Tier 2 is part of the points based system in the UK and if you fulfil specific criteria you could get a visa to work in the UK.
The system awards you points in three categories which are: attributes; English language; and maintenance. Any organisation offering you a job must be a licensed sponsor (you will score points for this under attributes).
Tier 2 has four categories and understanding these categories (1 and 2 in particular) is the best starting point for finding sponsorship:
1. General – if you have an offer of a skilled job that cannot be filled by a settled worker. This category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill shortage occupations. You can find a list of shortage occupations here: you can find a list here: This is updated from time to time so you should check it regularly.
2. Intra-Company Transfer – if you are an existing employee of a multinational employer who needs to be transferred to their UK branch for training purposes or to fill a specific skilled vacancy that cannot be filled by a settled or EEA worker either on a long term basis or for frequent short visits. There are 4 sub-categories of Intra-Company Transfer:
i)Long Term Staff – if you have been working for your organisation for at least 12 months directly prior to your transfer. You can get a visa of up to 5 years under this route (or 9 years for any staff earning £155,300 a year or more).
ii) Short Term Staff – if you have been working for your organisation for at least 12 months directly prior to your transfer. You can get a visa of up to 12 months.
iii) Graduate Trainee – if you are a recent graduate recruit being transferred to a UK branch of your organisation for the purpose of training. (This route must not be used to fill long-term posts). You must be coming to the UK as part of a structured graduate training programme with clearly defined progression towards a managerial or specialist role within your organisation for a maximum period of 12 months.
iv) Skills Transfer – if you are employed overseas and are being transferred to a UK branch of the same organisation in a graduate occupation to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to perform your role overseas, or to impart your specialist skills – your visa would be for a maximum of six months.
3. You can qualify for a Tier 2 visa if you are an elite sportsperson or coach.
4. If you are a Minister of Religion undertaking preaching and pastoral work you may be able to qualify for a Tier 2 visa.
Not going to sugar-coat it: it won’t be easy. The current UK government wants to look tough on immigration for certain reasons, against the advice of industry leaders I might add.
If you’re applying from outside the UK, you need a very special CV. For a company to sponsor you, you will essentially need to convince them that you have skills/experience that few UK citizens will have.
Another route is to find a job at a British or multinational company in your home country and try to transfer to the UK through them. Again, you will need to make a good case for this.
If you’re a student in the UK you need to apply early, because you don’t have a lot of time between your graduation and your visa expiry. Graduate training schemes are your best bet, and recruitment generally opens a few months before the end of the academic year.
Alternatively, if you have the funds (and it will be much easier for a wealthier applicant), you can try to keep studying. Extend or renew your student visa to undertake more specialised qualifications or training (you will be able to research online which skills are most in-demand). This will make you more attractive to the kinds of organisations that can give sponsorship.
Finally, you might try to apply for a working holiday visa. This will give you a year to find a job and prove yourself invaluable to an employer so that you can make a case for sponsorship.