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Tier 2


The Tier 2 category is the route which enables UK employers to employ nationals from outside the resident workforce to fill particular jobs which cannot be filled by settled workers.

There are 4 categories under the Tier 2 system, namely:

  1. General
  2. Intra-company transfer
  3. Sportsperson
  4. Minister of religion

Applicants applying for permission to work as a sportsperson or a Minister of Religion cannot apply under Tier 2 (General) or Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer).

Tier 4 or student category holders can only switch into a Tier 2 Category on successfully completion of a degree level course


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

  • musthave a job offer for a genuine vacancy
  • the job offer must pass or be  exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test.
  • must not displace a suitable settled worker by acceptance of the offer
  • the job must be at NQF level 6 or the equivalent as stated in the Codes of Practice and must be qualified to undertake the position
  • the job 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 not own more than 10% of the shares of the sponsoring organisation unless applying under the Intra-Company Transfer category or  the Applicant’s earnings will be at least  will earn £155,300
  • Must be competentin the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 level or equivalent.
  • Must have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependants without recourse to public funds.


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

  • possession of a new Certificate of Sponsorship
  • continued employment,  in the same occupation with the same sponsor. A change of sponsor will require an initial application.
  • the job 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
  • All other eligibility requirements 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.


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 visa application or appeal, please contact our lawyers on 02089953556/08445569901 or e-mail