Your prospective sponsor must be an established UK company and hold an A-rated Sponsor Licence. If this is not the case, we can assist the company to secure a Sponsor Licence within weeks, provid your prospective sponsor has sufficient HR process in place to comply with Home Office requirements.
If you are already in the UK we will assess whether you are eligible to switch to Tier 2 in-country. You may need to return to your home country to complete the visa process. We provide you with complete support throughout your application, liaising with you, your sponsor and the Home Office to ensure the complex process is made as simple as possible.
The Home Office has recently increased the skill level required for Tier 2 positions. The role must now be equivalent to at least NQF Level 6 or higher, or be recognised by the authorities as an occupation for which skilled workers are in short supply.
The role you are offered must currently be equivalent to NQF Level 6, requiring at least a degree or a minimum of 3 years’ specialist or senior level experience to perform the role. We will assess whether the position and salary meet requirements and guide you through the application process.
If you are already sponsored under Tier 2, you may elect to change employer and continue to work at a ‘lower level’ i.e. NQF Level 4 or NQF Level 3, dependent on the regulations in place at the time of your original grant.
Unless you have worked for your sponsor for more than 12 months overseas (or three months for Graduate Trainees) or are currently employed as a sponsored skilled worker elsewhere, the English language requirement may apply. You will be required to:
- be a national of a majority English language speaking country (ask us for a list); or
- hold a Bachelors or Postgraduate degree or an overseas course that is recognised as having been taught in English; or
- have taken and passed an approved English language test.
The role does not need to be advertised if the position meets one of the following criteria:
- You have employed the company overseas for at least the last 12 months; or
- You have been offered placement as part of the company’s your global graduate rotation scheme and have worked for the company overseas for at least the last three months; or
- The proposed role is on the shortage occupation list; or
- You currently holds Tier 1 Post Study Work permission; or
- You are a Tier 4 student and you have completed a recognized Bachelor degree or Postgraduate degree from within the UK; or
- The proposed role attracts an annual gross salary of £153,100.
The Resident Labour Market Test dictates how and where the vacancy should be advertised. Following an initial assessment of the case we will work with you and your sponsor to ensure you meet all UKVI criteria, and the recruitment campaign complies with policy requirements.
There have been many changes to the UK immigration regulations in recent years, enacted with a view to reduce net migration to the UK.
Permission to work in the UK for Intra-Company Transfer migrants, entering the UK has been restricted to 5 years. The only exception is workers earning in more than £153,100. In this instance, two extensions totalling 4 years, bringing your total stay to 9 years maximum, will be permitted.
Permission to work in the UK for Tier 2 General migrants, entering the UK after 5 April 2011, has been restricted to 6 years in total, regardless of whether you have changed employer during this time. However you may have the option to settle in the UK after spending 5 years in the UK under Tier 2.
You must tell the Home Office about the change within 10 working days to ensure ongoing compliance with the sponsor licence regulations. Tell us as soon as you can about changes to a Tier 2 migrant’s role (such as a change of job duties, work location, salary). We will assess them before they come into effect, and tell you what you need to do.
Depending on the nature of the change you may also need to make a new Tier 2 application, and seek approval from the Home Office for the changes to the role to come into effect.
Currently, if you are sponsored under the Tier 2 General route or arrived in the UK under the Tier 2 Route, you may be eligible to settle in the UK on completion of 5 consecutive years in approved employment. You will, however, need the support of your current sponsor to provide the documents you need to file a successful application to reside in the UK permanently. However, Tier 2 ICT holder is not eligible to apply ILR.
You must limit your absences from the UK to no more than 180 days in any 12 month period.
There is a minimum salary requirement of £35,000 per year set for those Tier 2 workers applying for settlement after 6 April 2016. After 6 April 2018 a minimum salary requirement of £35,500 per year will apply.
You can find out more about settling in the UK on our page Indefinite Leave to Remain.
As a Tier 2 migrant your employment is limited to the role specified on the work permission issued by your sponsoring company, with the exception of supplementary employment (work in a similar role to the Tier 2 permission for no more than 20 hours per week).
However, dependants (who may include your spouse/ unmarried partner and children under the age of 18 years) enjoy complete freedom to undertake any paid or unpaid employment or self-employment within the UK for the duration of their stay.