Tier 2 Visas

Tier 2 was implemented on 27 November 2008 and offers an entry route into the United Kingdom for skilled workers who are citizens of countries outside of the European Economic Area. In all cases people applying for entry under this scheme must be in possession of a Job Offer and fulfil other requirements as detailed for the different categories. Tier 2 replaced the UK Work Permits scheme.

Tier 2 (General)
—————-
Tier 2 (General) is for people coming to the UK with a skilled job offer. The job must be at or above graduate level, and the migrant must earn the appropriate salary or other package of remuneration appropriate for the job in the UK.

If your sponsor want to employ you in the UK to do a job that is not in a shortage occupation, the sponsor must demonstrate that there are no suitable settled workers or nationals of a country in the European Economic Area (including the UK) to fill the job.

To demonstrate this, the sponsor must comply with the resident labour market test before it assigns a certificate of sponsorship to you.

You should check with your sponsor that it has complied with the resident labour market test, and has said so on your certificate of sponsorship.

You should apply if:
*you are over 16 years old;
*you are not a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland; and
*you want to enter or stay in the United Kingdom to work under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

You are allowed to apply if you are:
*already in the United Kingdom with permission to stay in an immigration category that allows you to switch into Tier 2;
*already in the United Kingdom under Tier 2 and want to extend your permission to stay in your existing category; or
*applying from outside the United Kingdom for permission to enter (known as ‘entry clearance’) in Tier 2.

Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfers)
——————————–
Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) enables multinational companies to transfer their employees to the UK under 4 sub-categories:
*Long-term staff – for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch of their organisation for more than 12 months to fill a post that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the resident workforce
*Short-term staff – for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch of their organisation for 12 months or less to fill a post that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the resident workforce
*Graduate trainee – this route allows the transfer of recent graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organisation, as part of a structured graduate training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role
*Skills transfer – this route allows the transfer of new graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organisation to learn the skills and knowledge required to perform their job overseas, or to impart their specialist skills or knowledge to the UK workforce.

Before you apply under Tier 2 (Intra company transfer), you must have:
a sponsor; and
*a valid certificate of sponsorship.

When you apply, you are awarded points based on your:
*salary and allowances;
*sponsorship; and
*available maintenance (funds).

You must also meet an English language requirement if you are applying under the Long-term staff sub-category and you are extending your stay to more than 3 years.
You can:
*apply for permission to enter the UK (known as ‘entry clearance’) under any sub-category of Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) ;
*apply for permission to switch into remain in the UK in the Established staff sub-category, if you are currently here with a work permit as an intra-company transferee and you are still working for the same employer ;
*apply for permission to remain in the UK in the Long-term staff sub-category, if you are already here in that sub-category .

If you applied under the Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) category before 6 April 2010, or if you switch into that category from being an intra-company transferee work permit holder, you may be able to apply for settlement when you have been here for some time.

Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
———————
The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) category is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level, and will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport.

Before you apply under Tier 2 (Sportsperson), you must have:
*a sponsor; and
*a valid certificate of sponsorship with a governing body endorsement number.

When you apply you are awarded points based on your:
*certificate of sponsorship;
*English language skills;
*and available maintenance (funds).

Your sponsor must give you your governing body endorsement number when they give you your certificate of sponsorship.

You can apply under the sports person category now if you are:
*applying for permission to enter the UK (known as ‘entry clearance’) under Tier 2 (Sportsperson);
*in the UK with permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’) in an immigration category that allows you to switch into Tier 2 (Sportsperson);
*already in the UK under Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category.

Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion)
——————————
This category is for people who want to take up employment or posts or roles within their faith communities in the UK as:
*ministers of religion undertaking preaching and pastoral work;
*missionaries; or
*members of religious orders.

Pastoral duties include:
*leading worship regularly and on special occasions;
*giving religious education to children and adults by preaching or teaching;
*officiating at marriages, funerals and other special services; and
*offering counselling and welfare support to members of the congregation; and
*recruiting, training and co-ordinating the work of any local volunteers and lay preachers.

Work as a missionary is not just preaching and teaching. It can include:
*the organisation of missionary activity (but should not be administrative or clerical, unless filling a senior post);
*supervising staff;
*co-ordinating the organisation of missionary work;
*being in charge of a particular activity such as accounts/finance, personnel management or IT; and
*translating religious texts – this is missionary work, not clerical work.

The work in a religious order must be in the order itself or outside work directed by the order.

You should apply under the student category (Tier 4) of the points-based system if you are a member of a religious order and you want to study for a qualification, a formal full-time course of study or training in an academic institution not looked after by the order.

Working full-time as a teacher in a school run by a church or missionary organisation does not count as missionary work. If this is the work that you will be doing, you must apply as a teacher under the Tier 2 (General) category.

If you want to come to the UK as a religious worker for a shorter time, you should apply under the religious worker category of Tier 5.

Before you apply under Tier 2 (Minister of religion), you must have:
*a sponsor; and
*a valid certificate of sponsorship.

When you apply you are awarded points based on your:
*certificate of sponsorship:
*English language skills; and
*available maintenance (funds).

You can apply in this category now if you:
*want permission to enter the UK (known as ‘entry clearance’) under Tier 2 (Minister of religion);
*are already in the UK with permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’) in an immigration category that allows you to switch into Tier 2 (Minister of religion); or
*are already in the UK as a minister of religion and you want to extend your permission to stay in the same category.