UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

Tier 2 (General)

We assist Tier 2 migrants with visa applications, applications for extension of stay and indefinite leave to remain.  For urgent applications we offer same day service to the Public Enquiry Office in Croydon for express consideration.

We also work with Tier 2 sponsors and offer help with applications for sponsorship licence, issuing sponsorship certificates, HR training, and UKBA compliance procedures.

Tier 2 (General) is the route for skilled workers who have received a job offer from a UK based registered employer.

From 6 April 2011, this route has been “capped” for new entrants: only 20,700 new migrants will be allocated certificates of sponsorship in the 12 months between 6 April 2015 and 5 April 2016.  The annual cap is divided into 12 monthly limits.  The demand for places is typically at its highest during the month of April.   The “cap” does not apply to those who are already part of the UK labour market (i.e. Tier 2 (General) migrants extending their stay or changing employment, Tier 4 migrants, and Post-Study Work migrants). High earners (those with an annual salary of £155,300 or more) are also exempt from the limit.

New Tier 2 (General) migrants can only be sponsored for NQF level 6 jobs with a minimum salary as prescribed in the applicable SOC code for Tier 2, but not below £20,800 per year.  The only exception to this rule applies to pre-registration candidate nurses who must be paid at least £16,271 by their sponsors while doing their supervised practice and £21,478 thereafter.

Those who entered this immigration category prior to June 2012 can remain in their sponsored employment in a job below NQF level 6 and their entitlement to settle will not be affected until 2016 as long as their pay is in accordance with the relevant SOC code.

Applicants are required to meet the English language requirement at B1 level. Nationals of countries with English speaking majority are exempt from the language test, as well as those who hold a degree taught in English.

The maintenance requirement, from which some applicants are exempt, is £945 held in a bank account for a consecutive period of 90 days. A-rated sponsors are permitted to certify maintenance where appropriate.

Tier 2 migrants are entitled to bring their spouse or unmarried partner and children to the UK.  No other dependants are allowed. Dependants of Tier 2 (General) migrants are entitled to take up employment without any restrictions.  However, they cannot switch in-country to any other category and have no independent right to remain in the UK if the main applicant leaves the country.

For all Tier 2 applicants it is important to know about restrictions on re-entering the UK on completion of their sponsored employment or decision not to take up sponsored employment after the visa is issued.  A migrant who spends more than three months in the UK under Tier 2 before leaving the country is not allowed to re-enter in the same category for 12 months. However, they are allowed to extend their stay in the UK for a maximum of six years.

Settlement is available after five years in this category (or a combination of qualifying categories) and is equally open to the spouse/unmarried partner on completion of five years’ residence.  Children are allowed to settle when both parents are applying for settlement.

We strongly advise Tier 2 migrants to seek legal advise before applying for extension of stay or settlement, as any mistakes in the application process may lead to requirement to leave the country with no right of return in this category for 12 months.

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