Tier 2 Visa

Tier 2 (General) visa

The Tier 2 (General) visa is for qualified workers coming to the UK for work. Applicants will need to receive an employment offer from a UK employer who has a valid sponsorship license.

Tier 2 (General) visa holders are entitled to bring along their dependants on a Tier 2 (Dependent) visa. The successful dependants can obtain an indefinite leave to remain in 5 years and citizenship in 6 years.

A Tier 2 (General) visa application is submitted by a qualified employee, hired by a licensed sponsor, who can confirm that the applicant is up to the job and eligible to apply for the visa. Applicants are assigned an electronic sponsorship certificate with personal data and job information stated there (for example, wage numbers, start and end dates of the work contract). The sponsor will also provide the applicant with the certificate number, which must be attached to the application.

Before issuing a sponsorship certificate to the applicant the employer must confirm that no qualified prospective employee from the UK or the EU is suitable for the position (The Resident Labor Market Test). The sponsor should at first offer the position to candidates from the European Economic Area (EEA). If the employer does not find an eligible employee from the EEA, he is entitled to offer a position to the applicant. The procedure can be omitted if the individual applies for a position on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupations List, or the applicant can be accepted under Tier 2 Intra-company transfer, or in some other cases.

Tier 2 (General) visa applicants have the right to come to the UK for a maximum period of 5 years and 14 days or for the time frame indicated in their sponsorship certificate plus one month (whichever is shorter).

Tier 2 (General) visa application requirements: 

In order to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa the applicant must meet a number of requirements.

Applicant must not be citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Applicants must receive a qualified job offer from an employer based in the UK with a valid sponsorship license.

Other requirements are the wage level corresponding to the position and funds to support yourself.

Our experienced staff will provide you with detailed information on immigration requirements and help you to prepare all the necessary papers.

As a successful applicant you can:

  • work for your sponsor on the position stated in the sponsorship certificate
  • have a second job (in specific cases)
  • be a volunteer
  • study for a degree if this does not interfere with work
  • travel overseas and return to the UK
  • bring dependent family members to the UK

As a successful applicant you cannot:

  • own more than 10% shares of the sponsorship enterprise (unless the company makes more than £ 159,600 per year)
  • receive public benefits
  • apply for a second job before joining a sponsoring company

Requirements for switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa:

You can switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you already live in the UK under one of the following visas:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) visa – in accordance with the immigration rules valid until April 6, 2010 and when applying to change a sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa – if the applicant has the appropriate qualifications or has been a Doctor of Science (PhD) for no less than 12 months
  • A financially dependent partner of a UK migrant with a Tier 4 visa
  • Representative of an overseas business

An application for switching from any of the listed visas categories to Tier 2 (General) visa must be submitted in the UK before the current visa expires.

Application processing time:

Applicants are entitled to apply for a visa 3 months before starting work in the UK. The date will be indicated on their sponsorship certificate.

  • The application will be processed within 3 weeks if the applicant submits it outside the UK.
  • There are priority services available in some visa centers, allowing you to have your application considered within 10-15 days.
  • The standard processing time for Tier 2 (General) visa applications submitted in the UK is around 8 weeks.


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