Tier 2 Work Permits and Visas for Skilled Workers
Tier 2 of the Points Based System has replaced the previous employer-sponsored work permit system, including intra-company transfers, sportspersons and ministers of religion categories.
The process for Tier 2 work permit applications differs from the previous work permit system, with distinct stages as described below.
Tier 2 - Employer Registration as a Sponsor
Before the individual can apply for the Tier 2 Work Permit, the employer must first register as a sponsor for Tier 2. It is vital that the employer understand and meets their Obligations as a Sponsor. If they fail to maintain the correct and required records and do not meet their Obligations then the Home Office can revoke the right to Sponsor employees and impose fines and Action Plans. These situations can take months to resolve but are easily avoided in the first place by making sure that everything is done correctly. We have extensive experience in this area and will be happy to advise.
Tier 2 - Certificate of Sponsorship
Once the employer has registered as a sponsor a certificate of sponsorship can be issued. It is vital that this is done correctly and that suitable evidence is retained by the employer. If this is not done correctly then there can be serious consequences in the future, with the potential for financial penalties and work permits being revoked.
This has understandably concerned many employers. We can help you to ensure that you meet the Home Office requirements.
Tier 2 Work Permit Applications
Once the individual has been provided with a certificate of sponsorship by the employer then he or she can make a Tier 2 application. This requires points to be claimed and evidenced in order to be issued with the Tier 2 Work Permit.
Tier 2 Work Permits would usually be issued for a maximum of 3 years. Towards the end of this period an extension application would usually be made. Time spent in the UK under Tier 2 of the points based system counts towards Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Tier 2 Categories
The general skilled worker category (Tier 2 General) is for people coming to the United Kingdom with a skilled job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. You can also switch into this category if you are in the UK with specific visa status. Contact us for more information.
The intra-company transfer category is for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a United Kingdom based branch of the organisation.
The sportsperson category is for elite sports people and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level, and will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport.
The minister of religion category is for people coming to the United Kingdom as a religious worker within a religious organisation for more than two years. If you want to come to the United Kingdom as a religious worker for a shorter time, you should apply under the religious worker category of tier 5.
Where to apply for Tier 2
If the individual is in the UK and holds a work or study-related visa then there is a good chance that he or she can switch to Tier 2 without leaving the UK. If the individual is in the UK as a visitor or dependant then he or she would usually need to apply for Tier 2 from outside the UK.