Tier 2 Visa: Skilled Workers with an Offer of Employment

The tier 2 visa is designed for people with experience and qualifications relevant to a wide range of industries in the United Kingdom. A valid job offer is required for the successful application of this visa. This Tier 2 visa replaces the work permit scheme formerly in use, and covers a wide range of sectors, such as white-collar jobs.

There are three types of Tier 2 visas, namely, General UK Work Permits, Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits, and Visas for sportspeople.


The key benefit of this tier is the potential opportunity to apply for permanent residence after spending five years in the country with one of these tier 2 visas.


As per current regulations, dependents such as children under 18 years of age, and spouses or unmarried partners will be permitted for immigration. Dependents may be able to work in the United Kingdom, depending on the terms of their visa.


Tier 2 visas require a minimum score of 70 points in the new points based system. Applicants must also meet the English language proficiency criteria, and have a sponsorship certificate from their employer. The breakup of the 70 points required is as follows:

  • Job Offer Category (Only one applicable):
    • Intra-Company Transfer – 50 points
    • Job on the shortage occupation list – 50 points
    • Job that has met the resident labour market test 30 points
    • Switching from the tier 1 post-study worker category – 30 points
  • Qualifications
    • NVQ3 = 5 points
    • Bachelor’s Degree = 10 points
    • Master’s Degree = 10 points
    • PhD = 15 points
  • Prospective Earnings
    • £17,000 – £19,999 = 5 points
    • £20,000 – £21,999 = 10 points
    • £22,000 – £23,999 = 15 points
    • More than £24,000 = 20 points

Candidates applying for an Intra-Company Transfer will receive 50 points automatically in the Job Offer category.

English Language Proficiency

  • The English Language Proficiency requirement gives applicants the opportunity to score an extra 10 points, in addition to the points mentioned above. In order to score these points, the applicant needs to fulfil one of these three requirements: Be a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Pass an English language test from an approved test provider
  • Hold a degree taught in the English language, which is equivalent to a United Kingdom bachelor’s degree or better

Maintenance (Funds)

Applicants need to show evidence of their possession of at least £800 of available funds in their bank account for at least three months, prior to the date of application. These funds are to ensure that the applicant will not need support from public funds. These funds also allot 10 points to their application.

Employer Responsibilities

One of the core requirements of the Tier 2 work permit is a sponsorship certificate specifying the details of the job, such as the title, salary offered, and that the job is at least NVQ3 or better. The purpose of this certificate is to ensure that the candidate fulfils the necessary skills requirement. Another purpose is to ensure that the position being offered is on the shortage occupation list, or that the employer tried to fill the role from the domestic workforce, but could not find a suitable candidate.

FAQ – Tier 2 Visa

  1. How many types of Tier 2 visas are there?
    There are four types of skilled worker visas

    • Tier 2 – General
    • Tier 2 – Minister of Religion
    • Tier 2 – Sportsperson
    • Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfer
  2. Do I need a sponsorship certificate to qualify for a Tier 2 Visa, and how long is it valid for?
    A sponsorship certificate is a digital document that contains information about the job you have been chosen for, along with your personal details, and is valid for a total of 3 months. It is a necessary requirement to qualify for a Tier 2 visa, and therefore, you must have one before you can be eligible to apply for the said visa.
  3. What are the requirements on the sponsor’s part for issuing a sponsorship certificate?
    In order to issue a sponsorship certificate for an overseas applicant, employers must first conduct a test in the local labour market to find a candidate for the vacancy in question. If they are unable to find some suitable candidate from the local workforce, they can apply for a sponsorship certificate for a Tier 2 visa for an overseas candidate. The job needs to be advertised in the UK for a period of one to two weeks before the job can be offered to overseas candidates.
  4. Why do applicants need to show evidence of maintenance funds?
    Applicants need to show evidence of personal savings of £800 for the principal, and £533 per dependent to show that they will not need support from public funds for the first month. Alternatively, the sponsor can submit a written confirmation stating that they will maintain and accommodate the principal and dependents until the end of the first month of their working in the United Kingdom.
  5. How long is the visa valid for?
    The tier 2 visa is generally valid for a maximum of 3 years and one month for overseas applicants. For people applying from within the UK, the visa is valid for a maximum of 3 years, plus 14 days extra. The validity of the visa will be clearly mentioned in the sponsorship certificate.
  6. Can I extend my visa?
    Tier 2 visa holders can apply for extensions at the end of their 3 years stay in the United Kingdom, if they wish to stay for longer. If approved, the extension will grant them another 2 years, after which they can apply for an ILR or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
  7. Can I bring my dependents?
    As per current regulations, the principal visa holder can bring their spouse, civil or unmarried life partner, and any dependent children with them to the United Kingdom. The dependents can stay in the country for the same period as the principal applicant, and might be eligible to work in the UK, depending on the visa they are issued.
  8. Am I eligible for a Tier 2, sponsored work permit visa?
    To be eligible for a tier 2 work visa, candidates must fulfil a number of requirements. Please contact us at info@visahelp.eu and one of our consultants will get in touch with you to discuss the details and assess your eligibility.