What is the Tier 2 General visa?

***Please note that the regulations relating to Tier 2 General visa have changed on 1 December 2020. Click here to find out more about the changes. ***

The Tier 2 General visa allows overseas migrants who have been offered a skilled job to come to the UK for employment purposes. Individuals are eligible for this visa if they are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and if their employer holds a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence from the Home Office, which will allow them to assign to the migrant a Certificate of Sponsorship reference number.

Tier 2 General Visa

Individuals can apply to come to the UK under this visa route for a period of 5 years and 14 days, or the time specified by the sponsor on the Certificate of Sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

An applicant may come to the UK 14 days before the start date on their Certificate of Sponsorship. It is possible to extend the Tier 2 General visa as long as the total duration does not exceed 6 years.

Whilst in the UK, an applicant may perform supplementary work of up to 20 hours per week if it is in the same profession as the employment that the visa was obtained for and on the same level of qualifications/skills/expertise, or if the profession is on the shortage occupation list found in Immigration Rules Appendix K. However, applicants are not allowed to apply for a second job until they have started working for their first sponsor. It is also possible to do voluntary work and study.

If granted, applicants can bring their spouse and children with them to the UK according to the PBS Dependant Policy Guidance. Applicants are also allowed to travel outside UK and return. However, they are not allowed to own more than 10% of the sponsor’s share except if they earn more than £159,600 a year. They are denied recourse to public funds in the UK.

The main requirements

In order for an applicant to acquire the Tier 2 General visa, certain requirements must be met. In addition to the employer being a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence holder, the role that a migrant worker is supposed to be filling must be a genuine vacancy. A genuine vacancy is defined by the Home Office as of one which requires the jobholder to perform the specific duties and responsibilities for the job and meets all of the requirements of the Tier and category; it must not include dissimilar and/or lower-skilled duties.

Applicants must possess the suitable skills and experience for the role and be paid an appropriate salary. They must prove their knowledge of the English language by having at least a level B1 in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages)  in speaking, writing, reading and listening or alternatively, have an academic qualification which was taught in English and is recognised by the UK NARIC.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they have sufficient personal savings and are able to maintain themselves upon arrival to the UK. They must have a minimum of £945 of savings three months prior to applying if the sponsor has not certified a maintenance.

How can NA Law Solicitors help with a Tier 2 General visa application?

At NA Law Solicitors, we will ensure that your application is prepared according to the highest standards and with the necessary attention to detail in order avoid refusal from the Home Office, which reviews Tier 2 General visa application thoroughly. We will assist you in every step of your application and give guidance with a successful outcome in mind. We can also help with the Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence application process, Tier 2 sponsor duties, applying for a Tier 2 COS application, the genuine vacancy test and Tier 2 sponsorship licence application renewal process. Please get in touch for an initial assessment.

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