Tier 2 General Visa Guidance

You can apply for the Tier 2 (General) Visa providing you have been offered a skilled job in the UK and you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

You will also need to have a valid certificate of sponsorship from a Tier 2 sponsored employer before you can commence work in the UK.

Tier 2 Applications

The Tier 2 points based visa category allows non EEA applicants to work in the UK. The application can be made either on an entry clearance basis or applicants can switch in country providing they meet with the relevant Tier 2 points based criteria.

In order to make a successful application, the applicant will need to ensure that he or she scores the requisite 70 points, which are broken down as follows;

  • Have a job offer from a licensed Tier 2 UK employer and a valid certificate of sponsorship from that employer, the applicant will score 30 points if he or she meets with this requirement. A certificate of sponsorship will only be issued under the following circumstances;
  • The Tier 2 UK employer has completed a resident labour market test; or
  • The applicant will be paid at or above £152,100 or more per annum; or
  • The position is on the shortage occupation list;
  • The application will also need to demonstrate that he or she is being paid the appropriate salary. The applicant will score a further 20 points for meeting with this requirement. The following applicants are exempt from the appropriate salary requirement;
  • Applicant issued with the Tier 2 General visa under the rules in force before 6th April 2011;
  • An applicant who is a Jewish agency employee;
  • An applicant who is a member of the ground staff for a foreign airline;
  • An applicant who is a minister of religion, a member of a religious order or a missionary;
  • An applicant currently working for an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcaster;
  • The requisite skill level in order to qualify for this application is NVQ Level 6 or above as indicated in the codes of practice (this is not applicable to Sports People or Ministers of Religion)
  • The applicant will need to meet with the English language requirement at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for which he or she will be awarded ten points; and
  • The applicant will need to meet with the maintenance requirement for which he or she will be awarded ten points.


There are two separate processes for the Tier 2 General visa depending on if the applicant is based in country or overseas.

In order to make a successful in country application, the employer will need to allocate an unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant, in some instances the applicant will not need to meet with the resident labour market test. If the applicant is based overseas and has a salary of less than £152,100 the employer will need to request a restricted certificate of sponsorship for the worker in question. The restricted certificate of sponsorship is allocated based on the points scored by the applicant and is subject to a monthly national quota held by the UK Border Agency. After the restricted certificate of sponsorship has been granted, it cannot be transferred to another applicant.

How long is the Tier 2 General Visa valid for?

The Tier 2 General visa is initially granted for 3 year and 1 month. Providing you continue to meet with the initial criteria above you are able to apply for an extension for a further two years and thereafter apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

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