Summary of the Tier 2 visa process
If you're looking to move to the UK to work and are not based in the European Union, you will need to enter via a visa. If you have skills that are needed in the UK then you can apply via the Tier 2 skilled visa route. As long as you can satisfy the necessary criteria as laid out for a maximum of 5 years and 4 months (this can be extended), after which you may be eligible for a Tier 2 indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The system allows companies to bring in staff from abroad as long as they can satisfy criteria on trying to source local talent first. It works by allocating points to the applicant based on a few different areas. The applicant requires 70 points made up from the following criteria;
Having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) - 30
Receiving an Appropriate Salary for the job in question - 20
Meeting the English Language criteria - 10
Having enough Maintenance funds - 10
The criteria ensure that the applicant is a genuinely skilled worker. There are also criteria that a prospective employer will need to meet in order to offer you a role in the first place and provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship, without this your application will be unsuccessful. There are also skill level requirements for the job that you will take on. All offered jobs will need to satisfy Regulated Qualifications Framework 6 or Framework 4 for certain occupations that have a shortage of workers.
On top of the criteria above, you will need to earn the minimum salary of £20,800, this applies to so-called "new entrants" in general these are workers under 25 years of age though there are also other conditions that can make someone a "new entrant" such as a Certificate of Sponsorship that is less than 3 years. This salary requirement does rise for more experienced workers to £30,000. There is also a requirement for the applicant to have a good knowledge of the English language and will need to be qualified accordingly, the only exception to this is for workers from English majority speaking countries otherwise applicants will need to pass one of the approved courses such as IELTS.
There is also the issue of Maintenance Funds which are required as either a condition of the employer guaranteeing that they will cover the 1st month of the applicant's stay in the UK or if the employer does not do this then the applicant having £945 available (must be proved by bank statements) for 90 days prior.
The Tier 2 visa offers a genuine opportunity to work in the UK for those who have transferable skills. With lots of opportunity in a mature and diverse marketplace, working in the UK is desirable due to relatively high wages with a good standard of living and strong employment rights. It is no wonder that the visa system in the UK is one of the most desirable and sought after in the world. So why not take the plunge and start planning your move today!