Appropriate salary rate for a Tier 2 migrant

If a UK employer needs to recruit a non-EEA national, it will be important to assign him/her a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with the appropriate Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code to match the role advertised in the vacancy.

A CoS can be restricted or unrestricted, and once assigned, it has a 3 months validity.

In addition, under paragraph Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, the applicant has to meet the appropriate salary rate for the Tier 2 visa application. In the SOC, there are two salary rate thresholds, one is for the ‘new entrants’ category and the second one is for ‘experienced workers’.

New entrant rate

The new entrant rate reflects the fact that migrants in the early stages of their career are generally paid less than their more experienced counterparts.

Please note that the new entrant rate can be paid if the migrant switches into the Tier 2 (General) from a Tier 4 student visa, or if the applicant will be sponsored under the Tier 2 (ICT-Graduate Trainee) category, or if the migrant is under the age of 26 on the date of the application. However, if the CoS is assigned for more than 3 years and 1 month, the migrant would not be paid on a new entrant salary rate.

The appropriate salary rate threshold for a new entrant is at least £20,800 per annum. For more information about the specified appropriate ‘new entrant’ rate, please refer to Appendix J of the Immigration Rules as below:

Experienced worker rate

If the migrant is applying for a period of leave which is under any combination of Tier 2 leave, or as a work permit holder beyond 3 years and 1 month, the ‘experienced worker’ rate must be paid. Please note that the ‘experienced worker’ threshold rate is £30,000. For example, if the applicant is initially sponsored at the ‘new entrant’ rate, he/she must be paid at least £30,000 or the specified ‘experienced worker’ rate under the Appendix J of the Immigration Rules, if the migrant is needed for more than 3 years. This includes where:

  • the migrant is still under the age of 26, but is applying to extend their stay in a Tier 2 category to 5 years
  • the applicant was assigned a CoS for more than 3 years and 1 month


However, it is important to bear in mind that the rates are based on a 39 hours per week.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 2 visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075 or contact us here.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.

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