Requirements for the Skilled Worker Tier 2 Visa

The UK government offers a Tier 2 visa to foreign workers hoping to live and work here. The visa is only available to foreign workers who have already been offered a skilled job and who are from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply for a Tier 2 visa, a foreign worker must meet the following criteria:

  • The worker must obtain a certificate of sponsorship reference number.
  • The worker must have a salary offer of at least £25,000 or whatever is appropriate to the job on offer.
  • The worker must possess and demonstrate an appropriate level of English skills.
  • The worker must possess at least £945 in savings unless an exemption applies.

Note that additional eligibility requirements apply if a worker is switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2.

Approved Sponsorships

An approved sponsor is usually the employer offering work. The sponsor creates a digital certificate of sponsorship that includes information about the job on offer and the personal details of the worker who will take that job. The digital certificate is linked to a reference number provided to the worker.

Note that the worker does not receive an actual document. Rather, the certificate of sponsorship reference number is provided instead. That number is used to apply for a visa. The reference number is only valid for three months from the date of issue.

Workers can apply for a Tier 2 skilled worker visa up to three months prior to the first day of work. It normally takes up to three weeks to get a decision on a visa application, though delays are possible if application paperwork is not submitted correctly. Application fees apply based on individual circumstances.

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