Tier 2 (General)
Tier 2 (General) enables licensed employers to sponsor nationals from outside the EEA and Switzerland for skilled positions that cannot be filled from within the resident labour workforce.
The Tier 2 General visa category is for individuals who have an offer for a skilled job in the UK from a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. You will need to have an offer of employment before applying for a visa.
Your Sponsor will need to show that there is no suitable settled worker to fill the role. In most cases, they will need to prove that they have undertaken a genuine ‘Resident Labour Market Test’.
If your application for a Tier 2 General visa is approved, your first visa can be valid for a maximum period of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
Additional part-time employment, voluntary work and study is permitted with some restrictions.
Your partner and any children under the age of 18 may accompany you as your dependents. Generally, these individuals may work and study in the UK subject to certain restrictions.
Individuals in this category may extend their stays for up to a total period of six years. If you were initially granted for one year, you can apply to extend your stay for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.
After five years of continuous residence in the UK, Tier 2 (General) migrants may qualify to apply for settlement. And if you have been in the UK in certain other immigration categories you may be able to combine the time spent to count towards settlement.
If you have held a Tier 2 visa in the last 12 months, you may be subject to a ‘cooling off period’. A12-month exclusion period applies before applicants may reapply for leave under Tier 2.You will not normally be able to apply to re-enter the UK in this category from overseas during this period.
Our solicitors have broad knowledge of the complex rules regarding Tier 2 General and sponsor license applications and we assist clients from the planning phase through to the employee and their dependants arrival in the UK. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in understanding these requirements and if you would like to know more about how to apply.