Tier 2 General Visa UK for skilled workers & shortage occupation

Tier 2 General Visa UK for Skilled Workers & Shortage OccupationThis relates to Tier 2 General visa UK for skilled workers and the shortage occupation list. Accordingly, the post highlights the eligibility requirement, application fee and processing time for entry clearance and extension application as a Tier 2 worker. And also switching from other migration routes to Tier 2 General in the UK.

Tier 2 General Visa UK for Skilled Workers & Shortage Occupation

One can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if he/she has been offered a skilled job in the UK and if he/she is applying from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. So if one intends to Apply for Tier 2 Work Visa, the first step is to secure a Job in the UK. The Applicant needs to be sponsored. (ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor) before he/she can apply to come to the UK to work. Moreover, the work the applicant is required to do in the UK must relate to the work of his/her sponsor organisation.

Processing Time Tier 2 General for Skilled Workers

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the date you travel to the UK.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.

Application Fees Tier-2 General for Skilled Workers

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

Tier 2 General (up to 3 years).

Who you’re applying for. Apply (outside the UK). Extend or switch in the UK. Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service).
You. £564 £651 £1,051
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia. £509 £596 £996
All dependants. £564 each person. £651 each person. £1,051 each person.

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

Tier 2 General (up to 3 years) – shortage occupation.

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 by post in the UK. Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service).
You. £428 £428 £828
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia. £373 £373 £773
All dependants. £428 each person £428 each person. £828 each person.

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

Tier 2 General (more than 3 years).

Who you’re applying for. Apply (outside the UK). Extend or switch by post in the UK. Extend or switch in person in the UK (premium service).
You. £1,128 £1,302 £1,702
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia. £1,073 £1,247 £1,647
All dependants. £1,128 each person. £1,302 each person. £1,702 each person.

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

Tier 2 General (more than 3 years) – shortage occupation.

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 by post in the UK. Extend or switch in person in the UK .(premium service).
You. £856 £856 £1,256
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia. £801 £801 £1,201
All dependants. £856 each person £856 each person. £1,256 each person.

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

Duration of Stay in the UK on Tier 2 General Visa

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.

Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on yourcertificate of sponsorship.

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.

Do’s and Don’ts of Tier 2 General Worker Visa

You can.:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship.
  • do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week.
  • do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week.
  • 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.:

  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £155,300 a year).
  • get public funds.
  • start working before you get the visa.
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor.

You’ll need to make a new application if you want to do a second jobthat’s not in the same sector as your main job.

Eligibility Requirements for Tier 2 General

You must have all of the following to be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) visa.:

You must also have £945 in savings. – this is to prove you can support yourself. You must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, unless you’re exempt.

You don’t need to have £945 in savings if your sponsor is fully approved (‘A-rated) and they have stated on your certificate of sponsorship that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

There are some additional rules if you’re currently in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa and you want to switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Tier 2 General Certificate of Sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid.

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form – you can only use it once.

Min Salary for Tier 2 General Application

The job you’re offered must pay £20,800 or more, unless your current or last permission to stay in the UK is as:

  • a Tier 2 (General) migrant before 6 April 2011.
  • a Jewish agency employee.
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline.
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order.
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.
  • a work permit holder.
  • an unregistered nurse but your salary. will be at least £16,271. while you’re doing your supervised practice or £21,478. after you have Nursing and Midwifery Council registration. – and you’ll still be sponsored as a nurse by the same sponsor after you’re registered.

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either.:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree.

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways or need a higher level of English in some circumstances. Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries.:

  • Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Australia.
  • the Bahamas.
  • Barbados.
  • Belize.
  • Canada.
  • Dominica.
  • Grenada.
  • Guyana.
  • Jamaica.
  • New Zealand.
  • St Kitts and Nevis.
  • St Lucia.
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • Trinidad and Tobago.
  • USA.

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances. – check the visa guidance.

Documents Checklist Tier 2 General Visa

When you apply you’ll need to provide.:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings continuously over the last 90 days, or your sponsor’s certification that they can support and accommodate you for the first month you’re employed
  • proof that you meet the English requirement
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You need a page in your passport that’s blank on both sides for your visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh.

Read the guide for a full list of documents you can provide.

Apply for Tier 2 General from Outside the UK

You should read the full policy guidance before you apply.

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

You must apply online for a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK.

You may be able to get your visa faster or get other services (like translation) depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

North Korea.

You can’t apply online if you’re living in North Korea.

To apply from North Korea you must:

Apply for Tier 2 General in the UK

You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.

Tier 2 General Extension Applications

You may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend. This includes children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Tier 2 General Extension Statistics for Extension 2008-17

The immigration statistics provide that details of total 176,596 Tier 2 general extension decisions during 2008-17. And also 164,370 grants and 12,226 rejections. Accordingly, the average Tier 2 general extension refusal rate is 6.92% during the 10 years period. Certainly, the Tier 2 General refusal rate was highest (12.34%) in 2009 and afterwards gradually came down to its lowest ebb (4.27%) in 2014. Perhaps, during the preceding five years Tier 2 has hovered below the average 10-year refusal rate of 6.92%.

Tier 2 General Visa Statistics Extensions 2008-17

Year Decisions Grants Rejections Refusal Rate
2008 32 30 2 6.25%
2009 14,716 12,900 1,816 12.34%
2010 15,916 14,306 1,610 10.12%
2011 12,500 11,295 1,205 9.64%
2012 21,368 20,185 1,183 5.54%
2013 29,644 28,377 1,267 4.27%
2014 28,146 26,700 1,446 5.14%
2015 26,509 24,446 2,063 7.78%
2016 27,765 26,131 1,634 5.89%
2017 27,445 26,164 1,281 4.67%
Total 176,596 164,370 12,226 6.92%

Eligibility Requirements for Tier 2 General Extension Visa

You must have current permission to enter or stay as one of the following.:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
  • Tier 2 (General).
  • qualifying work permit holder.
  • representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.
  • member of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline.
  • Jewish agency employee.

You must also meet the following conditions.:

  • you have the same job as when you were issued your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK.
  • you’re still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship.
  • you’re still earning an ‘appropriate salary’ – read the guidance if you’re not sure.

You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

Duration of Stay in the UK on Tier 2 General

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

Fees

Check the fee for your type of visa.

How to extend your visa?

Read the Tier 2 guidance notes before you apply.

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

If you’re in the UK you can:

Biometric information.

You must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

You can give your biometric information at.:

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

How long it takes to get Tier 2 General Extension

Decisions are made.:

  • within 8 weeks for online applications.
  • within 10 days if you’re able to use the Tier 2 priority application service.
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service.

You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because.:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified.
  • you need to attend an interview.
  • of your personal circumstances, eg if you have a criminal conviction.

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

If you change your job

You may need to apply to extend your Tier 2 (General) visa application if.:

  • you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer.
  • your job changes to a different standard occupation classification (SOC) code.
  • your job is taken off the shortage occupation list.
  • your changes of job means you’re paid less than the amount stated on your certificate of sponsorship or work permit.

You won’t need to make a new application if you’ll be staying with your current employer but your job will change in other ways., eg you want to change to a job in the same SOC code, or your pay will increase.

You must have a new certificate of sponsorship and you must meet all other application conditions, but you won’t need to send evidence in support of your application if you’ve sent it for a previous Tier 2 application.

You can continue working for your previous sponsor until the start date on your new certificate of sponsorship if your current permission to stay is still valid.

You should not start your new job until you’ve received your biometric residence permit with your new permission.

Switch to Tier 2 General from another route

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility Requirements for Switching

You must already be in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

  • Tier 1 visa.
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa.
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa.
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer: established staff) visa and you’re applying to change sponsor.
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor.
  • Tier 4 visa, or you’re on another kind of student visa – read ‘Switching from a Tier 4 visa’ below.
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) for a job as a professional footballer and you meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements.
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.
  • Innovator Scheme.
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme.
  • International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme).
  • Business and Commercial work permit (except multiple entry work permits).
  • Sports and Entertainment work permit (except multiple entry work permits).

You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re.:

  • a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa.
  • a Jewish agency employee.
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline.
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order.
  • an overseas qualified nurse or midwife.
  • writing up a thesis.
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist.
  • a representative of an overseas business.
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation.
  • a student union sabbatical officer.

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad if you’re not in any of these categories.

Switch from a Tier 4 or other student visa.

You must have one of these qualifications from your student visa if you want to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 (General) visa:

  • a UK bachelors degree.
  • a UK masters degree.
  • a postgraduate certificate in education.
  • a professional graduate diploma of education.

You must have got your qualification at a UK recognised body or an institution that has a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

The other student visa categories are.:

  • student.
  • student nurse.
  • student re-sitting an examination.
  • overseas qualified nurse.
  • person writing up a thesis.
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist.
  • student union sabbatical officer.

PhD Students

You must have completed at least 12 months’ study for your PhD during your most recent stay in the UK and had permission to take the qualification.

Duration of Stay in the UK after Switching to Tier 2 General

You can stay in the UK for up to 5 years after switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Fees

Check the fee for your type of visa.

How to switch your visa?

Read the Tier 2 guidance notes before you apply.

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

If you’re in the UK you can:

Biometric information

Each person applying must also provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

You can give biometric information at.:

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

How long it takes

Decisions are usually made.:

You’ll be contacted if your application is complicated and will take longer, for example because.:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified.
  • you need to attend an interview.
  • of your personal circumstances, eg if you have a criminal conviction.

Once you’ve applied you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Dependant Family Members of Tier 2 General Worker

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following.:

  • your husband, wife or partner.
  • your child under 18.
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant.

Read the guidance on dependant applications before you apply.

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

They must complete their visa application by 5 July if they’ve already paid the immigration health surcharge or they might have to pay it twice. They’ll get a refund for their first payment.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

Example You must have £2,205 if you want to bring your partner and one child with you to the UK (£945 to support yourself plus £630 for your partner and £630 for your child).

You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a letter from your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor saying they’ll provide one month’s funding of at least £630 for each of your dependants.

Dependants applying from outside the UK.

Your family members must apply online.

They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of their application.

They’ll have to collect their biometric residence permit within 30 days of when they said they’d arrive in the UK.

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they’re in – check with the visa application centre.

North Korea.

Your family members can’t apply online if they’re from North Korea.

To apply from North Korea they must.:

Dependants applying in the UK on their own

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they’re already in the UK.

Your family members can apply online if they’re your.:

They can also ask to use the priority service.

You can get a same-day decision at a premium service centre.

It’s best for your dependants to apply at the same time as you but they can apply at a later date.

Your family members can’t apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Biometric information

Each person applying must also provide their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo).

They can give biometric information at.:

They’ll get a biometric residence permit if their application is successful.

Children born while you’re in the UK.

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay.

You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child.

When you apply you must send a full UK birth certificate showing the names of both of your child’s parents.

Tier 2 General Second Job in the UK

You’ll need to make a new Tier 2 (General) visa application if you want to do a second job that isn’t in the same sector as your main job or isn’t voluntary work.

You can do a second job (up to 20 hours a week) if it’s on the shortage list without making a new application.

You’ll need to be sponsored by your second employer and get a new certificate of sponsorship if you make a new application.

You can’t.:

  • apply until you’ve started work with your first sponsor.
  • start work with your second sponsor until your application has been approved.

How to apply for a Second Job?

Read the guidance before you apply online.

You can get a same-day decision at a premium service centre. You must book an appointment in advance as part of your online application.

You must be in the UK to apply.

Documents you must provide for Second Job

You’ll need to provide some documents with your application.

You must also include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay.

Your letter must state.:

  • your name.
  • your date of birth.
  • your current certificate of sponsorship reference number.
  • the date when your current permission to stay runs out.

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Related: Tier 2 Minister of Religion VisaTier 2 Sportsperson Visa | Visa Tier 2 Work Permit UK and Tier-2 General for Skilled Workers

Perhaps, to know more about UK Visa and Immigration please refer: UK Priority Visa ServiceUK Settlement Visa Processing TimeUK Tourist Visa Processing Time After BiometricsUK Visa Delay ReasonsUK Visa Reapply or AppealUK Immigration Appeal Waiting Time and UK Visa Appeal Solicitors