The Tier 2 (General) visa explained

The Tier 2 (General) Visa is designed for non-EEA nationals who have a confirmed job offer from a UK based company. The Tier 2 scheme is the main visa route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment, usually on a salary of at least £20,800 per annum for “new entrants” and £30,000 for “experienced workers”.

In order to apply for this visa you must have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 A-Rated sponsorship licence.

You need to:

  • have a valid certificate of sponsorship for your job;
  • show you are being paid at an appropriate salary;
  • prove your knowledge of the English language;
  • have personal savings so that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK;
  • have a tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed (TB) countries;
  • provide a criminal record certificate from any country you’ve resided for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if you’ll be working with vulnerable people.

You need to have an eligible qualification if you’re switching from a Tier 4 visa. In this case, your prospective employer will not need to carry out a Resident Labour Market Test.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. Your sponsor will assign you a certificate of sponsorship reference number to be added to your application when applying for your visa out of country or in the UK.

You can only use your certificate of sponsorship reference number once. Once it is assigned, it must be used within 3 months.

Appropriate salary

You’ll usually need to be paid at least £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher. It is vital to check the appropriate rate for the job, or review the guidance for situations when you can be paid less – for example if:

  • you’ll work as a medical radiographer, nurse, paramedic or secondary school teacher in some subjects or
  • you’ll work as a pre-registration nurse or midwife


Personal savings

You must have £945 in your bank account for 90 days before you apply. This is to prove you can support yourself. Additional funds are required for your dependants.

You do not need to show evidence of this if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor who can confirm that the company will cover the maintenance for the first month of the certificate of sponsorship.


Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the Tier 2 work visa category, or for expert assistance preparing a Tier 2 work visa application, 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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