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Valid entry clearance is required for entry under this route when coming from abroad. Points can be claimed for English language ability and having the required maintenance funds - (unnecessary if your Sponsor is A-rated). Family members can come with you but financial or savings requirements must be met for this to occur.

This visa can be extended for up to 5 years but you cannot stay in the UK under this category for more than a total of 6 years. When 'switching' to this category you can apply to stay in the UK for up to 5 years under the Tier 2 (General) visa.

It is possible for the prospective employee, employer and your Ryan Immigration adviser to work together on our online immigration platform. Companies can register with us for ongoing assistance with employee visas.





This skilled worker category has been designed to facilitate UK companies and organisations to offer employment to non-EEA potential recruits. All such companies and organisations must hold a valid sponsor licence to issue a certificate of sponsorship. It is essential that your prospective employer is genuine, with an actual recruitment need. As an employee, you must possess suitable skills and/or be qualified to undertake the responsibilities of the position.

Work carried out in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor. Second jobs and study are permitted with rules attached. Acceptable roles for sponsorship and the minimum appropriate salaries are set out in the official Shortage Occupation List - for Tier 2 of the Points-Based System.


Initial Application


For an initial application, you must have been offered a suitable job with an appropriate salary, as a result of being qualified or skilled to undertake the job. As a general reference point, the job you are offered must pay £20,800 or more. You will need to be sponsored by the sponsoring organisation and obtain a valid certificate of sponsorship.

Your initial application and grant of your visa can entitle you to come to the UK for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time specified on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

Unless your Sponsor is A-rated, the required maintenance funds will have to be available to you as savings. Required English language ability must be proved (be a national of a majority English-speaking country, a holder of accepted English language degree or accredited English language test).


Applicants must score 70 points after being issued a certificate of sponsorship (CoS), made up of:

  • 50 points for attributes (as stated on your CoS)
  • 10 points for English language skills
  • 10 points for available maintenance funds




Before your current visa expires and whilst in the UK we can assist you in applying for an extension. To satisfy the extension requirements you must: have the same job that corresponds to your previous permission to enter or stay, you're still with the employer that assigned your qualifying certificate of sponsorship, and you're still earning an appropriate salary. You can extend for up to 5 years but cannot stay longer than 6 years in total under this visa category.


Switching to this visa


While in the UK and before your current visa expires you can apply to 'switch' into the Tier 2 (General) category which may entitle you to be able to stay in the UK for up to 5 additional years - while being part of this visa category.

Eligibility to switch into this category comes from a number of different visa categories and from being part of various schemes such as Tier 1; Tier 2 (Sportsperson); (Minister of Religion); Tier 4 (see below); the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme; the Innovator Scheme and more...

You can also 'switch' into this category if you are for example: a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa, operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline, a qualified nurse or midwife, writing up a thesis, a postgraduate doctor or dentist, a representative of an overseas business, a representative of an overseas newspaper and more...


For students to qualify and switch into Tier 2 (General) they require one of the following attained from the UK:

  • degree
  • postgraduate degree
  • postgraduate certificate in education
  • professional graduate diploma of education


Students will be defined for switching purposes as Tier 4 students, students, student nurse, student re-sitting an exam, an overseas qualified nurse, a person writing up a thesis, a postgraduate doctor or dentist, a student union sabbatical officer, PhD students (further conditions apply).




Are you ready to start? Simply contact us or go ahead and fill in a no-obligation and free assessment form.


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