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UK Tier 2 Work Visas

Imperial & Legal provides support in applying for UK work visas (all types: General, Intra-company Transfer, Minister of Religion, Sportsperson), including:

  • Advising on a list of required documents;
  • Preparing and submitting a visa application;
  • Consulting employers on obtaining a sponsorship license, preparing and issuing a certificate of sponsorship;
  • Supporting and working on your immigration case till you receive a UK citizenship.

UK Tier 2 work visas are issued for skilled workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who are offered a job in the UK by a licensed sponsor.

Tier 2 category includes several types of visas as described below.

Tier 2 General

You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK by a licensed sponsor and assigned a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.

You must comply with either of the two main eligibility criteria for this type of visa:

  • Your salary is higher than £159,600 per year; or
  • You are offered a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK (shortage occupation).

In any case you cannot be paid less than £30,000.

You must work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship though you can also do a second job not more than 20 hours a week in the same field and qualification as the main position. You are not eligible to get public funds and become self-employed.

UK Tier 2 Work visa eligibility

You need to:

  • prove your knowledge of English (at least CEFR level B1)
  • have £945 (main applicant) and £630 (for each dependent) in your bank account for 90 days before you apply
  • provide a criminal record certificate from any country you’ve lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if you’ll be working with vulnerable people

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. UK work permit visa can be extended if issued for less than 5 years.

Tier 2 Intra-company transfer

You can apply for this visa if you are a qualified employee of an overseas employer that has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organisation and you have worked in the company for at least 12 months outside the UK.

There are 2 types of Intra-company Transfer visa:

Long-term Staff – this visa is for transfers of more than 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a new UK recruit;

Graduate Trainee – this visa is for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles. You need to be a recent graduate with at least 3 months’ experience with your employer overseas.

Tier 2 Sportsperson

You can apply for this type of visas if you’re an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, who’s recognised by your sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of your profession internationally.

Eligibility criteria are very similar to Tier 2 (General) visas.

Tier 2 Minister of Religion

You can apply for this type of visas if you’ve been offered a job within a faith community (for example as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order) in the UK.

Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR)

You can apply for an ILR under Tier 2 visas (except Tier 2 (Inter-Company Transfer) visa), if you’ve been living and working in the UK for 5 years and spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months (‘continuous residence’). The 5 years can include time in the UK either on one of the Tier 2 sub-categories or as accumulation of several eligible sub-categories.


  • Your employer (sponsor) still needs you for your job – they’ll need to provide a document confirming this;
  • You get paid the relevant salary listed in the Codes of Practice;
  • You must pass the Life in the UK Test;
  • You must pass an English language test (to at least CEFR level B1);
  • No pending criminal convictions.

Citizenship and passport

One year after receiving an ILR on Tier 2 visa, all family members can apply for British citizenship by naturalisation if each one of them comply with the following eligibility criteria:

  • spent no more than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years;
  • spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months;
  • no criminal record or administrative offences;
  • pass an English language test (to at least CEFR level B1) for everyone over 18;
  • pass the Life in the UK Test for everyone over 18.

An application for naturalisation can be made by post only.

Super-premium and Premium services

You can use Super-premium and Premium services when you need to extend your visa and apply for ILR on the Tier 2 route.

To discuss your requirements, please contact our specialists or call us on +44 (0)203 490 41 21.

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