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Tier 2 (General)

This is the Point-based System route which enables UK employers to employ skilled workers from outside the resident workforce to fill particular jobs which cannot be filled by settled workers.

Applicants can switch into the Tier 2 General immigration category if already the UK under specific Tier 1, 2, 4 or Tier 5 categories of the Point-based System.




Applicants must be at least 16 years old on the date the application is decided and:


  • Musthave a job offer for a genuine vacancy
  • Must have job offer that passes or is exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test.
  • Must not displace a suitable settled worker by acceptance of the offer
  • Must be qualified to undertake the job which must be at NQF level 6 or the equivalent as stated in the Codes of Practice
  • Must be paid at the appropriate salary rate
  • Must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation that is a licensed sponsor in the UK
  • Must be competentin the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 level or equivalent unless exempt
  • Must have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds unless exempt
  • Have a tuberculosis test if from a listed country
  • provide a criminal record certificatefrom any country you’ve lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if you’ll be working with vulnerable people



Tier 2 (General) Applicants are permitted to:


  • Work for the sponsor in the job described in  the certificate of sponsorship
  • Undertake  a second job in the same sector and at the same level as the main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • Under take employment in  ajob which has a shortage of workers in the UK list for up to 20 hours per week
  • Undertake voluntary work
  • Study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job the Applicant is being sponsored
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • HaveFamily members (‘dependants’) accompany or  join the Applicant in the UK



Tier 2 (General) Applicants are not permitted to:


  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless earning more than £159,600 a year)
  • receive public funds
  • start working before obtaining a visa
  • apply for a second job until employment with the sponsor has commenced

A new application will need to be made if an Applicant wishes to undertake a second job that is not in the same sector as the job for which a Certificate of Sponsorship is held.




In order to extend stay in the UK as a Tier 2 migrant, an Applicant:


  • Must have possession of a new Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Must have continued employment, in the same occupation with the same sponsor. A change of sponsor will require an initial application
  • Must be paid at the appropriate salary rate of employment (£20,800 for new entrants otherwise £30,000 )
  • Must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation that is a licensed

sponsor in the UK


  • Must satisfy all other eligibility requirements set out  under the “Initial Application” section above, apart from the Resident Labour Market test




An Applicant may apply for settlement in the UK after a continuous period of five years under a Tier 2 category or a combination of permitted categories and:


  • Must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 calendar months during the continuous period subject to evidence of work related absences or compelling and compassionate circumstances
  • Must still be required by the  Sponsor in the role recorded on your Certificate of Sponsorship for the foreseeable future
  • Must be paid at or approve the specified salary rate commensurate to the employment
  • Must have sufficient knowledge of the English language to B1 level or higher standard and has passed and Life in the UK test
  • Must not be in breach of the Immigration Rules



Applicants can apply to extend this visa as long as your total stay in the UK is not more than 6 years.


Our experienced lawyers can help Applicants:

  • Make an initial, extension or settlement applications
  • Challenge decisions by way of Administrative Review or other appeal process

We will assist by:

  • Obtaining the complete facts of a case
  • collecting relevant documents
  • advising the best solutions
  • preparing the application (including completion of forms)
  • preparing covering submissions
  • submitting the application(s) to the relevant authority
  • communicating with the relevant authority until a decision is made
  • advising about rights and entitlements following a decision
  • providing follow up support and services




DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team works closely companies to obtain Tier 2 sponsorship licences, entry clearance or with individuals and their dependant family members to obtain permission to enter or remain in the UK as Tier 2 migrants


For advice and assistance with a Tier 2 (General) visa application or appeal, please contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail