Tier 2 Visa

Tier 2 Visa
Tier 2 Visa Overview :
Tier 2 is the main immigration route for working in the UK and is for skilled workers with a job offer. Tier 2 Visa sponsorship is required by an employer and the visa is linked to a specific job. There are different categories within Tier 2 Visa and the most relevant for international graduates is Tier 2 (General).
Some occupations such as engineering, healthcare and teaching are currently considered to be in such high demand in the UK that a shortened application process has been devised for the skilled worker. Other occupations may also qualify under Tier 2 Visa providing appropriate advertising has been conducted to meet the resident labour market test.
Tier 2 Visa General visa criteria:
Offer of skilled employment
Prospective employer holds a Sponsor License
Qualifications or experience relative to the role
Score 70 points or more in the Tier 2 points test.
Tier 2 Visa  is a points based category. Points are awarded for the following
qualifications;
future expected earnings;
sponsorship;
English language skills; and
available maintenance (funds).
To be eligible for the Tier 2 work permit you must have qualifications, experience and salary as appropriate to your occupation. Each occupation has differing eligibility requirements.
Tier 2  Visa Eligibility
Can only switch if applying from inside the UK
Received confirmation of final degree in writing or completed 12 months of a Degree.
Employer must be on the register of Tier 2 sponsors and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
Job offer must be at ‘graduate level’ as outlined in the Codes of Practice for Skilled Workers
Minimum salary of UK Tier 2 Visa Immigrants must earn £35,000 to settle from April 2016 or industry equivalent as outlined in the Codes of Practice for Skilled Workers .
Step 1: Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence:20 points
The first stage in applying for Tier 2 is undertaken by the employer. The employer must apply directly to the UK Border Agency for a Sponsorship Licence. The UK Border Agency will assess the organisation to ensure it is genuine and has an operating or trading presence in the UK. The company’s Human Resource systems will be assessed, as will their compliance, civil penalties and criminal history. Documents required at this stage will vary depending on the type and structure of the business, but they will generally be required to provide financial records, bank statements, accounts, proof of any relevant registrations and/or listings, insurance, proof of premises etc.
Step 2: Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship:
Once the company has been approved as a sponsor they can then apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the position they would like filled by a non-resident worker. If the position is not listed as a shortage occupation then advertising must have taken place prior to this CoS application in order to meet the resident labour market test. Once a CoS is assigned the migrant can apply for their visa.
Step 3: Applying for the Tier 2 visa:
In this final stage the migrant will submit their application for the Tier 2 visa using their unique CoS number and proving they meet the Tier 2 points outlined above. In most instances this step will be applied for in the applicant’s home country or a country of which they are resident. To determine if you can apply for this within the UK or need to return to your home country to apply.
Step 4 : Tier 2 English Language Ability
You must score 10 points for your English language ability or you will not be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) visa extension. Since 6th April 2012, applicants for many visas have been obliged to take an English language test.
To qualify for 10 points under the Tier 2 (General) points-based test you must prove that your English is at least at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). However, you will not have to do so if one of the following applies to you:
You were last given leave to remain in the UK under the Tier 1 (General) or the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa tiers or as a businessperson, a work permit holder, a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcaster, a member of the ground staff of an overseas airline or a Jewish agency employee or You come from a majority English-speaking country , you have a degree which was taught in English)
Step 5 : Tier 2 Visa Financial Requirements 
If you have been in the UK for over 12 months when your dependants apply to join you, you must show either you have £600 in savings for each dependant or that each of your dependants has £600 in savings. The savings must have been in a personal savings account for three months at the time that the application is made.
If you are applying from outside the UK or have been in the UK for less than 12 months at the time when you make your application, then you must show that you have £900 for your own maintenance funds and £600 for each dependant you intend to bring. The savings must have been in a bank account for three months.
Step 6 :Tier 2 Visa Cap
In April 2011 the UK government introduced an annual limit of 20,700 on Tier 2 Visas, which is split into monthly limits
Step 7 :Tier 2 Visa Duration
The visa can be granted for up to 5 years.
Step 8: Tier 2 Visa application Fees
Overseas fees
Category
 
Fee prior to 6 April 2015
Fee from 6 April 2015
Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Sportsperson), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Long Term Staff……
…..for a grant of leave of up to three years
£514
£564
Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) Long Term Staff…….
…..for a grant of leave of up to five years
£1,028
£1,128
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee, and Skills Transfer
£428
£445
Tier 2 – Shortage Occupation…..
….for a grant of leave of up to three years
£428
….for a grant of leave of up to five years
£856
Priority visa service
Additional £100
Additional £120
Super priority visa service
Additional £600
In-country fees
Category
 
Fee prior to 6 April 2015
Fee from 6 April 2015
Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Sportsperson), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Long Term Staff……
…..for a grant of leave of up to three years
£601
£651
Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) Long Term Staff…….
…..for a grant of leave of up to five years
£1,202
£1,302
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee, and Skills Transfer
£428
£445
Tier 2 – Shortage Occupation…..
….for a grant of leave of up to three years
£428
….for a grant of leave of up to five years
£856
In-Country premium service application
Additional £400
In-Country Tier 2 Priority postal service application
Additional £300
In-Country super premium service application
Additional £6,000
Additional £7,000
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