To apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa you must have been offered a skilled job in the UK and be a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
The applicant must be sponsored by a UK employer who holds a valid and active sponsor licence. The employer also needs to carry out various checks on whether the potential new employee is the most suitable candidate for the job and therefore qualifies for a Tier 2 (General) visa. Once these checks have been carried out the employer will receive a certificate of sponsorship for the potential new employee. In order to receive a certificate of sponsorship the applicant will usually have to be paid a salary of at least £30,000 a year, or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher) for the job that has been offered. Please note that in a number of cases, if the applicant is considered to be a “new entrant” the minimum salary requirement would be £20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher.
The process for a Tier 2 (General) visa application can begin up to 3 months before the start date of the potential employee’s new job in the UK.
The Home Office fees for Tier 2 (General) visas vary. For example, applications can be made for a visa for up to 3 years or for a longer visa and this will affect the application fee. The fee will also vary depending on whether the applicant is applying on their own or with dependants.
Applicants can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. They can apply to extend this visa as long as the length of time in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) visa holder is not more than 6 years.
When working in the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa an applicant cannot receive public funds (which include Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Council Tax Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit, Housing or Homeless Assistance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Severe Disablement Allowance, Social Fund Payment, State Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit, and Universal Credit). The applicant also cannot own more than 10% of their sponsor’s shares (unless they earn more than £159,600 per year). Study is permitted as long as it does not interfere with the job for which an applicant has been sponsored. Applicants can travel abroad, bring family members with you to the UK and undertake voluntary work.
If you have any enquiries regarding Tier 2 (General) visa, do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.