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Tier 2 General Visas

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Take up employment in the UK with the Tier 2 General Visa

The Tier 2 (general) visa is to enable skilled workers to come to the UK to take up employment, usually paying a salary of at least £30,000. In order to apply for this visa you must have a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence.

You can apply for a PBS Tier 2 – General Visa of you are a skilled worker have been offered employment in the United Kingdom.
In order to apply for this visa, you will need to:

1. Have a Certificate of Sponsorship;
2. Have appropriate salary and maintenance;
3. Meet the English language requirement.

You can apply for an extension of this visa if you meet all the necessary requirements and eventually apply for settlement.

Dependents can be included in your application as long as you can provide adequate maintenance and evidence of your relationship to them.

Expanded Requirements for Tier 2 Visa – General

There are a number of requirements the applicant will need to satisfy if they are to obtain the Tier 2 General Visa to work in the UK. Below is the full, expanded list of requirements:

  • You must have a valid, outstanding job offer to perform skilled work in the UK.
  • The job offer must be from a UK employer who holds a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
  • That employer must provide you with a valid certificate of sponsorship, complete with CoS reference number.
  • The job being offered must pass the Resident Labour Market Test (in certain cases an exemption may apply to the RLM Test).
  • The salary should be appropriate for the job being offered and must be at least £26,200.
  • You must satisfy the English language requirement of at least CEFR Level B1 in reading, writing and speaking.
  • Unless an exemption applies you will need to show minimum maintenance funds of at least £945.

Below we will discuss the various requirements for obtaining the Tier 2 General Visa in more detail.

About the Certificate of Sponsorship

The Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued by your prospective employer and will be required during the Tier 2 Visa application process. Many people expect to receive a paper certificate, but in this case, the CoS is an electronic record containing your personal information as well as details regarding the job you have been offered.

In order to make a Tier 2 Visa application you will need a valid CoS with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship reference number. That CoS reference number will be valid for 3 months from the date it is issued and can only be used for a single Tier 2 Visa application.

Appropriate Salary for Tier 2 (General) Visa

In order to obtain a Tier 2 Visa the prospective employer will need to be offering you an appropriate salary. In March of 2023, the minimum acceptable salary for a Tier 2 Visa rose from £25,600 to £26,200. However, if the worker has been offered a job in a so-called “shortage occupation” (an occupation for which there are insufficient numbers of qualified native applicants) the minimum salary threshold is set at £20,480.

Tier 2 Visa Extensions: FLR – Further Leave to Remain

If you wish to extend your leave to remain in the UK under the Tier 2 Visa you will need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must apply for the extension before the current leave to remain expires.
  • You must have an offer from the same employer to remain longer at the same job.
  • That employer must have a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship License at the time you apply for your Tier 2 extension.

Tier 2 Visa: Cooling off period

When a foreign worker leaves the UK before their Tier 2 leave is due to expire he or she will be required to wait 12 months before they are allowed to re-enter the UK via the Tier 2 route again. This is referred to as the Tier 2 Visa Cooling Off Period.

The Tier 2 Visa Application Process: Fees and Time

Tier 2 General Visa application fees will depend on the nature of the job the applicant has been offered and whether it falls into the “shortage occupation” category. How long the job is expected to last may also influence the fees the applicant ends up paying.

As for how long the application process takes… you can typically expect to wait around 3 weeks for the decision on your Tier 2 application. The waiting period may be slightly longer or shorter depending on the volume of applications being processed at the time.

Trust the Experts at Barar & Associates for Tier 2 Visa Assistance

The experienced team of immigration lawyers at Barar & Associates can help you successfully navigate the Tier 2 (General) Visa application process so that you can continue to advance your career. Contact us today and discover the difference the right immigration lawyer can make.

Tier 2 Sponsorship FAQs

What are the Tier 2 Sponsorship License Requirements?

Any company or institution hoping to employ foreign skilled workers must have a valid Sponsorship Licence issued by the Home Office. This licence enables them to offer jobs to foreign workers based overseas or in the UK. Foreign nationals cannot take on skilled work in the UK unless the company they hope to work for has a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship License.

How can I get Tier 2 Sponsorship?

Foreign nationals hoping to obtain Tier 2 sponsorship to perform skilled work in the UK will need the following: 

  • A job offer that meets Tier 2 requirements regarding the type of work and salary.
  • The job offer must be from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
  • The prospective employer must also provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

How long does it take a business to get a Tier 2 Sponsor License?

Any UK company hoping to hire foreign skilled workers will need a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship License. Obtaining one typically takes anywhere from 6 – 8 weeks from the date the application is submitted to the Home Office. As for the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence cost; the application fee for a small sponsor is £536. That rises to £1,476 when a business is defined by the Home Office as a large sponsor.

Is it hard to get a Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker Visa?

Attempting to secure a Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker Visa on your own can be a troublesome process that includes setbacks and disappointments. A better approach is to contact the Tier 2 Visa experts at Barar & Associates and let us facilitate the process for you.

What is the minimum salary for a Skilled Worker Visa?

In March of 2023, the minimum acceptable annual salary for someone working on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa rose £600 from £25,600 to £26,200. However, should a person be offered a job in a “shortage occupation” the minimum annual salary is £20,480.

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