Tier 2 General


The Tier 2 General (work permit) visa category requires the applicant to have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (“COS”) issued by a UK based licenced sponsor. The application process will vary for in and out of country applications and whether a restricted or an unrestricted COS is needed as part of the sponsorship.


Requirements under the Tier 2 Work Permit


Under the Tier 2 General category candidates will be assessed against the following criteria:


  • Prospective UK earnings – points will be awarded according to the amount the prospective candidate will be paid by the sponsoring employer.
  • Level of the job on offer – all positions under the Tier 2 scheme must be at a graduate level. Roles at PhD level as well as those on the Shortage Occupation List will be awarded higher points than those relying on the Resident Labour Market Test.
  • English language requirement – Applicants may be required to pass a test assessing their English skills, depending on their country of origin or a qualification held.
  • Maintenance requirement – Applicants must score 10 points for maintenance funds as part of your application for leave to enter or leave to remain


The initial leave to enter/remain under the Tier 2 visa category can be granted for up to 5 years with the option of further extension up to a total of 6 years.


Tier 2 extension of stay in the UK


Migrants wishing to extend their visa in the UK with the same sponsor must meet the requirements similar to those for the initial entry such as:


  • the migrant has been assigned COS for the same role; and
  • the job continues to be at the appropriate skill level; and
  • the migrant’s salary is at the appropriate level.


Change of employment


If the migrant if changing jobs whilst continuing to work with the same sponsor and the new position is in a different SOC code it will be necessary to submit an application and satisfy the RMLT requirement unless the job falls under the exempt category.


In order for the migrant to change employers, he/she will have to make a new application under the Tier 2 General category and gain the approval of the UKVI before commencing employment with the new sponsor.


Settlement in the UK


Leave to enter/remain as a Tier 2 holder may lead to settlement upon completion of five years in the UK subject to meeting the relevant requirements. Tier 2 migrants are allowed absences of no more than 180 days per year over the 5 years period, including business trips and holidays.


Speak to one of our Tier 2 General visa consultants now to discuss your tailor made visa solution. Call us on +44 20 3384 3075, email: [email protected] or use contact form below.

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