UK Tier 2 (General) Visa
The Tier 2 (General) visa is intended for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to the UK and perform a role for a UK employer where that employer has been unable to find suitable people within the EEA.
There are limits on the number of Tier 2 General visas that can be sponsored each month except where the role is considered to be in a skills shortage area, where the salary is over a certain amount or where the employee is already in the UK with a qualifying visa.
Tier 2 General Visa Requirements
In order to qualify for a Tier 2 General visa you must meet the following minimum requirements:
Certificate of Sponsorship
Have a suitable offer of employment from an employer holding a valid Sponsor Licence and be in possession of a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by the employer.
You must be able to communicate effectively in English. You can meet this requirement by being a Citizen of certain English-speaking countries, holding a suitable degree-level qualification that was taught in English or holding a qualifying English Language test to the required standard.
It is important that you can support yourself financially in the UK and you will therefore need to demonstrate this by showing that you have the required minimum amount of savings available to you at all times for the 3-month period prior to applying for your visa. This requirement can also be met by your employer sponsoring confirming that they will maintain and accommodate you on your Certificate of Sponsorship. Some applicants will not need to meet this requirement and primarily this will be those who are already in the UK with specific valid visa status.
Bringing Your Family to the UK
You can bring your immediate dependent family members, such as your husband, wife or partner and your dependant children, to the UK for the duration of your Tier 2 General visa. If you are already in the UK then they can apply to join you here. This requires that the relationship can be evidenced and there are also further Maintenance requirements to ensure that you can afford to maintain yourself and your family when you come to the UK.
Your family members will have the right to work for any employer and your children will be able to attend school and use the National Health Service.
In order to Sponsor someone for a Tier 2 General Visa from outside the EEA you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Register as a Sponsor with the UK Border Agency and obtain a Sponsor Licence.
- Ensure that the role is suitably skilled for sponsorship and that the salary will be at an acceptable level for the type of job and the experience of the individual (the UK Border Agency have expectations of salary levels for various roles).
- Meet the Labour Market Test if required and be able to evidence that this test has been undertaken. The Labour Market Test is the process by which you can demonstrate that you have been unable to find a suitably skilled person within the EEA and this test is required for the majority of sponsorship within Tier 2 General.
- Obtain and correctly assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the employee.