Tier 2 (General) work visa

You will be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’ve been offered skilled employment in the UK and you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

You need to get an employment offer from a  licensed sponsor to apply to live in the UK. The employer will verify your eligibility, academics, and your ability to do the job if it qualifies you for getting a Tier2 visa. If you meet all the requirements, the employer will apply for a certificate of sponsorship at the home office to prove that you met all the employment requirements. 

Certificate of sponsorship is an electronic record, holds information about the job you have been offered in the UK, employer information, salary, and your personal details. You will be allotted with a unique certificate of the sponsorship reference number that confirm the job offer. You can include a certificate of sponsorship reference number on your UK visa application. 

Certificate of sponsorship is valid for only 3 months from the date of issue and it can be used once only. 

When you can make a visa application:

The earliest you can make an application to the home office 3 months before you due to initiate your employment. The employment start and end date are listed on your certificate of sponsorship. The decision of your visa application will be available within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

If you wish to get your visa application decision faster than normal you can opt for priority or super-priority services.

Find out about paying for a faster decision.

Tier 2 visa application fee: 

The fee for the Tier 2 (General) visa depends on the type of visa and where you are applying. 

Application fee for up to 3 years Tier2 (General) visa:

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK)
You £610 £704
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £555 £649
All dependants £610 each person £704 each person

Application fee for up to 3 years Tier2 (General) shortage occupation visa:

Shortage occupations are the category of skilled jobs where there is a shortage of workers in the UK.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK)
You £464 £464
You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £409 £409
All dependants £464 each person £464 each person

Application fee for more than 3 years Tier2 (General) visa:

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK)
You £1,220 £1,408
You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £1,165 £1,353
All dependants £1,220 each person £1,408 each person

Application fee for more than 3 years Tier2 (General) shortage occupation visa:

A shortage occupation is a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK)
You £928 £928
You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £873 £873
All dependants £928 each person £928 each person

Immigration health surcharge:

You also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

If you are applying to extend or switch from one visa to another in the UK:

If you are applying to extend or switch your visa in the UK, you will have to pay £19.20 for your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

To get faster decision on your visa application:

You have two options to get a faster decision on your visa application if you extend or switch visas in the UK. 

         a) Priority service: The decision on your visa application will be available within 5 working days, and there is an additional fee of £500.

         b) Super priority service: You have to pay an additional fee on top of your visa application fee of £800, and the decision on your visa application will be available:

  • by the end of the next working day from the date, you provide your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday.
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend.

Normal working days are Monday to Friday, bank holidays not included.

Once you’ve granted a visa by receiving your decision letter, your biometric residence permit (BRP) will be delivered to you within 10 working days.

Duration of your stay:

You 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 your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

You can enter into UK up to 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

Example
Your start date is 15 of a month – the earliest you can enter UK is 1 of that month.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

What Tier 2 visa holder can do and cannot do:

You can:

  • Work for your sponsored employer in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship.
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary job
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You cannot:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
  • get public funds
  • to apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor

 

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