Thanks for your question. I will try to help.
The only Tier 5 category which allows a switch to tier 2 general is “sporting and creative”, you will see that this is confirmed here:
I assume this is not your category and therefore you would have to return to your home country in order tom make the application. This is applied very strictly.
The period of time that you have spent on your tier 5 visa is not counted toward ILR (ie. permanent residence) because it is a temporary visa. When n you start in the UK on your tier 2 general visa then your clock for ILR purposes will start at 0 years and obviously under tier 2 you become eligible for ilr after 5 years.
I would explain your situation to your employer and ask them to re-issue the COS with an updated start date, as it could cause problems having it backdated at the date you make your application.
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You can probably still apply with the COS listing an earlier start date provided that the employer provides an explanation about why the start date is before the actual date of the application.
The COS is used to show that you have a sponsor and in fact no applicant is granted a visa unless the COS start date is with 14 days, whereas this is not an issue for you because the start date will have already commenced so provide an explanation is provide by you and the employer they will still accept it.Tom
You should ask for a covering letter to be provided by your employer separately to the COS explaing the early COS start date.
The part simply means that if a person applies for a Tier 2 general visa then the home office will not grant them a visa to start any earlier than 14 days before the start date, it does't contain a restriction as to a COS which is granted before the applicant applies for the visa.
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