Work and live in the UK
If you have been offered short- or long-term skilled employment in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 visa.
You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if the following criteria are met:
- You have a job offer for a skilled position in the UK
- You’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
How does it work?
A Tier 2 (General) visa is a points-based category. Points are awarded for the following:
- Future expected earnings - 20 points
- Sponsorship - 30 points
- English language skills - 10 points
- Available maintenance (funds) - 10 points
To be eligible for the Tier 2 work permit, your post will need to be at the right level for sponsorship (a minimum NQF Level 6). The minimum salary required for a Tier 2 is £20,800, but this may vary depending on your occupation and your SOC code.
What are the steps?
There are three main steps involved in lodging an application for a Tier 2 visa.
1. Sponsorship licence
The first stage is undertaken by the employer. Your employer will apply directly to UK Visas and Immigration for a sponsorship licence and this application will be assessed accordingly.
Your employer will also need to meet the resident labour market test to demonstrate that they could not find any suitable resident worker for the post.
2. Certificate of sponsorship
An approved sponsor applies for a certificate of sponsorship (COS) for the position they would like a non-resident worker to fill. Once a COS is assigned, the migrant may apply for their visa.
3. Applying for the Tier 2 (General) visa
In this final stage, the prospective employee will submit a visa application using their unique COS number and provide evidence that they meet the Tier 2 visa requirements.