Tier 2 Work Visa

UK Immigration under the Points Based System

Apply for a Tier 2 General Work Visa

The Tier 2 General visa is a work visa for individuals who are highly skilled to have the opportunity to work and settle in the UK. To be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa you must have a job offer with a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by an employer that holds a Tier 2 Sponsorship license.

A Tier 2 General visa can be valid for a maximum period of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany you as your dependents.  

You can extend your stay on a Tier 2 General Visa. But the maximum period you can stay on a Tier 2 General Visa is 6 years.

You can settle permanently in the UK after being in the Tier 2 General category for five years. Your 5 years residency period for settlement can be combined with any stay you may have had on a Tier 1 visa.

There is a ‘cooling off period’ that you may be subject to if you have held a Tier 2 General visa and that ends, you apply from overseas. You will not normally be able to apply to re-enter the UK in this category from overseas during this period.

You can switch into the Tier 2 General immigration category if you are already in the UK under Tier 1, 2, or 4 of the point-based system.

Requirements for a Tier 2 General Work Visa

You will need to meet certain requirements to apply for a Tier 2 General visa with the UKVI. Tier 2 Visa application can be submitted from outside the UK at a local UK visa centre or at the UKVACS centre in the UK. Some of the Tier 2 visa requirements are listed below:

  • Have a job offer in the UK from an employer that holds a Tier 2 Sponsor License
  • The role you are applying for must be at least at graduate level
  • The job must be on the Home Office’s Appendix J; Codes of Practice for Skilled Work or on the Shortage Occupation List
  • Your salary should be a minimum salary of £30,000 (£20,800 for new entrants) or the minimum for the exact job you are doing, whichever is higher
  • The job offer is a genuine vacancy and you are appropriately qualified for  the job
  • Your employer may have to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test 
  • You will need to have a minimum of B1 Level English proficiency
  • You will need to show evidence of being able to support yourself, and dependents, if relevant

Tier 2 Dependent Visa

Tier 2 General visa holders can sponsor their dependents to the UK. Tier 2 Dependent visa holder can work in the UK, can access the NHS for medical care and also settle in the UK. Tier 2 Visa Dependent can either apply for their dependent visa at the same time as the main applicant or can apply later to join the main application.

Dependent Children of UK Work Permit holder can study at a UK School for free and are not required to pay any school fees. 

Switch to Tier 2 Work Visa from inside the UK

If you are currently in the UK as a Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT) migrant, you will only be able to switch into the Tier 2 General category if your Tier 2 ICT visa was granted before 6th April 2010 and you are applying to change sponsor, or you have leave under the Tier 2 ICT: Established staff category granted before 6th April 2011 and are applying to change sponsor.

If you are currently in the UK as a Tier 4 General Student, you will need to have either completed and passed your degree level course or be applying no more than 3 months before the expected completion date, in order to be eligible to switch into the Tier 2 General category.

You can include guaranteed allowances to demonstrate that you meet the minimum salary criteria, as long as they would also be paid to a settled worker.

You must not own more than 10% of the shares of the company sponsoring you. This is unless your gross salary is £159,600 or more.

In most cases, you will only be able to work for your Sponsor. Although you may be able to do some additional part time work in certain circumstances.

If you will be working in certain health, education or social work professions you may need to provide a criminal record certificate from any country that you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

Requirements to switch to a Tier 2 General Visa 

Your Sponsor will need to show that there is no suitable settled worker to fill the role. In most cases, they will need to prove that they have undertaken a genuine ‘Resident Labour Market Test’. This normally means that they have advertised the role for at least 28 days in two places and no suitable settled worker has applied.

A Resident Labour Market Test is not required in cases where the job is on the Shortage Occupation List. Or if you will be a high earner (annual salary of £159,600 or more). If you are switching from a Tier 4 General Student visa then your employer will usually be exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test.

You will need to be competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1. This is equivalent to IELTS 4.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. You should have enough additional money to support yourself without relying on public funds.

GSN can help for a successful Tier 2 visa application

We will provide a Person & Country Specific Document Checklist so that you can gather the required documents according to your circumstances so that you have the best chance of success for your tier 2 General Work Visa application.

We are able to explain and guide you on how to meet each of the specific requirements for a Tier 2 General Visa & help you to switch to Tier 2 Visa. Submitting the right documents in support of your application is vital so that you have the best possible application. 

It is our job to complete your application forms and also submit the application. This also includes advice on the Biometrics appointment. Our aim is to submit your application smoothly and in addition provide up to date information at all times. This way you do not need to keep up to date with the UKVI changes.

We remain available during and after the submission of your application and until a decision comes through.

A legal representation letter is vital and will support your application.We will work hard and diligently and advise you fully on your application. This ensures you have the best chance of success.

Contact us now to apply for a UK Work Permit

Why not give us a call to discover that we are the best Tier 2 visa expert Immigration Lawyers in London, and Harrow. We work with clients from all over the UK, so if you are not in London or Harrow do not worry, we can assist you wherever you are. We provide the best immigration advice in London at OISC Level 3 for work visa applications to clients from all over the UK, including, Harrow, Wembley, Ealing, Birmingham, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes, Bristol and even Scotland.

Our clients come from all over the world including Russia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Tanzania, Morocco, Iran, Egypt, USA, Canada, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, Columbia, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Vietnam & China to name a few.

We have experienced Immigration Lawyers in London, and we also have Immigration Lawyers in Harrow, so you have access to the best Immigration Advice in London.

You can call and speak to our Immigration Lawyers in London on 0207 993 6981 , they are ready to take your call.

You can also call our Immigration Lawyers in Harrow on +44 208 150 6709

Call now and speak to us and discover for yourself that we are the right Immigration Lawyers in London, or Harrow, for you. Alternatively, you can Email us on info@gsnimmigration.co.uk 


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for UK Work Permit without Sponsor?

To apply for a UK work permit it is mandatory that you have a sponsor who holds Tier 2 Sponsorship License.

How long is Tier 2 Visa valid for?

It depends on your employer, if your employer issues you a COS letter showing an end date of 1 year you will receive a year’s visa but if the COS states your job duration is 3 years then your visa will be issued for 3 years.

Can I sponsor my family as a Tier 2 migrant?

Yes, you can sponsor your family on a Tier 2 Dependent visa to join you or accompany you to the UK.

Can my spouse work in the UK on Tier 2 Dependent visa?

Yes, your spouse can work full time in the UK.

I want to get my Tier 2 visa fast track, can I?

GSN Immigration can submit your application on your behalf under “Priority Service” and get your visa processed “Fast track”.



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