UK Tier 2 (General) Visa


UK Tier 2 (General) Visa


You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if
  • You've been offered a skilled job in the UK
  • You're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
Getting sponsored
  • You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work.
  • The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
How long it will take
  • You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK
  • You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks
  • You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country
How long you can stay
  • 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
  • Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship
  • You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years

What you can and can't do

You can:
  • Work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • Do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • Do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week
  • Do voluntary work
  • Study as long as it doesn't interfere with the job you're sponsored for
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Bring family members with you
You can't:
  • Own more than 10% of your sponsor's shares (unless you earn more than £153,500 a year)
  • Get public funds
  • Start working before you get the visa
  • Apply for a second job until you've started working for your sponsor