Tier 2 General Visa Applications

The Tier 2 (General) category of the points-based system (PBS) is designed for skilled workers with a job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled employee in the UK. Similar to the other areas of the PBS, Tier 2 is an employer-led process.

As specialists in UK immigration law, JMW can offer a full service to clients that includes advice and assistance with their Tier 2 General visa application. We regularly assist human resources teams and employers with this type of visa.

If you would like to know more about the Tier 2 General visa process, get in touch with our expert immigration solicitors by calling 0203 675 7600, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

How JMW Can Help

We are well-positioned to successfully and expeditiously manage Tier 2 General visa applications thanks to our connection with the Home Office and visa-issuing posts worldwide, ensuring the swift movement of workers to the UK.

Our experienced team of immigration solicitors will prepare all documentation and liaise with the Home Office regularly to ensure a successful outcome. We can also help employers to ensure they understand the process and have correctly assigned a certificate of sponsorship to any migrant workers.

Assigning a certificate of sponsorship is a crucial part of an application, and it is essential to make sure it is done correctly, with the correct information being provided, otherwise, a case may be refused by the Home Office. 

With our office located in the City of London, we can assist clients based in the UK as well as those overseas.   

Tier 2 General Visa Application Process

Before applying under the Tier 2 General category, applicants must have a valid certificate of sponsorship issued by a sponsor that has a valid PBS Sponsor licence. Points are awarded to applicants in consideration of the sponsorship, salary and allowances paid, understanding of the English language, and maintenance.

The UK government has laid down stringent requirements in relation to these applications, which must be met. Applications must be made via a specified form, including payment of the correct Home Office fees. 

We can assist with the assignment of certificates of sponsorship, compliance with the Resident Labour Market test and making entry clearance or leave to remain applications in the UK or abroad.


Can I change from a Tier 4 Student visa to a Tier 2 General visa?

If an employer has a PBS sponsor licence, they will need to provide you with a certificate of sponsorship, and you will need to provide evidence to show that you meet the English language and maintenance criteria.

If you have completed either your bachelors, masters, postgraduate certificate in education or professional graduate diploma of education in the UK under your most recent grant of leave as a Tier 4 Student, you would be eligible to apply for your Tier 2 visa from within the UK.

What is the minimum salary for this type of visa?

The minimum salary a Tier 2 General applicant must receive is £20,800 (if applying as a new entrant to the workforce) or £30,000 (if applying as an experienced worker) or the minimum level specified by the Home Office for a relevant job - whichever is higher.

For roles with a salary above £73,900, an employer will be exempt from advertising the job on the government’s Find a Job service. For roles that have salaries above £159,600, an employer will be exempt from completing a Resident Labour Market test for workers (i.e. advertising the position) and can assign an unrestricted certificate to an employee even when an application is made from outside of the UK.

Do I need to tell the Home Office if I change my job?

Given that you will be sponsored by an employer, if you wish to seek employment elsewhere, your new employer will need to complete a relevant Resident Labour Market test in order to sponsor you. You would also be required to make a fresh application to the Home Office for permission to work for your new employer.

Can family members join a Tier 2 General visa migrant as dependants?

If an application is successful, dependents, including children under the age of 18 years, a husband/wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner, can seek permission to join you in the UK or to further remain with you.

Can dependants work while in the UK?

Dependants are allowed to work in the UK; however, they may not be allowed to work as a doctor or dentist in training. Children will also be permitted to attend public schools in the UK.

How long does it take the Home Office to process my application?

Processing times vary depending on whether an application is made in the UK or abroad. Applications submitted in the UK under the standard service can take an average of eight weeks to be processed, while priority services can take either five working days or 24 hours from the date of their biometric enrolment appointment.

When making an application overseas, the processing times vary from country to country; however, there may be an option for a five day or 24 hour priority service.

Is it possible to apply for settlement with a Tier 2 General visa?

You will need to meet the following six requirements in order to apply for settlement:

  1. You must currently be in the UK under the Tier 2 category
  2. You must have continuously resided in the UK for a period of five years
  3. You must have sufficient ability of the English language, as well as knowledge of life in the UK, unless you are under 18 or over 65 when you apply
  4. You must obtain confirmation in writing from your employer that you are still needed for the job and you are being paid at the appropriate salary rate
  5. You must have no unspent convictions within the meaning of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, and you must not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal
  6. You must be receiving a salary above £36,200 (for applications made after 6th April 2021), which will rise in line with inflation each year

If you meet these requirements, you can make an application via a specified form, including the payment of the correct Home Office fees.

Talk to Us

To speak to an expert immigration law solicitor about making a Tier 2 General visa application, contact us today by calling 0203 675 7600, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

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