The Tier 2 General Visa is an excellent option for those looking to enter the UK to live and work. While it is a great option, there are significant eligibility criteria attached to the visa route that can make the process of gaining the visa tricky. In this article, we will look at several key areas of the visa route including minimum salary requirements, the monthly cap, other eligibility criteria areas and your options for setting in the UK at the end of your visa period.
While the minimum salary requirement for a Tier 2 General Visa is £30,000, certain jobs in specific sectors have such a vital need that the Home Office has allowed a different, and often lower, salary requirement to be attached to these specific roles. This alternative option is available to those who are applying for roles on the Shortage Occupation List. As well as a different salary requirement, there is also a preferential system for applications meaning many of the roles do not have to have the resident labour market test applied, ensuring a quicker process.
Many of the jobs on the Shortage Occupation List are incredibly valuable to the UK. In areas such as education and health, the ability to employ specialist staff at short notice helps to quickly fill necessary knowledge gaps in specialist areas. As well as these vital public services, there are also many engineering and science jobs. As the UK has a growing skills gap in these specialist areas, it is necessary and helpful to bring in this specialist knowledge that is not available domestically.
Every year the Home Office limits the number of Tier 2 General Visas available. Currently this limit is 20,700, equally split over the 12 months of the year. This means all applications for Certificates of Sponsorship need to be made by the 5th of the month and decisions will be received around the 11th (for restricted Certificates of Sponsorship). If your application does not fall inside the monthly limit, you will need to wait until the following month to apply again for a Certificate of Sponsorship.
While the Shortage Occupation List helps employers and employees to avoid the resident labour market test, applications still need to use the Restricted Certificate of Sponsorship route, therefore they must still apply for one of the capped places. There is, however, some exceptions to this rule. For those who are going to earn over £159,600 per year or are already living in the UK (not the dependents of Tier 4 Student Visa holders), there is an Unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship route. This allows employers and employees to not only avoid the resident labour market test but also the monthly cap.
For the vast majority of Tier 2 General Visa applicants there is an extensive set of eligibility criteria that must be met which is laid out below:
There is also a process to follow for employers who are looking to advertise a role to those based outside of the EEA. This includes, where applicable, the resident labour market test. This test is added to ensure that domestic workers have an opportunity to apply for a role in the country. The test ensures this by compelling employers to advertise the role on at least two job boards (one of which is the government job site) as well as keeping notes as to why any domestic worker who applied was not given the role. Once this test has been applied, Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders are free to advertise outside of the EEA as long as the job is eligible.
As a general rule, you will apply to settle in the UK after being in the country for 5 years. There is, however, an option to settle slightly earlier depending on your income. If, for instance, your salary is in excess of £35,800 per year (£36,200 after April 2020), you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain 28 days before your 5 year period comes to an end. While this may not seem significant, it does allow you to make the transition earlier and in some cases would allow you the option of not having to worry about extensions.
The Tier 2 General Visa is an excellent way for workers to settle in the UK. As long as all of the eligibility criteria is met, it is a straightforward way for those who do not have significant wealth or run their own business to settle in the UK for the long-term. You do not even need to remain with the same employer, as there are options to switch jobs at any point in your stay (as long as your new employer is also a Tier 2 General Visa holder).
If you need help with any of the UK's visas then please get in touch - our team can help you to establish yourself in the UK and make the most of your stay in the country.
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Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
Spouse Visa - Appeals and visa refusals
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife’s UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
Cheap Immigration Lawyers in London
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Top Notch Immigration Service
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
Best Immigration Solicitors
I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.