Tier 2 (General) Work Permit

This category is used for skilled workers from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who have received a job offer from a UK employer and also includes Shortage Occupation jobs resulting from work force shortages.

If you have been given a job offer for a skilled position in the UK then you may be able to apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa. The company that have offered you the position must be on the official list of licensed sponsors in order for you to apply to live in the UK.

The sponsor will undertake the necessary checks to ensure you are able to do the job they are hiring you for and that you will qualify for the visa. Once this has been confirmed a certificate of sponsorship can be assigned to you as proof of your eligibility to apply for the visa. Your sponsors will also have to provide other information at this stage, for example how much your salary is expected to be. Our Immigration team are experienced in assisting individuals and sponsors with help and guidance throughout the necessary processes.


What are the main requirements for a Tier 2 (General) Work Permit?

In addition to having a valid certificate of sponsorship for your job and the necessary information required to demonstrate you will be paid an appropriate salary, those wishing to apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa will be required to:

  • Demonstrate a suitable amount of personal savings in order to self support upon arriving in the UK
  • Have at least £945 in their bank accounts 3 months prior to applying (this may be covered by your fully licensed sponsor who can give you this amount to cover your costs for a month should you require this. This would have to be confirmed by them on your certificate of sponsorship).
  • Provide proof of current validity to travel and previous travel history dating back over the last 5 years
  • If applicable, provide tuberculosis test results
  • Prove they have the required knowledge of English, either through the successful completion of an approved English test or by providing details of a qualifying degree qualification (there are exceptions to the required knowledge of English, these will mainly relate to those applicants from the exempt list of countries).

With regards to salary amounts, an annual figure of at least £30,000 or the ‘appropriate figure’ for the job in question (whichever is higher) must be paid in order to obtain a Tier 2 General Work Visa in the UK. The ‘appropriate rate’ in question will be determined by the exact job you have been offered.

When can I apply for this visa?

Those applicants wishing to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa may do so anytime up to 3 months prior to the date they would be expected to start working in the UK. The requisite fees will be determined by the exact nature of how you apply, your situation in general and which country you are applying from. Our immigration team can guide you through understanding this process and what applies to your specific situation.

There are also shortage occupation lists, displaying skilled jobs in which there is a shortage of workers already in the UK. Those who may be able to fill such positions would qualify on this basis where applicable.

How long can I stay in the UK under this visa?

Successful applicants able to obtain a Tier 2 General Visa can come to the UK for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days (or the time given on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus one month, whichever time period is shorter). Those wishing to begin their stay in the UK early can do so up to 14 days before the start date as given on their Sponsorship Certificate.

Those wishing to extend their stay under this Visa can do so for up to a further 5 years, so long as the total stay does not exceed 6 years.

What am I permitted to do under this visa?

Tier 2 General Visa holders are allowed to bring family members as dependants with you, obtain voluntary work, travel abroad and return to the UK during their stay, and undertake study so long as it does not interfere with the job they are being sponsored to do in the UK.

For further expert and professional advice and assistance in relation to Tier 2 (General) Visas, including with regards to fees and charges, application processing times and the necessary requirements for extending your visa, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team who are ready and able to help you.

Please be advised that Immigration Rules are always changing. Contact us for the latest help, advice and information with regards to your query.

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