Tier 2 (General) visas UK

The Tier 2 (General) visa category is for foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a UK or EEA national. The Tier 2 (General) visa allows UK companies to fill existing labour shortages.

A skilled worker in Tier 2 (General) visa category must not displace a suitable settled worker. An applicant under Tier 2 (General) visa must have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation that is a licensed sponsor in the UK.

Applicants applying for an extension under Tier 2 (General) visa must show that they are eligible for a minimum threshold of 70 points relating to sponsorship, prospective earnings, English language and available maintenance (funds).

Visa Entitlements

The Sponsored Worker under Tier 2 (General) visa is issued for an initial maximum period of five (5) years. Tier 2 (General) visa applicants will have free access to public schools, and National Health Service. Eligible dependants under Tier 2 (General) visa may also be able to work or study without any restrictions.

Upon successfully holding a Tier 2 (General) visa for a total of five (5) years, applicants may be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).


  • How many days am I allowed to stay outside UK to apply for ILR?v
    • In order to meet the continuous residency requirement, applicants under the Tier 2 (General) visa category should not be outside UK for more than 180 whole days in any of the five consecutive 12 month periods, preceding the date of the application for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The specified continuous period is counted backwards from the date of the ILR application for a Tier 2 (General) visa applicant.

      For example, if the date of application is 1st December 2013, the 12 months period would start from 1st December 2013 to 31st December 2012 and every consecutive year counting backwards for a Tier 2 (General) visa applicant.

  • Rights of Dependantsv
    • Dependants of a Tier 2 (General) visa applicant (including children under 18 years of age) or (husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner) will be eligible to live and stay in the UK with the main applicant. They can live and work in the UK without any restrictions. Dependants of a Tier 2 (General) visa applicant will be granted leave in line with the expiry date of the PBS migrant’s (or main applicant’s) leave.

      Dependants of a Tier 2 (General) visa applicant will have the following conditions attached to their leave:

      • No recourse to public funds;
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
      • No Employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training, unless:
        • They have obtained a primary degree in medicine or dentistry from a recognised UK;
        • They do not have any condition restricting such employment.
  • Conditions of Stayv
    • Applicants under the Tier 2 (General) visa will have the following conditions attached to their leave:

      • No recourse to public funds;
      • Registration with the police, if applicable;
      • You must not own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares, if the sponsor is a limited company, unless you are applying under Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer);
      • The applicant cannot take employment, except:
        • working for the sponsor in the job recorded on your Certificate of Sponsorship; and
        • supplementary employment; and
        • voluntary work; and
        • The applicant can study, provided this does not interfere with the job they have been sponsored to do.
  • When Resident Labour Market Test is exempted?v
    • The resident labour market test under the Tier 2 (General) visa does not apply if:

      • The job offer is in a supernumerary research position where applicant has been issued a scientific research Award or Fellowship; or
      • The job offer is to continue working as a Doctor or Dentist in training; or
      • The job offer is as a Doctor in speciality Training and their salary and the costs of your training are being met by the government of another country under an agreement with that country and the UK Government; or
      • Job is in a shortage occupation; or
      • Applicants current leave is a Tier 1 (Post Study) category or its predecessor; or
      • Applicant is applying for an extension of stay as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant with his/her same employer and in the same occupation; or
      • The job offer has a total salary package of at least £153,300.
  • What is my immigration status while my application is pending?v
    • If Tier 2 (General) visa applicant submits their application before their authorised stay ends, their existing immigration status will continue until their application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of their permitted stay. An applicant under Tier 2 (General) visa can continue to work until their case is decided if the conditions of their existing leave allow them to do so.

  • Biometric Requirementv
    • Foreign nationals applying under Tier 2 (General) visa from outside the European Economic Area making certain applications to the Home Office have to apply for a biometric residence permit. This applies to both postal applications and applications made in person (known as ‘premium applications’). The biometric residence permit is a residence permit which holds a migrant’s biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (facial image and fingerprints), and shows their immigration status and entitlements while they remain in the UK. This also means that a UK visa will no longer be stamped in the applicant’s passport and all applicants will be issued one of the new Biometric visa cards instead.  These cards look very similar to a (pink) UK driving license except they have a microchip in the back.

      Applicants under Tier 2 (General) visa who wish to extend their stay in the UK by post, the Home Office will send them a letter asking them to enrol their biometrics after the Home Office has received their application. Applicants will be able to enrol their biometric information one of the Post Offices offering this service across the UK using their walk-in service.

      The Tier 2 (General) visa applicants who are submitting their application in person can do this at one of the Public Enquiry Offices (PE)) by using the premium service. Applicants will enrol applicants’ biometric information at the same time as making their application.

      For an application under Tier 2 (General) visa submitted overseas, the applicants have to provide their biometric enrolment at one of the Visa Facilitation Centres.  Successful applicants will receive a 30 day ‘vignette sticker’ in their passport instead of a vignette with the full grant of leave. This 30 day visa will be the date they indicated as their intended travel date in their visa application. Applicants under Tier 2 (General) visa will be required to collect their BRP from the Post Office branch detailed in their decision letter within ten days of arrival in the UK. The Post Office branch is linked to the postcode that they submitted in their visa application. The BRP card can then be used as proof of right to work, study and access public services in the UK.

  • Immigration Health Surchargev
    • The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6th April 2015. People (non-EEA) coming to the UK for more than six months have to pay this health surcharge as a part of their immigration application towards the National Health Service (healthcare in the UK).  
      Offshore applicants will have to pay the health surcharge if they are applying for a visa for a period of longer than six months, and onshore applicant will have to pay the health charge for any length of visa.

      Applicants will have to pay £150 per year as a student or £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications. Dependants will usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicant. The  exact amount they have to pay  depends on how much leave they are granted. They can calculate how much they will have to pay before you apply. If the period of grant applied for is less than 6 months, then half of the yearly amount to be paid and if the period of grant applied for is more than 6 months, then whole year amount is to be paid.

      Visa application will not be granted if applicants do not pay the healthcare surcharge or application will be delayed if the right amount is not paid.

      Following persons are exempted to pay the IHS:

      • Applicants applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa and their dependants;
      • Applicant under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority;
      • Applicants who arenationals of Australia or New Zealand;
      • Dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces;
      • Dependant of a member of another country’s forces who is exempt from immigration control; and
      • Applicants of a relevant civilian employee employed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) or the Australian Department of Defence in the UK and their dependants. 
  • Government Feesv
    • Home Office fees for Tier 2 (General) Visa Application
        Postal  Super Priority Service Overseas
      Main Appplicant £464 - £1,408£1,264 - £2,208£464 - £1,220
      Partner & Child (<18years), applying together £464 - £1,408£1,264 - £2,208£464 - £1,220
      Partner & Child, applying later £464 - £1,408£1,264 - £2,208£464 - £1,220
  • Our Fees v
    • Service                  Fees (GBP)
      Manage your application          £150
      Postal- Full representation service £600
      Super Priority Service - Minus Representation £850
      Premium- Full Representative Service £1,000
      Document Verification Service £150
      Telephone Consultation £100 per/hour
      Face to Face consultation £100 per/hour
      Form Filling Service £150 per application
      * For full description of the services, please refer to our 'Services' section on our website.
  • Processing Timesv
    • In line with the Home Office service standards for processing UK visa applications for Tier 2 (General) visa, they decide 90 per cent of non-settlement applications within 3 weeks, 98 per cent within 6 weeks and 100 per cent within 12 weeks of the application date.Applicants applying for Tier 2 (General) visa for the Same Day at one of Public Enquiry Office (PEO) in the UK; the application is normally decided on the same day.

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