Tier 2 visa – Skilled workers with an offer of employment:
The second tier of the new points based UK immigration service replaced UK work permits and applies to medium and highly skilled workers wishing to immigrate to the UK who have an offer from a UK sponsoring company in place.
As is the case for a tier 3 visas, tier 4 visa and a tier 5 visa, applying for a UK visa for immigration under tier 2 will require each candidate to obtain a certificate of sponsorship, in this case from the sponsoring company, as part of their visa application.
A tier 2 work permit visa application is an employer led process and the company in question will need to fulfill certain responsibilities. However, this visa service also has elements in common with tier 1 and the old Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP, in that a points threshold, in this case 50 points must be met on a skills assessment and a level of proficiency in the English language is required.
As a specialist UK immigration consultancy, we can provide a full UK visa service for all five tiers of the new system. We can help you to establish which tier visa service is the most appropriate for your needs and our immigration consultants can assist you at every stage. We can offer immigration lawyer advice on your initial application and can help you adjust to living and working in the UK through a range of on arrival services.
Like tier 1 visas, a tier 2 visa application is a potential route for settlement in the United Kingdom and as with the current system of UK work permits, applicants may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR) or permanent residence after five years in Britain. Beyond this, subject to meeting the requirements for British Naturalization, a candidate may be able to naturalize as a British citizen.
Points Based Assessment
Like all tiers of the new system, candidates are assessed and awarded points against various criteria. In order to qualify candidates must score a minimum of 50 points in tier 2.
- Candidates possessing a PhD = 15 points
- Candidates possessing a Masters Degree = 10 points
- Candidates possessing a Bachelors Degree = 10 points
- Candidates possessing an NVQ3 = 5 points
- £21,000 + = 20 points
- £19,500 - £21,000 = 15 points
- £18,000 - £19,500 = 10 points
- £15,000 - £18,000 = 5 points
(Job offers for positions identified as being in shortage sectors by the Skills Advisory Body [SAB] are worth 50 points)
(ICT candidates [see below] automatically receive 50 points).
(Non-shortage positions, which pass the Resident Labour Market Test, are worth 30 points).
Employers recruiting candidates through the five tier immigration service must provide a sponsorship certificate detailing the job title and demonstrating that the salary offered is appropriate for such a position and that the role is at or above NVQ3. The certificate acts as confirmation that a candidate has the intention and necessary skills to fill the specified position.
In circumstances where a position being offered is not a shortage occupation, the employer will be required to show that they have attempted without success to fill the role from the domestic workforce through appropriate advertising.
In circumstances where a candidate wishes to change employment, a new certificate of sponsorship must be obtained and a re-assessment against the points system will be required. A tier 2 visa application is required for each change of employment.
Intra Company Transfer (ICT)
An Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) allows organisations to transfer key staff who have been employed for a minimum of six months to a UK subsidiary company. The company is not required to advertise the position although they must demonstrate the candidate possesses relevant knowledge and experience to undertake the position.
An ICT visa is valid for between one day and five years, depending on the length of time requested by the sponsoring company. The duration of the Intra-Company Transfer visa is also at discretion of the Home office.
Since the second of the tier immigration services may be regarded as a route to potential settlement, family immigration is permitted for your wife, husband, civil partner, unmarried partner and/or dependent children. Spouse immigration and dependency immigration operate along similar lines to the current Dependency Visa. However, the marriage visa, unmarried partner visa and fiance visa categories will remain distinct from the new visas for points based immigration.