Tier 2- General Visa

The Tier 2 (General) category of the Points Based System is for non-European migrants who have been offered a skilled job by a UK employer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. Under this category, you must have a job offer in the UK and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an organisation that is a licenced sponsor in the UK. If the organisation wishing to sponsor you is not a licenced sponsor, they will need to apply for a sponsorship licence before they can assign a CoS to you.

How we can help with Tier 2 General Visa application?

If you wish to apply for a Tier 2 General Visa we can help you with your Tier 2 visa application and queries. Our expert team of lawyers can assist you with the preparation of your Tier 2 General Visa application and ensure that you meet with all the requirements of the relevant Immigration Rules. We will ensure that all key points are substantiated with documentary evidence thereby leading to a successful application and avoiding the unnecessary expense of resubmitting your Tier 2 General Visa application to the Home Office.

Qualifying Criteria for a Tier 2 General Visa

You can make an in-country or entry clearance tier 2 visa application. In order to make a successful application for a Tier 2 General visa, you must score a minimum of 70 points as required by the Points Based System. This includes scoring points for:

  • Attributes – includes having a licensed sponsor and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • English language skills; and
  • Maintenance (funds).

Your employer must meet the requirements under this category and accept certain responsibilities to help immigration control.

Making an Application for a Tier 2 General Visa from inside the UK

Switching from Tier 4 General Student category:

  • you must have successfully completed and passed a UK recognised Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma of education or have completed a minimum of 12 months study in the UK towards a UK PhD during your current period of leave or a period of continuous leave which includes your last grant of leave; and
  • you must have studied for the eligible award at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or an education provider which holds a licence for sponsoring students under Tier 4 of the Points-Based system.

In this situation, your employer is exempt from meeting the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT). Your employer will need to issue an unrestricted CoS which you will need to make an application for Tier 2 General visa. Your job and salary level must comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice.

Switching from Tier 1 Post Study Work (PSW) visa:

If you are in the UK on a PSW visa, you can switch into the Tier 2 General category from inside the UK. Your employer will need to issue you with an unrestricted CoS which you will need to make an application for Tier 2 General visa. Your job and salary level must comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice.

Documents you must provide for tier 2 general visa

When you apply you’ll need to provide the following details with your tier 2 general visa application:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • a bank or building society statement or letter that shows you have enough personal savings (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your sponsor can support you)
  • a current passport or travel document to prove you can travel – you need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa
  • expired passports or travel documents if you need them to show your travel history
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
  • a criminal record certificate – if you’re working with vulnerable people
  • You must provide the original plus a photocopy of every document you provide.
  • If your documents aren’t in English or Welsh you’ll also need to send a certified translation.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

You’ll need to provide a criminal record certificate if you work in:

  • education, for example, teachers, education advisers and school inspectors
  • healthcare, for example, nurses, doctors, managers, pharmacists, dentists, ophthalmic opticians
  • therapy, for example, psychologists, speech and language therapists
  • social services, for example, social workers, managers, probation officers

You’ll need a certificate from any country you’ve stayed in for a total of 12 months or more over the last 10 years.


Duration of Tier 2 General Visa & Applying for ILR

Tier 2 Work Permit Visas can last in between one day to five years, depending on the time frame specified by the sponsoring company.

Once you have been in the UK for a minimum of five years under this tier 2 general Visa category, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. After a year, you can apply for British Naturalisation as a UK citizen.

What you can and can’t do on tier 2 general visa


You can enjoy these benefits on tier 2 general visa:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you

You can’t do the following on tier 2 general visa:

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


Change of Employer

If you are working in the UK with a Tier 2 General visa but wish to change employment,  your potential employer will need to issue you with a CoS which will need to be submitted to the Home Office. Once you have been issued with a CoS, you will need to make an application for Further Leave to Remain under Tier 2 of the Points Based System.

Why we provide the best legal advice in relation to your Tier 2 Work Permit Visa:

We are a UK Solicitors law firm and are fully authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (link is external) (SRA) and as a professional law firm are completely exempt from requiring authorisation by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (link is external) (OISC). Many businesses offering immigration services are only OISC regulated and as such are not professional legal organisations such as Solicitors firms or Barristers’ chambers. OISC businesses are not allowed to do legal work before the Courts such as Judicial Review or statutory challenges of Home Office decisions. Also, as a professional organisation, our policy is not to employ sales staff to give you “advice”. Instead, every telephone consultation is conducted by a lawyer; offering you accurate and informed legal guidance. Under your instruction, our qualified team of immigration solicitors and barristers will guide you through your case from the outset; ensuring that neither time nor money is wasted and that no mistakes are made when it matters the most.

Expert Immigration

As a leading law firm with a track record of success, you can be assured your immigration matter is in safe hands and that the best strategy for your case will be adopted. It is crucial that you seek specialist legal advice at the outset and prior to making any type of immigration application. We can assist your with your applications for any type of Visa including Tier 2 general visa or permit and any form of leave to remain (or for entry clearance) under the points-based system. We ensure our clients comply with the Immigration Rules and the strict requirements of the UKBA prior to making an application, thereby eliminating much of the stress of tier 2 general visa application process.

Contact us for successful Tier 2 General application

Our experienced team of professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will guide you through the process of tier 2 general visa application step by step, complying with the strict letter of the law and limiting the possibility of failure. Consider HS Legal as your Tier 2 ICT Visa adviser; call us for a telephone consultation today.

Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our online Enquiry form and we will get in touch or call us now on 01206500181