Tier 2 General Visa
Employer Sponsored Work Permit to work in the UK
What Is A Tier 2 General Visa?
The Tier 2 General Visa is a sponsored work visa, similar to the old work permit. You need to have an employer sponsor you if you want to work in the UK under this immigration work category. It is the most common way to get a visa to work in the UK now. Every year the Home Office grant over 20,000 Tier 2 General Visas.
How Long Is A Tier 2 General Visa Valid For?
If the job is permanent then the visa is valid for 3 years. If your job offer is less than 3 years then the visa will be valid until the job end date. You can continue to extend your Tier 2 General visa with the same employer if they are willing or switch to another employer which is easier when you are already on a Tier 2 General visa.
To Qualify For A Tier 2 General Visa You Must
- Have a UK based employer offer you a job
- The employer must be registered with the Home Office to sponsor Tier 2 Visas
- If required the job must be advertised to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test
- You must meet the English Language Requirements for Tier 2 General
- You must have sufficient maintenance for you and any dependents
- You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer
How Can I Extend My Tier 2 General Visa?
- You need your employer or another employer to provide a Cos
- You need to ensure the job is paid at the relevant SOC salary requirements
- apply online, by mail or through the Home Office Same Day Visa Service
What if my employer is not registered with the Home Office to sponsor for Tier 2 visas?
Most large employers are already registered with the Home Office to sponsor foreign workers from overseas. If your employer is not then you can have them contact us and we can assist them in getting their Sponsor Licence. This can happen as quick as 2 months so it’s best to act fast if you want to be able to get your employer registered before the job offer expires as employers usually need employees to start working as soon as possible.
The fees for an employer to get a sponsor licence are not very high and with our assistance, the application process can be simplified, getting you your Tier 2 Visa quicker. The benefit for the employer is that they can now employer other foreign workers if they can’t find suitable EEA nationals to fill the role. There are no yearly sponsorship fees for the employer. It’s only a one-time fee they pay to become a sponsor.
What if I don’t have enough maintenance or haven’t had it in my account for long enough?
You have two options. Wait until you have enough maintenance funds in your bank account for the 90 days or ask the employer to “Certify maintenance” on your Certificate of sponsorship. They only have to tick a box on their online application when getting a CoS to certify maintenance meaning you don’t need to show 3 months bank statements. If you don’t have enough maintenance in your account then ask the employer ASAP to select this option as if they have already got the CoS it may take over a month to get a new one if it is a restricted CoS.
Tier 2 General Visa FAQs
What visa do my family apply for?
If you have a spouse, partner or children then they have to apply for a Points Based System Dependent visa otherwise known as a PBS Dependent Visa. This will give them permission to come to the UK as your Dependent under the PBS route and permit them to work and study while on this visa. Their time limit is the same as your visa so even if they come to the UK after you, they will still have the same expiry.
Do my dependents have to apply with me at the same time?
No, if you want they can apply later on their own. You may choose to do this to simply the application or to wait until you start earning and can afford to bring them over to the UK. flights and application costs are not exactly cheap when trying to bring a family to the UK.
I want to go to the UK first and find a house to rent before bringing my family here on Tier 2 General, is that ok?
Yes, many Tier 2 General migrants go to the UK first to set everything up before their family apply to come over. There are also considerations such as your spouse or partner resigning from their current job or children finishing their current year at school.
What effect will my Dependents coming to the UK after me have on their eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
If your dependents come to the UK after you they are likely going to have to extend their PBS Dependent Visas until they have completed 4 years and 11 months in the UK. This may mean that as the main applicant gets their Indefinite Leave to Remain, which is sometimes known as Permanent Residence, the PBS dependents will have to extend their visas under the PBS visa route one more time until they are resident in the UK for the 4 years and 11 months. This is fine, but consider the costs of extending a PBS visa for your dependents as it may run into the thousands of pounds, offsetting the initial saving of them not migrating to the UK at the start.
What if I make a mistake and my initial Tier 2 visa is refused?
This can be bad news and may mean you lose the job and opportunity to work in the UK. For a migrant who is overseas and some that are resident in the UK, the employer needs to apply for a restrictive CoS. These have to be applied for each month and require approval by the Home Office. As there is a quota system, it is hard enough for the employer to get the restricted CoS. If your visa is refused the Certificate of Sponsorship becomes void and the employer would have to get you another certificate. Consider it from the employers point of view. They may have to wait several months by the time they get a new CoS for you, then for you to apply for your visa, get approved and then make travel arrangements. It’s likely that the employer may re-advertise the job or hire then next person in line after you. It may not send a good signal either to the Employer or future employers if you have been refused a visa, regardless of the reason. This is why it is important to get your application right the first time.
How to Qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain while currently on a Tier 2 General Visa?
- You require a specific letter from your employer for the Home Office
- Need to pass the Life in the UK Test including partners and children over 18
- Need to meet the English Language Requirement which you should already have, though your partner may not
- Need to not fall for grounds of refusal for things such as being convicted in court
- Be resident in the UK for at least 4 Years and 11 Months – Some rules apply where you can apply if you arrived in the UK within 90 days of your visa being approved
Shortage Occupational List
Certain jobs are in the Shortage Occupational List which means they don’t require the employer to complete a residence labour market test for the job including relevant advertising. This is advantageous to the employer and the Tier 2 General applicant if the job is listed on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupational List. The employer will only be required to obtain an unrestricted certificate of sponsorship making the visa application process quicker and easier. If you are applying for a Tier 2 General visa or extension then contact us for a Document Check or Same Day Visa Representation.
Do I Need To Visit Your Office?
No, you don’t need to visit us. The majority of our clients do most of their work online and by telephone, meaning you don’t have to take any time off work.Office appointments carry a consultation fee and appointment must be booked in advance. To save you paying a consultation fee you can arrange a free eligibility check over the phone or email us to see what we can do to help you get your visa approved.
Visa and ILR Application Premium Service
If you don’t want to wait months for your immigration application to be processed in the UK, we can assist you in getting it processed at the Home Office Premium Service Centre. We can have you booked in for an appointment in a matter of weeks and you will get your visa approved same day. No more stressful waiting! Our experienced representatives will attend with you to ensure a smooth application.
Get help with your Immigration application to ensure you meet the Home Office Requirements
- Eligibility confirmation check
- Provided with a tailored & comprehensive document list
- Review of all your documents
- Advice on Home Office document requirements
- Suggestions on how to improve your application
- Full completion of application forms – let us complete the form for you
- Review and assistance with application form questions
- Advice on submission location and procedures