What is the Tier 2 General Visa?
Comprehensive guide to the Tier 2 General Visa, including eligibility, qualifications, types of jobs permitted, fees, and other pertinent information.
The Tier 2 General Work visa is a British work visa under the Points-Based System. It is granted to highly skilled employees from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland who have an offer of employment for a skilled position or a position on the Shortage List.
To qualify for this visa, you must have an employment offer from a licensed sponsor in the United Kingdom. As evidence, you must present a certificate of sponsorship given by the company.
As a Tier 2 General Work Visa holder, you will be able to travel beyond the United Kingdom. A Tier 2 Dependent Visa allows you to bring your dependents to the United Kingdom.
Who Needs a UK Tier 2 Visa?
To apply for a UK General Work Visa, you must satisfy a variety of eligibility requirements. These requirements are as follows:
- You must pass the general refusal criteria.
- You must have a skilled job with a sponsoring employer in the United Kingdom, or a job from the Shortage List.
- A Tier 2 Visa minimum salary of £30,000 per year must be offered.
In addition, because the visa is part of the Point-Based System, the applicant must meet the following criteria and be able to collect points for each of these requirements:
- Have 50 attribute points.
- Have at least 10 points for English language proficiency.
- Be at least 16 years old.
- A maximum of 10% of the company’s shares if the sponsor is a Limited Liability Corporation, with the exception of candidates with a minimum annual income of £159,600.
- Not permitted to accept any public funds.
- Shall not obtain any other occupation in the United Kingdom besides that of the certificate of sponsorship checking service – additional employment and volunteer work excluded.
- Meets the Requirement of possessing an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate of clearance.
When to Apply for a UK General Work Visa (Tier 2)?
The earliest you can apply for a UK General Work Visa is three months before the start date of your employment in the UK. This date is shown on your sponsorship certificate.
What are the Document Requirements for a Tier 2 Visa?
To apply for a Tier 2 visa, you must submit the documents required for any UK visa as well as these documents that are only required for Tier 2 visa applications:
- Tier 2 Visa sponsorship letter from the employer. A reference number for a job in the UK provided by an A-rate accredited sponsor employer in the UK with an acceptable Job Wage must be included on the certificate
- Criminal record certificate. This paper displays if you have broken the law in the last several years. You should receive it from your home country’s authorized authorities.
- Tuberculosis test results. Required only if you are a resident of a country that has to take the test.
- Police registration certificate.
- Proof you have the necessary funds to financially support yourself in the UK.
Tier 2 Visa Application
You will need to start your application for a Tier 2 General Work Visa from outside the UK, namely from your home country.
To begin, you must fill out an online application on the UK government’s official website. The online application form includes questions about your personal information as well as your reason for visiting the UK.
Second, gather all of the documentation required for a UK General to work visa application. You may also be required to take a TB test and get a criminal background certificate, depending on your country of residence. A health surcharge is also required.
Finally, if this is your first visit to the UK, you must make an appointment at the nearest application center, UK embassy, or consulate in your home country, where you must submit biometrics and a photograph.
Switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2
You must be a Tier 4 student or Tier 4 child visa holder to move from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa. But, the following conditions must be met as well:
- They have a degree from a UK educational institution, either undergraduate or postgraduate.
- Have studied in a UK education institution that awards degrees and is a Tier 4 sponsor
Tier 2 General Work Visa Maintenance Funds
You must have the bare minimum of saved funds available to pay your own and your dependents’ living and lodging expenses. The bare minimum is
- £945 – for you
- £630 – for any dependent
If your sponsoring employer covers your living and lodging expenses, you are excused from this requirement. In this instance, you must give verification in the form of an official document from the sponsor.
How Long is the Tier 2 General Visa Valid?
A Tier 2 General Work Visa has a limited validity period, which means you can stay in the UK for a maximum of 5 years and 1 month, or 2 weeks after the conclusion of the job contract (as specified in the Certificate of Sponsorship Checking Service), whichever is shorter.
Tier 2 Visa Certificate of Sponsorship
A Certificate of Sponsorship should be received from an employer or a corporation that is authorized to sponsor candidates. This is an electronic record with a reference number that contains information on you, the employer, the job provided, the wage, and all relevant dates.
The certificate can only be used once for a single visa application. A new certificate is required for new applications.
Tier 2 Visa Extension
You can apply for an extension if you want to stay in the UK longer to work in a skilled job than the current visa allows. This visa can be renewed for a further 5 years if the total stay does not exceed 6 years.
To be eligible for an extension, you must:
- Work for the same company that provided the sponsorship certificate in your initial application.
- Have a minimum annual income of £30,000 or the applicable compensation and allowances for the job.
- As a Tier 2 Visa holder, you can settle in the UK.
Settle in the UK as a Tier 2 Visa Holder
If you have been in the UK on a Tier 2 General Work visa for at least five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Stay (ILR). You must meet the following requirements:
- Comply with the first Tier 2 General Work visa requirements.
- Submit documentation to prove absences from the United Kingdom. Each year of the entire period, a maximum of 180 days of absence is permitted.
- Sponsorship certificate from a recognized Tier 2 Sponsor. The sponsor must either still hold the Tier 2 Sponsor license for the relevant category or be awaiting a decision on their renewal application. The certificate must demonstrate a sponsor’s willingness to keep you working for a specified period of time and at a specific wage.
- Comprehension of the English language and of life in the United Kingdom.
- There must be no history of overstaying in the UK.
Tier 2 General Visa Fees
Visa prices for a Tier 2 General visa vary depending on whether you apply from within or outside the UK, as well as your citizenship since citizens of Turkey and North Macedonia pay different rates.
Recognized Jobs Under the Tier 2 Visa
The Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) was created in October 2015 with the primary objective of assisting individuals in understanding all of the qualifications that the UK Home Office regulates, which are general and vocational in England, and vocational in Northern Ireland. These levels are classified based on their difficulty. The Tier 2 General visa includes the RQF employment levels 4th and 6th.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Tier 2 general and Skilled Worker visa the same?
A Skilled Worker visa allows you to enter or remain in the UK to work for an approved employer in an eligible job. The Tier 2 (General) work visa has been replaced by this visa.
What is a Tier 2 General Skilled Worker visa in the UK?
What exactly is a Tier 2 visa? A Tier 2 visa is the primary immigration route for skilled individuals from outside the EEA or Switzerland who wish to work in the UK for an approved licensed firm. The UK Home Office grants approval for a foreign worker to accept a job offer in a skilled role.