Tier 2 visa is granted to highly skilled migrants who have an employer with a sponsorship licence sponsoring their application for leave to remain.
Tier 2 visa applications made within the UK can be submitted to the UKBA by post or personally at the public enquiry office for same day decision making.
It is very important that the application is prepared correctly, as the certificate of sponsorship issued by the employer can only be used once and any irregularity or mistake in the application form may lead to refusal of the application.
Tier 2 requirements which deserve particular attention are the right level of pay in relation to the number of hours worked by the employee, English language requirements, maintenance requirements, and the right Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code used in the certificate of sponsorship.
Switching into Tier 2 visa
Graduates with a valid Tier 4 leave to remain in the UK can switch into Tier 2 visa in country. The same applies to Post-Study Work visa holders and other Tier 1 migrants, with Tier 1 general or entrepreneur visa.
New Tier 2 visa applications
Tier 2 visa only permits employment with the specified employer. Tier 2 visa holders who wish to change employers have to apply for a new visa which would reflect their changed employment. Similarly, Tier 2 visa holders whose terms of employment have changed may need to apply for variation of visa in line with a new certificate of sponsorship.
Indefinite leave to remain for Tier 2 migrants
Tier 2 (general) migrants may apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years in a qualifying category (which can be a combination of Work Permit, Tier 1, except for Post-Study Work, highly skilled migrant programme, and Tier 2 Intra-Company transfer visa granted under the immigration rules before 6 April 2010).
Tier 2 migrants cannot extend their leave to remain in this category beyond six years. On completion of the permitted period of stay they are expected to apply for settlement or leave the country.
It is impotant to note that requirements for indefinite leave to remain for Tier 2 migrants will change in April 2016 when the minimum salary requirement for settlement applications will be £35,000 per year before tax.
Tier 2 sub-categories
Tier 2 visa has the following four sub-categories:
- Tier 2 (General) for for highly skilled migrants sponsored by an employer in the UK;
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) – for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred to a UK based branch of the employer;
- Tier 2 Sportsperson;
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion.
We assist employers with issuing the necessary documentation and ensure compliance with the UKBA requirements for the entire process from initial employment to grant of indefinite leave to remain.