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Tier 2 Skilled Worker
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UK Tier 2 General Visa

The skilled worker category (Tier 2 General) is for people coming to the United Kingdom with a skilled job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

Who can apply for Tier 2 (General)?

Remember that before you apply under the skilled worker category (Tier 2 General), you must have:

  • a sponsor; and
  • a valid certificate of sponsorship.

When you apply you are awarded points based on your:

  • qualifications;
  • future expected earnings;
  • sponsorship;
  • English language skills; and
  • available maintenance (funds).

You can apply under the skilled worker category (Tier 2 General) now if you are:

  • applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom under the sponsored skilled worker category.
  • in the United Kingdom with permission to stay in an immigration category that allows you to switch into the sponsored skilled worker category (Tier 2 General);
  • already in the United Kingdom as a sponsored skilled worker (Tier 2 General) and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category.

How long can you stay for?

If you are given permission to stay as a skilled worker, you will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum time of 3 years plus one month, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus one month, which ever time is shorter.At the end of the three years, you will need to apply to extend your stay as a skilled worker if you want to stay.

 If you are given permission to extend your stay in the United Kingdom as a skilled worker, you will get another two years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, which ever time is shorter.

If you are given permission to extend your stay in the UK and your previous permission to stay was as a work permit holder, you can still apply under the transitional arrangements and you will get permission to stay for a time that takes you to five years in the United Kingdom. e.g. if you have been here for four and a half years with permission as a work permit holder or under the transitional arrangements, you will get six months permission to stay.

You may apply for settlement once you have been here for 5 years. If you do not, you must apply under the points-based system and make a new application.

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