UK Tier 2 Visa

Tier 2 (General) Visa

1. You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa if you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK and you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

2. You would need a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor in the UK, the list of which can be found here.

3. You’ll usually need to be paid at least £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher. Check the appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered.

4. If the job you are being sponsored for falls within the shortage occupation list, your employer does not need to carry out a resident labour market test. Please find the list here.

5. You must meet the English Language Requirement by passing an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening or you must have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English and your qualification is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher. You’ll need to send a certificate from UK NARIC confirming this when you apply. You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America.

6. You may also need to take a tuberculosis test if you currently reside in a listed country. Further information can be found here.

7. You need to evidence that you have £945 in your personal bank account for 90 consecutive days prior to the date of submission or your sponsor must sign an undertaking confirming that they will cover your maintenance costs.

8. If you are coming to work in the education, health, or social care sectors, you must provide a criminal record certificate as part of your application for any countries you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

You can:

• work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship

• do a second job in certain circumstances

• do voluntary work

• study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for

• travel abroad and return to the UK

• bring certain family members with you

• You can apply for indefinite leave to remain, i.e. settlement under the Tier 2 (General) Visa category once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom under this route. You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period prior to making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You must have Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least 12 months before making an application for British Citizenship unless you are married to a British Citizen in which case you can apply for citizenship as soon as you are granted settlement.

You cannot:

• own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)

• get public funds

• apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor

• apply for this visa from within the UK unless you are under any of the following visas or schemes at the date of application:

• Tier 1 visa

• Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa

• Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa

• Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor

• Tier 4 visa – if you have an eligible qualification, will complete your course in 3 months, or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD

• Start-up visa

• Innovator visa

• You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re:

• a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa

• a representative of an overseas business

The breakdown of fees for the Tier 2 (General) Visa is as follows:

• Visa Application Fee

o Up to 3 years = £610.00

o Up to 3 years (shortage occupation) = £464.00

o More than 3 years = £1,220.00

o More than 3 years (shortage occupation) = £928.00

• Immigration Health Surcharge – £400 per annum.

• Priority Service Receipt (optional) – £220.00 (UK Visas and Immigration (‘UKVI’) aim to process priority visa applications in 5 business days).

Tier 2 Dependants

Family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

• your husband, wife, or partner

• your child under 18

• your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

• Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

• You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor and a certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will give each of your dependants at least £630 to cover their costs for a month if they need it.

You can only apply for initial entry clearance from your country of residency, and standard processing time is 3-weeks for a Tier 2 Visa. Your passport will be retained by UKVI during this time. We do not recommend booking any travel to the UK until you are in receipt of a valid visa.

Should you wish to discuss the above, please contact Muldoon Britton for a consultation.