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!

10-Year Average Tier 2 Work Visa Success Rate

Indeed, the 10-year average Tier 2 work visa success and refusal rate are 96.21% and 3.34%, respectively.

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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. 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.

Year Applications Decisions Success Rate
2008 58,093 58,260 95.84%
2009 40,415 40,646 89.28%
2010 42,908 43,132 92.56%
2011 39,795 39,787 95.73%
2012 40,435 40,175 97.50%
2013 46,390 46,538 98.06%
2014 53,725 53,622 97.84%
2015 55,268 55,559 97.85%
2016 56,361 56,182 97.73%
2017 54,868 54,675 97.68%
Total 488,258 488,576 96.21%
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 And also 1,734 applications withdrawn and 462 lapsed. 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.

Year Refused Withdrawn Lapsed
2008 1,895 337 191
2009 3,928 302 129
2010 2,995 167 48
2011 1,463 218 18
2012 846 133 25
2013 801 89 12
2014 950 194 15
2015 1,067 114 13
2016 1,179 90 8
2017 1,173 90 3
Total 16,297 1,734 462

Tier 2 Extension Visa 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%).

Year Decisions Refusal Rate
2008 43,825 3.10%
2009 30,336 8.19%
2010 23,145 8.11%
2011 19,566 6.96%
2012 30,841 4.27%
2013 39,056 3.58%
2014 36,826 4.24%
2015 35,385 6.22%
2016 36,729 4.75%
2017 35,117 3.94%
Total 330,826 5.04%

Pre-PBS UK Work Permit 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.

Year Decisions Refusal Rate
2008 42,092 2.85%
2009 7,516 3.05%
2010 84 52.38%
2011 17 52.94%
2012 8 25.00%
2013 2 0.00%
2014 5 100.00%
2015 2 50.00%
2016 0 N/A
2017 0 N/A
Total 49,726 3.00%

Pre-PBS Other Permit Free Employment

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.

Year Decisions Refusal Rate
2008 568 27.11%
2009 172 42.44%
2010 21 52.38%
2011 4 50.00%
2012 1 100.00%
2013 2 100.00%
Total 768 31.64%

Pre-PBS Ministers of Religion Visa Success 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.

Year Decisions Refusal Rate
2008 1,110 0.00%
2009 337 2.08%
2010 15 0.00%
2011 0 N/A
2012 2 0.00%
Total 1,464 0.48%

Tier 2 ILR Settlement 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 settlements under pre-PBS work permit route.

Year Work Permit PBS Tier 2
2008 23,272 0
2009 25,425 425
2010 23,053 2,829
2011 15,056 4,182
2012 9,431 4,292
2013 6,985 5,167
2014 1,307 5,938
2015 191 9,266
2016 91 5,727
2017 107 7,146
Total 104,918 44,972

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