Tier 2 visa for sponsored workers
To employ someone under Tier 2 you need to have a Sponsorship Licence.
More on sponsorship on the UK Border Agency website.
The four categories in Tier 2 are:
- Intra Company Transfer
- Minister of Religion
This category is for UK employers to employ workers from outside the European Economic Area. You must be registered as a sponsor with the UK Border Agency in order to employ someone under Tier 2.
To be considered for a visa under Tier 2, the job must meet certain conditions:
- It must be a graduate level job (although the potential employee is not required to be a graduate). Please note the levels may be different for existing visa holders.
- It must pay at least £20,000 PA, or whatever it says on the Code of Practice, whichever is higher.
The Codes of Practice will tell you if the job is skilled enough and what the minimum salary should be.
The Immigration Cap
Certain applications under Tier 2 General are subject to the UK wide immigration cap (Currently set at 20,700 for 2012/13). Those switching in country from another immigration category are generally not affected (although switching from a Tier 4 dependant will be subject to the cap). Most applicants from outside the UK will be subject to the cap.
The way you employ someone subject to the cap is slightly different than those not affected. Find out more about the immigration cap
The Resident Labour Market Test
You may have to test the resident labour market first before you can employ someone under Tier 2. Find out more about the resident labour market on UKBA website to check if this is a requirement.
The Tier 2 General migrant will have to score 70 points to obtain their visa.
- Valid Certificate of Sponsorship held: 30 points
- Appropriate salary (minimum salary of £20k):20 points
- Maintenance: 10 points
- B1 level English (IELTS 3.5 to 4.5): 10 points
Intra Company Transfer
This category is for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred by their overseas employer to a UK branch of the organisation, either on a long-term basis or for frequent short visits.
There are four subcategories:
- Long Term Staff - for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch of their organisation for more than 12 months to fill a post that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the resident workforce
- Short-term staff - for established, skilled employees to be transferred to the UK branch of their organisation for 12 months or less to fill a post that cannot be filled by a new recruit from the resident workforce
- Graduate trainee - this route allows the transfer of recent graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organisation, as part of a structured graduate training programme which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role
- Skills transfer - this route allows the transfer of new graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organisation to learn the skills and knowledge required to perform their job overseas, or to impart their specialist skills or knowledge to the UK workforce.
Please see the UKBA website for further information
Minister of Religion
For those who act as a minister and/or performs pastoral duties. Also for applicants coming to work in the UK as a missionary or a member of a religious order, like a monastic community of monks or nuns, or a smaller religious community involving a permanent commitment.
More on the Minister of Religion Visa on the UK Border Agency website
This category is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level and who will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK.
More on the Sportsperson Visa on the Home Office website
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