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Tier 2 General Skilled Visa Category

The Tier 2 General visa is intended for medium- and highly skilled workers who wish to immigrate to the United Kingdom.

To make an application under the Tier 2 General category you must have a confirmed offer of employment from a licensed UK employer/sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship.

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Tier 2 General Points Assessment

If you are seeking to immigrate to the UK on a Tier 2 General visa you will need to achieve a minimum score of 70 points from the following five areas of assessment.

Points are awarded as follows:

30 points – Assigned a certificate of sponsorship and met one of the following requirements:

  • Shortage occupation role; or
  • Employer completed a Resident Labour Market Test; or
  • Switching from the Tier 1 Post Study Work category; or
  • Continuing to work in the same job for the same sponsoring employer (work permit extension)

20 points – Appropriate salary

10 points – English language

To submit a successful Tier 2 General application you must achieve a score of 10 points for your English language skills.

There are three ways you can score points for your English language skills:

  • Be a national of a majority English speaking country; or
  • Pass an English language test from an approved English language test provider; or
  • Hold a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a United Kingdom bachelor’s degree or above.

Here you can view full details of approved English language test providers throughout the UK. Please note this list has been produced by the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) and is up to date as at 28 January 2010.

10 points – Maintenance

To meet the maintenance requirements and achieve the required score of 10 points you must show evidence that you have available funds of £800 which have been in your bank account for at least three months prior to the application being made.

Alternatively, if your potential employer is an A-rated sponsor they can provide you with a letter that will cover you for meeting the maintenance requirements.

Duration of Stay

If you are granted permission to stay in the UK as a Tier 2 General skilled worker, you will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum time of three years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship, which ever time is shorter. At the end of this period if you want to stay you will need to apply to extend your stay as a skilled worker for a further 2 years.

Spouses and Dependents

The Tier 2 Visa category can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain and as such this category makes provision for the spouses and common law, civil or unmarried partners of the applicant and any dependent children to immigrate to the UK at the same time as the main Tier 2 applicant.