This relates to Tier 2 Visa Statistics for entry clearance, extension and settlement grants from 2008-17. And also the immigration statistics relating to pre-PBS equivalent Tier 2 work visa statistics. Accordingly, provides the details of Tier 2 and pre-PBS UK work visa success and refusal rate.

An Overview of PBS Tier 2 and Pre-PBS Visa Statistics

Apparently, Tier 2 General Visa for sponsored skilled workers launched in November 2008. And gradually replaced its pre-PBS equivalent work visa routes such as work permit. During 2008-17 a total of 470,083 entry clearance and 330,826 extension grants have been made under the different Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent sub-categories. Perhaps, it is quite surprising to note the most number of applications (58,093) and grants (55,837) were made during 2008, which largely represents non-PBS work permit applications. However, the number of applications and visa grants since 2014 are in close proximity to that in 2008. And also with a higher success rate!

Tier 2 Visa Success and Approval Rate

During 2008-17, a total of  488,258 entry clearance applications submitted for Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent. Accordingly, 488,576 decisions made and 470,083 entry clearance applicants get Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent visa. Therefore, 10-year average Tier 2 visa success rate is 96.21%. Apparently and quite understandably the Tier 2 visa success rate was lowest (89.28%) in 2009. However, subsequently, it seems as though the applicants and all the other stakeholders gradually learnt from their mistakes, which is the major reason for the rise in the Tier 2 visa success rate.

YearApplicationsDecisionsGrantsSuccess Rate
200858,09358,26055,83795.84%
200940,41540,64636,28789.28%
201042,90843,13239,92292.56%
201139,79539,78738,08895.73%
201240,43540,17539,17197.50%
201346,39046,53845,63698.06%
201453,72553,62252,46397.84%
201555,26855,55954,36597.85%
201656,36156,18254,90597.73%
201754,86854,67553,40997.68%
Total488,258488,576470,08396.21%

Tier 2 Visa Refusal Rate

From 2008 to 2017, a total of 16,297 Tier 2 and pre-PBS equivalent entry clearance applications refused. And also 1,734 applications withdrawn and 462 lapsed. Accordingly, the 10 years average Tier 2 visa refusal rate for entry clearance is 3.34%. Apparently, the Tier 2 visa refusal rate was highest in 2009 (9.66%) and lowest (1.72%) in 2013. Moreover, the Tier 2 visa refusal rate in recent years hovers in the range of 2%, which is quite encouraging for the prospective applicants.

YearRefusedRefusal RateWithdrawnLapsed
20081,8953.25%337191
20093,9289.66%302129
20102,9956.94%16748
20111,4633.68%21818
20128462.11%13325
20138011.72%8912
20149501.77%19415
20151,0671.92%11413
20161,1792.10%908
20171,1732.15%903
Total16,2973.34%1,734462

Tier 2 Visa Extension Refusal Rate

During 2008-17, a total of 330,826 extensions and leave to remain decisions made under Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent routes. And also, 314,141 extensions granted and 16,685 applications refused under the Tier 2 & pre-PBS equivalent. Moreover, 10 years average Tier 2 extension refusal rate is 5.04%. Therefore, the 10 years average Tier 2 visa refusal rate for entry clearance applications (3.34%) is lower than that for extensions (5%).

YearDecisionsGrantsRejectionsRefusal Rate
200843,82542,4681,3573.10%
200930,33627,8512,4858.19%
201023,14521,2691,8768.11%
201119,56618,2051,3616.96%
201230,84129,5241,3174.27%
201339,05637,6561,4003.58%
201436,82635,2661,5604.24%
201535,38533,1852,2006.22%
201636,72934,9841,7454.75%
201735,11733,7331,3843.94%
Total330,826314,14116,6855.04%

Pre-PBS UK Work Permit Extension Refusal Rate

Perhaps, prior to the inception of the PBS Tier 2 route, the major immigration route for doing work in the UK was Employment with a work permit. Accordingly, ever since November 2008 the number of extension decisions and grants relating to work permit fell quite drastically. Therefore, after 2009 the number of decisions relating to work permit is only a very small fraction of the total extension grants under Tier 2 and pre-PBS equivalent. However, most of the people still refer to Tier 2 as work permit visa, which speaks for the popularity of the work permit route prior to November 2008.

YearDecisionsGrantsRejectionsRefusal Rate
200842,09240,8911,2012.85%
20097,5167,2872293.05%
201084404452.38%
2011178952.94%
201286225.00%
20132200.00%
2014505100.00%
201521150.00%
2016000N/A
2017000N/A
Total49,72648,2351,4913.00%

Other Permit Free Employment Refusal Rate

Other Permit Free Employment Skilled is also a pre-PBS equivalent route for high skilled employment. Therefore, like the work permit route, the number of extensions under this route fell after 2008 and the last extension granted under the route was in 2011.

YearDecisionsGrantsRejectionsRefusal Rate
200856841415427.11%
2009172997342.44%
201021101152.38%
201142250.00%
2012101100.00%
2013202100.00%
Total76852524331.64%

Pre-PBS Ministers of Religion/Missionary Refusal Rate

Since 2008, the Tier 2 Ministers of Religion has gradually replaced the pre-pbs equivalent category of Ministers of Religion/Missionary.  Accordingly, after 2008 and 2009, the number of decisions are nearly negligible. And also no decision made after 2012 in this pre-pbs category.

YearDecisionsGrantsRejectionsRefusal Rate
20081,1101,11000.00%
200933733072.08%
2010151500.00%
2011000N/A
20122200.00%
Total1,4641,45770.48%

Tier 2 and Pre-PBS Settlement Visa Grants

During 2008-2017 a total of 44,972 migrants have been granted settlement (ILR) under the Tier 2 route. Apparently, the Tier 2 settlement grants have gradually supplanted the settlement through pre-PBS work permit route.

YearEmployment with a work permitTier 2 Sponsored with a job
200823,2720
200925,425425
201023,0532,829
201115,0564,182
20129,4314,292
20136,9855,167
20141,3075,938
20151919,266
2016915,727
20171077,146
Total104,91844,972