.

My question is, can i reenter the UK with no issues? How should I explain my situation to the Immigration officer - should i tell him I am reentering as a tourist ( based on my nationality I don't need a tourist visa) or should i fully explain the situation that led to my current circumstance that I am/was a tier 2 visa holder which expires in 2021 but am no longer employed as I was dismissed whilst holidaying overseas?

  • I don’t have a full answer on what to do at the border (definitely don’t claim to be a tourist though!), but your tier 2 leave doesn’t expire as soon as you lose your job. It will end 60 days after your employer informs UKVI. You are allowed to look for a new sponsor in this period. There is guidance here.
    – MJeffryes
    Dec 27, 2018 at 9:14
  • Thanks, . I think I will just explain the situation and tell them why I am returning, and also book a 1 way ticket out of the UK back to my home country to show I am leaving on a certain date. Also, I don't require a 'visitor visa', as my nationality allows me to enter UK without a visa as a Tourist (max 6 months stay) Dec 27, 2018 at 11:18
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    anyway I managed to get into the UK. I old them the truth and also told them ill be leaving in 6 weeks and they let me in with no issues Jan 7, 2019 at 13:18
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    Thanks for reporting back. You should add this as an answer to your question.
    – MJeffryes
    Jan 7, 2019 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


If you have the funds, you cannot go wrong to get a solicitor to guide your actions. But having experience with a similar situation, I would advise the following:

  1. Don't just buy a one-way returning to Home Country; buy a full fare one-way with a flexible date, so that if advised to, you bring forward the date, turning right around and departing the same day without having to be refused entry, which would be bad.

  2. Definitely, do not walk through any electronic border control, for instance an e-gate. When you do this, and the computer loads up your Tier 2 status, the act of you presenting your information tied to that status is technically the same as telling the UK that your Tier 2 status is unchanged. So, be sure to present yourself to the border agent personally! Ignore those purple suited do-gooders at Heathrow who might guide you toward any electronic entry system :)

  3. Do not commit beforehand in writing that you are entering as a tourist, or as a Tier 2 holder or basically, do not commit in writing to any entry status claim. Just go open minded, and explain your situation in person to the border agent. In the UK the border officer has 100% authority to let you in or reject you, on a combination of their feelings about you and your case, and also the quality of any evidence you have on hand.

Perhaps you could say for instance, "Good morning, officer. I had a Tier 2 visa granted on $DATE, but on 13 December I lost my employment. So, I do not know exactly under which status I will enter the UK. But I wish to return to pack up my things, spending 48 hours here. I have a return ticket dated for $DATE, but if necessary I can change this date to earlier. I would like your help, please."

  1. Print out or obtain paper to justify or back up every single element of your situation. Your current UK address where you want to clean up, your work termination, your travel authorization to the home country, etc. etc.

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