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).