The Tier 2 visa allows skilled workers to enter the UK on a long term basis to fill a skilled job vacancy; such as in IT, accountancy, teaching, or healthcare. The occupation needs to be on the Tier 2 occupation list or Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List. Before they apply, Tier 2 visa applicants must have a job offer and a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence.
Tier 2 jobs must usually be advertised to workers from within the European Economic Area (EEA) before they can be offered to non-EEA immigrants, unless the job is on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupations List. This is known as the Resident Labour Market Test.
Tier 2 (General) visa For workers who have a skilled job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. The vacancy must be advertised to UK workers before it can be offered to an immigrant, unless it is on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupations List. Limited to 20,700 places a year for job applicants resident outside the UK.
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) visa For employees of multinational company who are being transferred to the business's UK branch. Applicants must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from their employer. There are four sub-categories:
Long term staff
Short term staff
Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa For workers who've been offered a job, such as missionary or minister of religion, within a religious community organisation in the UK.
Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa For elite sportspeople and coaches. The applicant must be recognised or endorsed by their sport's governing body.
Tier 2 applicants must provide several documents with their application, these include:
Current passport and/or other travel documents
A separate passport photograph
Proof that they can meet the maintenance funds requirements for their visa, such as bank statements, unless their Tier 2 sponsor can guarantee their maintenance with the UK Home Office. Only 'A rated' sponsors have this option.
Proof that they meet the Tier 2 English Language requirements, such as qualification equivalent to a bachelors degree or higher taught in English or English language test results.
A clear tuberculosis (TB) test result letter, if the applicant is from one of the countries on the Home Office's TB testing list