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UK Skilled Worker Visas

Under the UK’s immigration rules, a Tier 2 (General) visa allows skilled workers based abroad to come to the UK if they have been offered a skilled job in this country.

At Skilled Migration we have the expertise and knowledge necessary to help skilled workers and their families come to the UK. Whether you are an employer wanting to recruit a skilled migrant, have been offered a job in the UK or wish to work for a UK branch of an overseas employer, contact us for advice and assistance with Tier 2 visa applications.

Skilled Migrants: Tier 2 (General) Visa

The Tier 2 (General) visa is an immigration route to living and working in the UK if you have been offered a skilled job or can fulfil a role where there is a shortage of workers in the UK. These visas can be granted for up to five years, although there is the possibility to have the term of the visa extended.

To be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) visa, you must have the following:

  • An offer of a skilled job in the UK that can’t be fulfilled by a settled worker (which requires strict fulfilment of the requirements of the resident labour market test including advertising);
  • A reference number for a Certificate of Sponsorship from your sponsor containing information about the job and your personal details;
  • In general, an appropriate salary for the job that is above a prescribed amount depending on the job;
  • Proof that you have finances to support yourself; and,
  • Proof that you have knowledge of the English language.

If you are already in the UK on a different category of visa, such as a student visa in order to complete a UK master’s degree or a PhD, you may be able to switch to the Tier 2 category and stay in the UK for up to five years.

However, there is an annual limit on the number of Tier 2 (General) visas that will be granted for those who want to switch to a different immigration category.

If you are an employer wishing to sponsor a skilled migrant worker you will need to apply for a sponsorship licence. Once granted, a sponsorship licence allows you to assign a certificate of sponsorship to the person you wish to recruit so they can apply for a Tier 2 visa.

If you are a skilled migrant coming to the UK to work, your family may also be able to join you. Your family member must be a dependant, such as a spouse, partner or a child under 18, and meet the eligibility criteria to be granted permission to join you in the UK. These criteria include access to sufficient funds so they can support themselves as well as passing the general immigration eligibility requirements.

A Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker visa application must be carefully prepared and drafted. The UK Visa and Immigration authorities operate a points based system for processing visa applications, the precise requirements of which change frequently, making it critical that specialist advice is obtained prior to any application.

Immigration Advice for Skilled Workers from UK Immigration Barristers

Our immigration barristers can help UK-based businesses and skilled workers based abroad come together. For specialist immigration advice and assistance for applying for a sponsorship licence or Tier 2 visa applications and appeals, contact us today.

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