UK Tier 2 Visa: Requirements and Application Process

Understanding UK Tier 2 Visa

If you are a non-EEA national and want to work in the UK, you will likely need a Tier 2 visa. The Tier 2 visa is a work visa that allows skilled workers to come to the UK to fill a job vacancy. To apply for a Tier 2 visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer who has a valid Tier 2 sponsor license.

To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, you must meet specific requirements. You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, meet the English language requirements, and have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds. Additionally, you must score enough points under the UK points-based system.

The points-based system is a way of assessing applicants’ eligibility for a Tier 2 visa. You can earn points for your qualifications, your prospective earnings, and your English language skills. The system is designed to ensure that only the most skilled workers come to the UK.

Once you have a job offer and meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for a Tier 2 visa. The application process can take several weeks, so it is essential to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.

It is worth noting that the Tier 2 visa is not a route to permanent residency in the UK. However, if you work in the UK for five years on a Tier 2 visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

In summary, the Tier 2 visa is a work visa that allows skilled non-EEA workers to come to the UK to fill a job vacancy. To be eligible, you must meet specific requirements, including having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship, meeting English language requirements, and scoring enough points under the points-based system. If you are successful in your application, you can work in the UK for up to five years.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa in the UK, you must meet certain requirements. The eligibility criteria include general requirements, as well as occupation-specific requirements.

General Eligibility

To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, you must meet the following general requirements:

  • You must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor.
  • You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
  • You must score enough points on the points-based system, which includes points for your salary, English language skills, and maintenance funds.

Occupation Specific Requirements

In addition to the general eligibility requirements, you must also meet occupation-specific requirements. These requirements vary depending on the occupation you will be working in.

If your occupation is on the Shortage Occupation List, you may be exempt from some of the requirements. The Shortage Occupation List is a list of occupations in the UK that are currently in high demand and for which there are not enough qualified workers.

To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa in a shortage occupation, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor.
  • You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
  • You must score enough points on the points-based system, which includes points for your salary and maintenance funds.
  • You must meet the academic qualification requirements for your occupation.
  • You must meet the English language requirement.

If your occupation is not on the Shortage Occupation List, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor.
  • You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
  • You must score enough points on the points-based system, which includes points for your salary and maintenance funds.
  • You must meet the academic qualification requirements for your occupation.
  • You must meet the English language requirement by passing an approved English language test or by having a degree taught or researched in English.

In general, to meet the academic qualification requirements, you must have a degree or a UK PhD certificate. However, there are some exceptions for certain occupations.

In terms of the English language requirement, you must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English to the required level. The required level varies depending on the occupation and the type of visa you are applying for.

Overall, the eligibility requirements for a Tier 2 visa in the UK are quite strict. However, if you meet the requirements and have a job offer from a licensed sponsor, you may be able to obtain a Tier 2 visa and work in the UK.

Application Process

To apply for a Tier 2 visa, you need to follow a few steps. In this section, we will guide you through the application process.

Online Application

The first step in the application process is to apply online. You can do this by visiting the UK government’s visa application website. You will need to create an account and fill out the application form. Make sure to double-check all the information you provide to avoid any errors.

Documents Requirement

To apply for a Tier 2 visa, you will need to provide certain documents. These include a valid passport, proof of your identity and nationality, and your tuberculosis test results. You may also need to provide a criminal record certificate and an ATAS certificate if your job requires it. Make sure to check the UK government’s website for a full list of required documents.

Biometric Information

Once you have submitted your application, you will need to provide your biometric information. This includes your fingerprints and a digital photograph. You can do this by visiting a visa application center in your country. Make sure to book an appointment beforehand.

It is important to note that if any of your documents are not in English, you will need to provide a certified translation. You will also need an ECCTIS reference number if you have studied in the UK before.

In conclusion, the application process for a Tier 2 visa may seem daunting, but by following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and successful application. Make sure to carefully read all instructions and requirements before starting your application to avoid any mistakes.

Sponsorship Details

To obtain a Tier 2 visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer who is an approved sponsor. The employer must issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to apply for the visa. The CoS is a unique reference number that confirms that the employer has offered you a job and that you are eligible to apply for a Tier 2 visa.

Certificate of Sponsorship

There are two types of CoS: a restricted CoS and an unrestricted CoS. A restricted CoS is required for jobs that are in high demand, such as healthcare and education. The UK government limits the number of restricted CoS that can be issued each month. An unrestricted CoS is required for jobs that are not in high demand.

Sponsorship Eligibility

To be eligible for sponsorship, you must meet certain requirements. You must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer who is an approved sponsor. You must also meet the English language requirement and the minimum salary requirement. The minimum salary requirement varies depending on the job and the location.

Job Offer Requirements

To qualify for sponsorship, your job offer must meet certain requirements. The job must be at a suitable skill level, which is usually a graduate-level job. The job must also meet the minimum salary requirement. The employer must also advertise the job in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) for 28 days before offering the job to a non-EEA worker.

In summary, to apply for a Tier 2 visa, you must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer who is an approved sponsor. The employer must issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to apply for the visa. The job offer must meet certain requirements, including the minimum salary requirement and the suitable skill level requirement.

Visa Types

If you are planning to work in the UK, you will need to obtain a visa. There are various types of visas available, and the one that you will need depends on your specific situation. In this section, we will discuss the most common types of visas for working in the UK.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

The Tier 2 (General) Visa is the most common visa for skilled workers coming to the UK. This visa allows you to work for a UK employer who has sponsored you. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer, and the job must meet certain skill and salary requirements. You will also need to pass an English language test and meet other eligibility criteria.

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa is the new visa that has replaced the Tier 2 (General) Visa. This visa allows skilled workers to come to the UK to work for a UK employer who has sponsored them. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer, and the job must meet certain skill and salary requirements. You will also need to pass an English language test and meet other eligibility criteria.

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa

The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are coming to the UK to work for a UK employer who has sponsored them. To be eligible for this visa, you must be endorsed by your sport’s governing body and meet other eligibility criteria.

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa

The Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa is for religious workers who are coming to the UK to work for a UK employer who has sponsored them. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer and meet other eligibility criteria.

In summary, the most common types of visas for working in the UK are the Tier 2 (General) Visa and the Skilled Worker Visa. However, if you are a sports person or coach or a religious worker, you may be eligible for a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa or a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa, respectively. Make sure you carefully review the eligibility criteria for each visa type before applying.

Financial Requirements

To qualify for the UK Tier 2 visa, you must meet certain financial requirements. This includes salary requirements and personal savings.

Salary Requirements

The UK government has set a minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 visa applicants. As of October 2019, the minimum salary requirement for Tier 2 (General) visa applicants is £30,000 per year. However, some jobs, such as those in healthcare or education, have lower minimum salary requirements.

It is important to note that the minimum salary requirement is not the only factor that the UK government considers when assessing your Tier 2 visa application. They will also take into account your job offer, your qualifications, and your experience.

Personal Savings

In addition to meeting the salary requirements, you may also need to provide evidence of personal savings. This is to show that you can support yourself and any dependents while you are in the UK.

The amount of personal savings required will depend on your individual circumstances. However, as a general rule, you should have enough savings to cover your living expenses for at least three months. This includes rent, bills, food, and other expenses.

You may need to provide bank statements or other evidence of your personal savings as part of your Tier 2 visa application. It is important to make sure that your bank statements are up to date and show a consistent pattern of savings.

Overall, meeting the financial requirements for the UK Tier 2 visa can be challenging. However, with careful planning and preparation, you can increase your chances of success.

Extension and Switching

If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 2 visa and wish to extend your stay, you must apply for an extension before your current visa expires. You can apply to extend your visa for up to 5 years in total, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. You should apply for an extension at least 3 months before your current visa expires.

Extension Process

To apply for an extension, you will need to provide evidence that you are still employed in the same job as when you were granted your original visa, and that you are still being paid the same salary. You will also need to provide evidence that you still meet the English language requirement and the maintenance requirement.

If you are applying to extend your visa for more than 3 years, you will also need to provide a new Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer. Your employer will need to apply for a new Certificate of Sponsorship on your behalf, and you will need to include this in your application.

Switching Process

If you wish to switch from a Tier 2 visa to a different visa category, you can apply to do so as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for the new visa category. For example, if you have been in the UK on a Tier 2 visa for 5 years and wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain, you can do so as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for indefinite leave to remain.

If you wish to switch to a Tier 2 visa from a different visa category, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 2 visa and have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer.

If you wish to switch to a Tier 2 visa and are currently in the UK on a different type of work visa, you must apply for a Tier 2 visa before your current permission to stay expires. You cannot switch to a Tier 2 visa if you are in the UK on a visitor visa or a short-term student visa.

In summary, if you wish to extend your current visa, you must apply for an extension before your current visa expires. If you wish to switch to a different visa category, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the new visa category and have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer.

Family and Dependants

When you apply for a Tier 2 visa, you can bring your partner and children with you to the UK. They will be considered as your dependants and will need to apply for their own visas.

To be eligible, your partner must be your spouse or civil partner, or you must have been living together in a relationship for at least two years. Your children must be under the age of 18 and not married or in a civil partnership.

To apply for a dependant visa, your family members will need to provide their biometric information, pay a fee, and provide evidence that they can support themselves while in the UK.

It’s important to note that the cost of applying for a dependant visa can be expensive, with fees ranging from £610 to £1,408 depending on the length of the visa and whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.

In addition, you will need to show that you can support your family members while they are in the UK. You must have a certain amount of money in savings, or your employer must certify that they will cover the cost of your family’s living expenses.

Overall, bringing your family with you to the UK on a Tier 2 visa can be a complex and expensive process. However, if you meet the eligibility requirements and are able to provide the necessary documentation and support, it can be a rewarding experience for you and your loved ones.

Settlement in the UK

If you are a Tier 2 visa holder, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK. ILR allows you to settle permanently in the UK and gives you the right to work and study in the UK without any restrictions.

To be eligible for ILR, you must have lived in the UK for a certain period of time, usually five years. You must also meet certain requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK test and meeting the English language requirements.

If you are a Tier 2 General visa holder, you may be exempt from the English language requirement if you have already demonstrated your knowledge of English when you applied for your visa.

It is important to note that if you have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12-month period during your stay, this may affect your eligibility for ILR.

Once you have obtained ILR, you may be eligible to apply for British citizenship. This will give you the right to vote and the ability to travel with a British passport.

Overall, settling in the UK as a Tier 2 visa holder can be a long process, but it can be a rewarding one. If you plan to stay in the UK for the long term, it is important to start planning for ILR early on in your stay.

Fees and Additional Services

If you are planning to apply for a UK Tier 2 visa, it’s important to understand the fees and additional services that may be required. In this section, we’ll cover the visa fees, healthcare surcharge, and faster decision service.

Visa Fees

The visa fees for a Tier 2 General visa are subject to change and depend on your specific situation. As of October 2023, the proposed visa filing fee for a five-year Tier 2 General visa is £1,033 for a standard application. The fee for a priority service application is £1,236, which guarantees a decision within five working days. If you need your visa urgently, you can use the super priority service for a fee of £1,583, which guarantees a decision within one working day.

Healthcare Surcharge

In addition to the visa fees, you will also need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application. The healthcare surcharge is a fee that goes towards funding the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The amount you need to pay depends on the length of your visa and whether you are applying as a main applicant or as a dependent.

As of October 2023, the healthcare surcharge for a five-year Tier 2 General visa is £1,560 for the main applicant and £1,560 per dependent. If you are applying for a shorter or longer visa, the healthcare surcharge will be adjusted accordingly.

Faster Decision Service

If you need your visa application processed quickly, you can use the faster decision service. This service is available for both standard and priority applications and allows you to get a decision on your visa application within five working days. The cost of the faster decision service is £500 in addition to the standard or priority visa application fee.

In conclusion, when applying for a UK Tier 2 visa, it’s important to budget for the visa fees, healthcare surcharge, and any additional services you may need. Be sure to check the latest fees and requirements before submitting your application to avoid any delays or unexpected expenses.

Occupation Specific Details

If you are planning to apply for a UK Tier 2 visa, it is important to know the occupation-specific details. The UK government has set specific requirements for different occupations, and you should make sure that you meet these requirements before applying.

Healthcare Professionals

If you are a doctor, nurse, dentist, or therapist, you will need to register with the relevant professional body in the UK before you can apply for a Tier 2 visa. This means that you will need to have the necessary qualifications and experience to work in your field.

In addition, you will need to have a job offer from a UK employer who is willing to sponsor your visa application. Your employer will also need to provide a certificate of sponsorship, which is a document that confirms that they are sponsoring your visa application.

Religious Ministers

If you are a religious minister, you will need to have a job offer from a UK employer who is willing to sponsor your visa application. Your employer will also need to provide a certificate of sponsorship.

In addition, you will need to meet the English language requirements and have enough money to support yourself while you are in the UK.

Athletes and Coaches

If you are an athlete or coach, you will need to have a job offer from a UK employer who is willing to sponsor your visa application. Your employer will also need to provide a certificate of sponsorship.

In addition, you will need to be endorsed by the relevant governing body for your sport or activity in the UK. This means that you will need to have a high level of skill and experience in your field.

It is important to note that these are just a few examples of the occupation-specific details for a Tier 2 visa. If you work in social services or another field, you should check the UK government’s website for more information on the specific requirements for your occupation.

Overall, if you meet the requirements for your occupation and have a job offer from a UK employer, you may be eligible for a Tier 2 visa.

Additional Information

Travel Abroad

If you hold a Tier 2 visa, you are allowed to travel abroad and return to the UK without any restrictions. However, if you plan to leave the UK for an extended period of time, you must inform your employer and sponsor. If you are outside the UK for more than 180 days in a calendar year, your visa may be cancelled.

Public Funds

As a Tier 2 visa holder, you are not entitled to receive public funds. This includes benefits, tax credits, and housing assistance. You are also not allowed to work as a professional sportsperson or coach.

Points-Based System

The Tier 2 visa is part of the UK’s points-based system for immigration. To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa, you must score a minimum of 70 points. Points are awarded based on your job offer, salary, English language skills, and available maintenance funds.

UK NARIC

If you are applying for a Tier 2 visa and have a degree or qualification from outside the UK, you may need to have it assessed by UK NARIC. This is to ensure that your qualification is equivalent to a UK degree or qualification. You can check if your qualification needs to be assessed by UK NARIC on their website.

Switzerland

If you are a Swiss national, you do not need a Tier 2 visa to work in the UK. Instead, you can apply for a Swiss/EEA service provider visa. This visa allows you to work in the UK for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. After 90 days, you will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa if you wish to continue working in the UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for a UK Skilled Worker visa?

To be eligible for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you must have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor license. You must also meet the minimum salary requirement for the role, which is currently £25,600 per year or the going rate for your profession, whichever is higher. Additionally, you must have a good knowledge of the English language and be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK.

What documents are required for a Tier 2 visa application?

When applying for a Tier 2 visa, you will need to provide various documents, including your passport, a certificate of sponsorship from your employer, proof of your knowledge of the English language, and evidence of your finances. You may also need to provide additional documents depending on your individual circumstances.

What is the processing time for a UK Skilled Worker visa?

The processing time for a UK Skilled Worker visa can vary depending on various factors, such as the country you are applying from and the time of year. Generally, it takes around three weeks for a decision to be made on your visa application.

How much does a UK Skilled Worker visa cost?

The cost of a UK Skilled Worker visa depends on various factors, such as the length of your stay and whether you are applying from inside or outside the UK. The current fees for a Tier 2 visa start from £610 for a three-year visa.

What jobs qualify for a Tier 2 visa sponsorship in the UK?

To qualify for a Tier 2 visa sponsorship in the UK, your job must be on the UK government’s list of eligible occupations. This includes a wide range of professions, such as healthcare workers, engineers, IT professionals, and teachers.

How long can a person stay in the UK on a Tier 2 visa?

The length of time you can stay in the UK on a Tier 2 visa depends on the length of your visa and your employment contract. Generally, you can stay for up to five years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus one month, whichever is shorter. After this time, you may be eligible to apply for settlement or permanent residency in the UK.

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