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Tier 2 of the Points Based System provides a route for UK based companies and employers to employ a foreign worker to fill a vacancy for a skilled role in the UK, if that vacancy cannot be filled by the labour market.

What is a Tier 2 Visa?

The Tier 2 (General) visa is for individuals with a job offer in the UK, and who are coming to fill a gap in the labour force that cannot be filled by someone already in the country.

The Tier 2 category is broken down into the following categories:

  • Tier 2 (General): this is for foreign skilled workers to accept a job offer that cannot be filled by a suitably qualified or skilled settled worker;
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer): this is for existing employees of an international company or organisation to transfer to a UK branch;
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson): this is for athletes and coaches who are internationally established to be based in the UK;
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion): this is for religious workers to undertake employment within a faith community in the UK.

In order to qualify for a Tier 2 visa, there are a number of requirements that need to be met. Some of these are explained in more detail below.

What are the requirements for a Tier 2 (General) Visa?

To qualify for a Tier 2 (General) visa, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Offer of Employment – You will need to show that you have a confirmed offer of employment from a UK employer (Sponsor), that holds a licence from the Home Office;
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): The employer/Sponsor will need to issue you with a valid certificate of sponsorship;
  • 70 Points: You will then need to score 70 points under the points based system
  • Skill and Salary Level: The job you are being offered must meet certain skill and salary level requirements;
  • English: You must also meet the English language requirement
  • Finances: You must also show that you are able to financially support yourself and any dependents without recourse to public funds.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship CoS for Tier 2?

A Certificate of Sponsorship is very important, and must be assigned by a prospective employer to an employee before the individual can apply for a Tier 2 visa.

The CoS is not a physical document but a reference number that must be included in your application.

The Certificate of Sponsorship can be issued by an organisation that holds a licence with the Home Office. It is used to confirm to the Home Office that the role you are recruiting for meets all of the relevant requirements under the visa classification.

It is important to check that the Certificate of Sponsorship is issued correctly and contains all the required details. Otherwise this may hinder a Tier 2 visa application.

Before assigning a certificate of sponsorship, for some roles, the employer must undertake a Resident Labour Market Test. For more information in relation to this, see our Blog post: How to conduct a compliant Resident Labour Market Test.

How to score 70 points for a Tier 2 visa?

One of the requirements for a Tier 2 visa is that an applicant must score 70 points, as set out the Immigration Rules. The points scored must be as follows:

  • 50 points for attributes
  • 10 points for maintenance
  • 10 points for English language

What is the maintenance requirement for Tier 2?

You will need to prove that you and your partner have enough money to support yourself and your dependents without claiming public funds.

The Tier 2 visa requires a person you to demonstrate that you can meet the financial test and meet the prescribed maintenance threshold. You will score 10 points once the maintenance threshold is met.

If you are using the financial maintenance funds from outside of the UK, and where the funds are not in pound sterling, then you will need to use the published conversion website as prescribed by the UK Home Office.

You will need to either show your personal cash savings covering the last 90 days period prior to the application.

Alternatively, your employer can meet the requirements by confirming they will maintain you in the UK.

What documents do I need for a Tier 2 visa application?

An important part of the Fiancé visa process is the provision of documents to the Home Office to assess the application.

You will be required to submit documents as part of your visa application, to support your case.

If you are applying or planning to apply for a fiancé visa, and would like a copy of our documents list for a spouse visa, contact us and we will be happy to send this to you free of charge.

How can I apply for a Tier 2 Visa Extension?

If you already have a Tier 2 Visa and you would like to remain in the UK after the 5 years are up, you must apply for a visa extension. If you have any dependents on your visa, such as children, siblings or a spouse, then it’s important to ensure that they are also included on your extension application if they are still a dependent.

You will be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 Visa extension if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have remained at the same company as when you were previously granted your work visa
  • You are still earning an ‘appropriate salary’ (£30,000 or above depending on the industry/experience level)
  • You still meet the eligibility requirements

How long will my Tier 2 Visa Application take?

The time can vary, and depends on a number of factors.

There are some factors within your control, such as ensuring that you comply with all of the stipulated requirements and provide all the necessary documents. In cases where there are missing documents, a decision may take longer. This is why it is important that you receive correct advice at the appropriate time for your case.

On average, decisions are made in around 6-12 weeks. You do have the option of paying an additional premium, to receive a decision within 2 weeks.

How can Batley Law help with my Tier 2 Visa Application?

To stand a better chance of success, it is important that you receive advice from an early stage.

We have extensive experience of Tier 2 visa applications. We are therefore in a good position to ensure that you avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls that lead to a refusal.

For every case, we will:

  • Advise you of the requirements that apply to your case;
  • Check your CoS;
  • Check all of your documents to ensure they comply with the requirements;
  • Complete the online application;
  • Arrange the visa appointment;
  • Draft a detailed letter of representations to go with your application.

If you would like our assistance with your spouse application, get in touch today.

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