Tier 2 Visa (General) route is for migrants who have been offered a place to work in the UK and are being sponsored by UKVI authorised employers. It is the main immigration route for the skilled workers to be employed in the UK.
Edmans & Co regularly assist applicants who have secured a certificate of sponsorship to work in the United Kingdom to make a successful Tier 2 Visa application. Contact us now if you need professional help regarding your application.
You can learn more about Tier 2 General Visa requirements, required documents, and guidelines in this detailed article.
General Overview of Tier 2 Visa – General
You can apply for a Tier 2 Visa (General) if you are outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and have been offered a skilled job in the UK from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence.
Your proposed employer must be a UK based entity which holds a UKVI sponsorship licence, the list of all sponsor licence holders can be found here. If the prospective employer does not have a sponsor licence, it may be possible to apply for one, please refer to our sponsor licence article in business immigration section for more information.
The applicant must be issued with a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) by his employer. CoS holds information on the migrant and the proposed job. The visa or Leave to Remain (LTR) will be issued for the period stated in CoS. The CoS must also confirm that the applicant will be paid appropriate salary and that the job passed Residence Labour Market Test (RLMT) unless the applicant is switching inside the UK from Tier 4 (General) student visa and meets additional requirements. The CoS will then be used to make an application for Tier 2 (General) visa or LTR.
There is an English language requirement of B1 CEFR and the applicant must show sufficient maintenance of £945 (unless the sponsor is “A-rated” and certified maintenance for the applicant). It is also possible to bring dependants for Tier 2 (General) visa holders.
Tier 2 Visa Point Attributes
You will need to score 70 points in total under the following attributes for your Tier 2 visa application.
|Valid Certificate of Sponsorship||30||Employer with Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship|
|Appropriate salary||20||Appropriate rate for the job category|
|English Language||10||English language requirement at least CEFR level B1|
|Maintenance Funds||10||Maintenance funds of £945 for last 3 Months unless exempt.|
Requirements for Tier 2 Visa – General
There are several requirements you need to be careful of while making the Tier 2 work visa application. Generally, the requirements that you need to fulfil to make a Tier 2 General visa application include;
- You should have an offer for a skilled job in the UK
- The job offer should be from a UK employer holding a valid Tier 2 Sponsor Licence from UKVI
- You should be assigned with a valid certificate of sponsorship (CoS) number from your employer
- Your job should pass the Resident Labour Market test (undertaken by your employer). In some cases, a Resident Labour Market test exemption can apply.
- You should be paid an appropriate salary for your job, above the minimum salary threshold of £20,800.
- You will need to satisfy English language requirement at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- You will need to show maintenance funds of £945 to support yourself (You should have maintained the funds for a minimum of ninety days) unless you are exempt.
You can learn more about these requirements under different headings below.
Certificate of Sponsorship for Tier 2 Visa
A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) required for Tier 2 visa application is an electronic record that holds your personal and your job information. A CoS is not a certificate as in a paper document, it’s a digital certificate reference number.
Your employer will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) number that you will need to make a valid Tier 2 Visa application.
The Certificate of Sponsorship reference number is valid for three months from the date of the issue and the CoS reference number can only be used for one application.
Tier 2 General Appropriate salary
You will need to be paid an appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered by your UK employer. You can check the appropriate rate for your job category in the UKVI official codes of practice for skilled work document.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer must also confirm that you will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job.
FLR – Further Leave to Remain – Tier 2 Visa Extensions
You can further extend your leave to remain in the UK under the Tier 2 (General) visa. You must apply for the extension before your current leave to remain expires.
In addition to the current permission to stay on Tier 2 (General) visa, you will need to fulfil the following criteria to extend your Tier 2 visa.
- You still need to be employed at the same job that you used to obtain the leave to remain or enter the UK.
- You need to be working for the same employer with a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence who sponsored for your application.
Cooling off period for Tier 2 Visa
Where a migrant leaves the UK prior to the expiry of his Tier 2 leave, he/she will be subject to 12 months cooling off period (with some exceptions), whereby it will not be possible to enter Tier 2 route again unless 12 months passed from the time the person left the UK.
ILR – Settlement after Tier 2 Visa
Tier 2 (General) visa leads to Settlement/Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR after 5 years. The maximum time one can spend in Tier 2 (General) route is 6 years. When applying for settlement, the applicant must meet a number of requirements:
- Must spend at least 5 years continuously in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) migrant or as a mixture of certain routes with most recent leave as a Tier 2 (General) migrant;
- Annual salary must be at least £35,000 (will increase further from 6 April 2018) or in accordance with the relevant SOC, whichever is higher;
- Must satisfy Knowledge of Language and Life (KoLL) requirements;
- Must not have been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in each qualifying year;
- Must provide specified documents in support of the application.
You can make an application for ILR following Tier 2 route after 5 years of the qualifying period or 28 days before you will reach the qualifying period. Your qualifying period starts from the day your initial application for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK is approved.
Applications for Leave to Remain and Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made by post, premium post (for LTR applications only, decision within 10 working days) or using same day service.
See our Tier 2 ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain guide if you are considering settlement options under your Tier 2 General Visa.
Time and Fees for Tier 2 Visa Application
It usually takes around 3 weeks for the UKVI to make a decision on your application when you make an application from outside the UK.
The fees for Tier 2 (General) visa depends on the type of application you are making, duration and the nature of your job category (if it falls under shortage occupation).
You can always check the up to date fees on the UKVI website for the appropriate category.
Experienced Lawyers for Tier 2 Visa (General)
Our experienced team of Immigration lawyers can help you successfully apply for the Tier 2 General visa. We have a dedicated team that specialises in Tier 2 applications and we would be happy to assist with your application.
Our Tier 2 Visa Services Review
If you need any legal assistance with your Tier 2 General application, please contact our London-based immigration lawyers on 020 7439 3000.
Book a consultation with one of our immigration experts so that we can assess your case and advise you on how to make a successful Tier 2 Visa Application.