On 1 December 2020, the Tier 2 routes closed and was replaced by the Skilled Worker routes under Appendix SW of the Immigration Rules. For migrant workers (including EEA nationals from 1 January 2021) who wish to come to the UK to undertake sponsored work must now apply for a Skilled Worker Visa.
Under the Tier 2 system, migrants wishing to work in the UK must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned to them from a Home Office approved licensed sponsor before applying for their work visa application. The Tier 2 work visa was one of the visa categories under the Points Based System (PBS) and allowed skilled non-EEA migrants to come to the UK to work. It is important to note that Tier 2 migrants could only work for a UK based employer who holds a valid Sponsor Licence as well as meeting all of the other UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.
Our expert immigration lawyers in London are regularly instructed by skilled worker migrants wishing to work in the UK. The Tier 2 work visa category was one of our areas of expertise and we regularly assist clients to prepare and submit successful skilled sponsored work visa applications, which is evident by testimonials left by our clients. Under this route, you may able to bring your dependants with you or if they are already in the UK under an existing leave, they may be able to apply to switch to a visa as your dependent.
Our specialist immigration team is ready to meet with you to consider the eligibility requirements for a skilled worker visa. Our solicitors can also consider with you whether you will need to apply for Entry Clearance or whether you can apply within the UK. Once instructed we will liaise with you in preparing your application with the requisite supporting documentation.
Tier 2 Work Visa Categories
The Tier 2 Work Visa route had the following 4 categories:
- Intra-Company Transfer (ICT);
- Sportsperson (now T2 Sportsperson); and
- Minister of Religion (now T2 Minister of Religion).
Applicants needed a have a job offer and a CoS from an organisation that is a licenced Home Office sponsor in the UK. As this is a points-based application, Applicants had to score a minimum of 70 points (or 60 points if applying for an ICT visa). In addition to having a CoS, the maintenance and English language requirements must also be met.
Our immigration solicitors routinely meet with clients who wish to work for an organisation which does not have a business Sponsor Licence. We are often instructed to meet with such businesses and explore their options of hiring non-settled workers within their organisation.
Tier 2 Work Visa (Tier 2 General)
There was an annual limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorships (CoS) available under the Tier 2 work visa route. However, those wishing to fill a vacancy with a salary of £155,300 or above and all in-country applications (excluding Tier 4 dependent switchers) are not affected by the limit. In order for an overseas migrant to apply for a work visa, employers must have first completed the Resident Labour Market Test before offering the job to a migrant worker to demonstrate that that position cannot be filled by a settled worker. As of April 2017, the Home Office has introduced an Immigration Skills Charge and employers holding a Sponsor Licence must now pay £1,000 per migrant worker they employ under this route. In addition to this, the Home Office has also increased the Minimum Salary Requirement of £35,000 which directly affects Tier 2 migrant workers who wished to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However, jobs on the Shortage Occupation List were exempt from meeting the Minimum Salary Requirement.
Our specialist immigration team are regularly instructed by skilled worker migrants who have been assigned a CoS and then wish to apply for a skilled work visa. For the Tier2 visa, the CoS must have confirmed that the job they wish to apply for is at NQF level 6 and that they will be paid an appropriate salary. If you meet the strict requirements of this route, you may be granted leave up to 5 years.
Tier 2 Work Visa (Tier 2 Intra-Company ICT)
This category was further sub-categorized into the following four areas and will required Applicants to have a CoS in order to make the visa application:
- Short term staff – established employees who are being transferred to the UK for 12 months or less in respect of a skilled job that could not be carried out by a new recruit from the resident workforce
- Long term staff – established employees who are being transferred to the UK for 12 months or more in respect of a skilled job that could not be carried out by a new recruit from the resident workforce
- Graduate trainee – new graduates who need to come to the UK as part of a structured training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role
Migrants under the Tier 2 ICT visa route must have been paid the minimum salary for their visa category or the appropriate rate for the job that they have been offered.
Tier 2 Work Visa (Sportsperson)
The Tier 2 Sportsperson route of the Points-Based System is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level. Applicants under this route are expected to have made a significant contribution to the development of their chosen sport in the UK and must intend to be based in the UK for the duration of their permission to stay. The company sponsoring you will need to issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship and will need to ensure that the salary on offer and your qualifications will enable you to satisfy the UKVI Immigration Rules. You will be granted temporary residence in the UK and will be permitted to live and work for the duration of your employment or the time given in your Certificate of Sponsorship.
Our immigration team are proud to have been instructed by well-known professional sports players and coaches and have assisted in preparing successful visa applications for them allowing them to make a significant contribution to the UK and also to their own personal development.
Tier 2 Work (Minister of Religion)
The UK today is a richly diverse society in which people with very different ways of life coexist. The UK is home to (and has seen the growth of) many religions such as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism and it is therefore inevitable that members of these religions may wish to undertake a job role in the UK to preach their message.
Our immigration solicitors are regularly instructed by Applicants who have been offered a job within the faith community such as a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order. Our lawyers pride themselves in preparing applications for those from different faiths and have extensive experience with the immigration rules and Home Office’s guidance to prepare a properly executed visa application with the requisite supporting documentation.
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced by the Home Office on 6 April 2015 and applies to temporary, non-EEA migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months, such as Skilled Work Visa applicants. Payment for IHS is collected by the Home Office and goes directly to the National Health Service (NHS).
If instructed, our team of expert lawyers can consider whether you will need to pay the IHS. If you wish to consider your options, please contact our team today and arrange a meeting with a qualified immigration solicitor who can advise you of your options.
Expert Immigration Solicitors for Skilled Work Visa Applicants
Our immigration lawyers have extensive experience in preparing visa applications for Skilled Work Visa applicants either in-country or out. Our immigration team can offer the following service:
- Consultation with an immigration lawyer who can advise on the eligibility criteria of such an application;
- Provide the applicant with a bespoke supporting documents list which will assist them in collating documents required for the application;
- Prepare the relevant application form and detailed legal representations to accompany the application form (either in the UK or abroad); and
- If required (and available) accompany the applicant to the visa centre so they can submit the application in person and in most circumstances, receive a decision on the same day.
We are an Immigration law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our specialist immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.