This visa is for foreign nationals who have a job offer for a skilled job which cannot be fulfilled by a settled national, and requires the applicant to be sponsored to remain in the UK by that company.
Please note this information is intended as a guide only and you should always consult the relevant Home Office policy guidance as linked to below.
Who can apply under Tier 2 (General)?
To be eligible to apply under Tier 2 (General), you need to obtain a total of 70 points:
- 50 points for your attributes;
- 10 points for having an appropriate level of English;
- 10 points for meeting the maintenance (funds) requirement.
Please see the UKVI website for further information on eligibility.
How do you get 50 points for your attributes?
An employer who is on the UKVI register of sponsors can issue a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) to a potential employee who would not otherwise be allowed to work in the UK. You must be able to claim 30 points for possession of a CoS in order to apply for Tier 2 (General).
If you hold a current Tier 4 (General) student visa and meet the other requirements listed in the 'Can I switch…’ section below, then there is no requirement that your job is a shortage occupation, and your employer is exempt from having to undertake a resident labour market test prior to issuing your CoS.
You must then be able to claim a further 20 points by receiving a salary of over £30,000 a year, or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered, whichever is higher. This will need to be confirmed by your employer on your CoS. Please see UKVI website for more information on appropriate salary.
Can I switch into Tier 2 from a Tier 4 student visa?
You can switch into Tier 2 if:
- You have a current Tier 4 (General) visa and have successfully completed and passed a UK recognised bachelors or masters degree, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or have completed at least 12 months study of a UK PhD;
- You studied at a UK recognised or listed body, or an education provider that holds a Tier 4 sponsor license;
- You are applying within the UK.
You can find full information on the requirements for switching into Tier 2 (General) on the UKVI website
How do I show that I have a sufficient level of English?
If you have been awarded a qualification that was taught in English within the UK, you must send the original certificate of award or original transcript with your application. For more information on this and other ways of proving your English level please see the UKVI website.
How much money do I need to show to meet the maintenance (funds) requirement?
If you are currently in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa, you will need to show that you have enough money to support yourself; you will need to show that you have held £945 in personal savings for 90 consecutive days. Your bank statements must be no more than 31 days old at the time you submit your application and must meet the requirements as set by the UKVI.
If you have been financially sponsored during your studies by a government or international scholarship agency, you will need to include a letter from your sponsor to say that they are happy for you to re-enter or remain in the UK. The letter must be on official letter-headed paper, have the organisation’s official stamp and by signed by an authorised official of the organisation. You do not need to include a letter if you have been financially sponsored by a relative or an employer.
Can I bring my family to the UK on this visa?
You can bring your family with you to the UK on a Tier 2 visa, but they will need to prove that they are able to support themselves during their stay. For further information on Tier 2 dependant applications, please see the UKVI website .
Where can I access further information?
Full information about applying to be in the UK as a sponsored skilled worker under Tier 2 (General) is available in the Tier 2 Policy Guidance. You may also like to read the UKCISA information on working after your studies.