The Tier 2 visa is a popular route for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland to work in the United Kingdom. This visa category enables UK employers to hire skilled professionals who possess the necessary qualifications and experience to fill specific job roles. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the key aspects of Tier 2 UK visas, including eligibility criteria, application process, and important considerations for prospective applicants.
Job Offer: To qualify for a Tier 2 visa, individuals must have a valid job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Tier 2 sponsor license.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): The employer must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship, which serves as a confirmation of the job offer and contains information about the position, salary, and other relevant details.
Skill Level and Minimum Salary: The job role must meet the skill level and minimum salary requirements specified by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
English Language Proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate their English language proficiency by meeting specific language requirements.
Maintenance Funds: Applicants are required to provide evidence of sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents during their stay in the UK.
Online Application: Tier 2 visa applications are submitted online through the UKVI website. Applicants need to complete the application form and pay the relevant visa fees.
Biometric Information: Once the online application is submitted, applicants are usually required to visit a visa application center to provide their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph).
Supporting Documents: Applicants must submit supporting documents, including a valid passport, Certificate of Sponsorship, proof of qualifications, English language test results, and financial documents.
Healthcare Surcharge: Tier 2 visa applicants are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, which provides access to the National Health Service (NHS) during their stay in the UK.
Processing Times: The processing time for Tier 2 visa applications can vary, so it is advisable to apply well in advance of the intended travel date.
Intra-Company Transfer and Other Subcategories:
In addition to the Tier 2 (General) category, there are other subcategories under the Tier 2 visa, including Intra-Company Transfer (ICT), Minister of Religion, and Sportsperson.
ICT: This subcategory allows multinational companies to transfer employees from overseas branches to the UK branch. There are different ICT routes, including long-term staff, short-term staff, and graduate trainee.
Minister of Religion: This category is for individuals who have been offered a job as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order.
Sportsperson: This subcategory is for elite athletes and coaches who have been endorsed by a recognized sporting body.
Tier 2 Sponsorship:
Employers in the UK must hold a valid Tier 2 sponsor license to hire non-EEA skilled workers.
Sponsor Duties: Sponsors have specific duties and responsibilities, including issuing Certificates of Sponsorship, complying with record-keeping requirements, and ensuring migrant workers meet the visa conditions.
Sponsorship Process: Employers must apply for a sponsor license, which involves meeting certain criteria and providing necessary documentation to demonstrate their suitability as sponsors.
Conclusion: The Tier 2 UK visa category offers opportunities for skilled workers to work in the United Kingdom and contribute to its labor market. Understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and associated requirements is essential for a successful Tier 2 visa application. By following this comprehensive guide, prospective applicants can navigate the process with greater confidence and increase their chances of obtaining a Tier 2 visa to work in the UK. The Tier 2 visa has several subcategories, including the General Work Visa, Intra-Company Transfer Visa, Minister of Religion Visa, and Sportsperson Visa. The most common subcategory is the Tier 2 (General) visa, which is for skilled workers with a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Tier 2 sponsor license.