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Tier 2 - Skilled Migrants

The new point based system (PBS) was launched in full from 27th of November 2008 that affects all those who are residing in the UK on work permits and also those who are looking to get one.

Once a sponsorship certificate is issued, the prospective employee of the sponsor (employer) will be required to submit his / her visa application that can be made while remaining in the UK (provided he is able to switch to this category) or from outside the UK (provided he is outside the UK or unable to switch while remaining in the UK).

The UKBA has divided four main categories of applicants who will require sponsorship certificate from their sponsors and will be making their visa applications in line with the certificate i.e.


TIER 2 (General)
TIER 2 (Minister of Religion)
TIER 2 (Sportsperson)
TIER 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)

 

 

 

Tier 2 (General)

The applicants would be expected to score at least 70 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and he can claim following points under the various heads:

There is a 12 month re-entry ban for migrants who have previously been in th eUK on a work related visa.

 

A. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

Initial Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can be claimed in a combination of following three sections:

Job offer : 30 - 50 points

  • Offer of Job passing Resident labour market test: 30 points (max.) or
  •  Job in Shortage occupation (50 Points) or
  •  Job offered to a T1-PSW or T4 migrant who has passed a bachelors degree level or higher qualification


Prospective Earnings: 20 points


The applicant must claim 50 points in total using the points earned in any of the above subsections. It is not necessary to earn minimum points in each of the above mentioned categories.

Extension Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can be claimed in a combination of following three sections:

Certificate of sponsorships assigned under the transitional arrangements: 50 points (max.) or Applicant was rewarded 50 points when last granted leave because the job was in a shortage occupation: 50 points, other cases where the applicant has got a sponsorship certificate: 50 Points.

II English Language

For Tier 2 (General), applicants would be required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand English language to a certain level. This can be done in three ways:

  • By being a national of one of the English speaking countries i.e. USA, Australia, Canada etc.
  • By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
  • By having passed an English language Test at or above B1 of the Common European Framework for Reference (CEFR).
     
    This will give 10 points to the applicant.

Following persons however would also be automatically given 10 points under this section:

The one who was last granted leave under Tier 1 (General), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or the HSMP after 07th of Nov. 2006.
The one who was last granted leave under a Tier 2 category(having already provided evidence of meeting the English language requirement) and is applying for an extension within the same category
The one who is making an application under the transitional arrangements
The one who is making an application as a result of a change of employment where:
The applicant has already provided evidence of meeting the English language requirements as a Tier 2 migrant
The applicant was last granted leave as a Minister of Religion on or after 23 Aug. 2004.

III Maintenance

The applicant will need to score 10 points under this section to obtain visa in line with the sponsorship documents. This can be possible in the following ways:

Providing last 3 months bank statements showing that the balance has been maintained would be required to have at least £900 at all times; or
Get his employer (sponsor) to certify that he would take care of his maintenance and accommodation during first month of his employment in the UK. Please note that only A rated sponsors would be able to certify its prospective workers for such purpose.
Exemptions: Following persons having leave to remain or leave to enter in such capacity, would automatically qualify for 10 points:

Tier 2 Migrant
Work Permit Holders
Jewish Agency Employee
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Representative of an overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organization
A Person who obtains points under Post Study work provisions and applies to switch to Tier 2 (General).
Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant would also be able to sponsor his dependants (spouse, unmarried partner, civil partner, children under 18 years of age) provided he can provide evidence of having £533 for each dependant.

The sponsor of the applicant will also be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.

B. Transitional Measures

Following person who wish to extend their stay in the same capacity would be able to apply under Tier 2 (General) transitional Measures where he / she has or was last granted leave as a:

Qualifying work permit holder
Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization
Member of the operational ground staff of an overseas owned airline
Jewish Agency employee
Tier 2 (General) migrant
In this case, they would be awarded 50 points in Attributes, and 10 points each in English language and maintenance section.

Please note that these transitional measures are just for those who wish to extend their stay while working for the same sponsor (employer) and at the same position. If they wish to change sponsor then they have to meet the full Tier 2 (General) criteria.

The only exception to this is for those who have got their work permits to work at the position of “Senior Case Worker”, they will have the benefit of making an application under Tier 2 (General) using the transitional arrangements even if when they wish to move to a different establishment at the same position.

C. Duration of Tier 2 (General)

The first time applicants would be given 3 years visa or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less.

Those who are already on Tier 2 (General) would be given a visa for 2 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less (if the application is not for change of employment).

Those who are already on Tier 2 (General) would be given a visa for 3 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less, if the application is for change of employment

Those who are applying for extensions under the transitional measures would be able to get the balance of the duration to enable them complete 6 years on work permit or the duration stated on the sponsorship certificate whichever is less.

D. Work Allowed

Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the PBS Tier 2 (General) would be allowed to take supplementary employment that must meet the following critera:

is outside of their normal working hours;
is no more than 20 hours per week;
is within the same profession at the same professional level as the work for which the certificate of sponsorship was issued.
In addition to the supplementary employment, the applicants are also allowed to take unpaid voluntary employment.

E. What is not allowed?

Tier 2 (General) workers are not allowed to enter self-employment, set-up a business or join another business as a director or partner without obtaining further permission from the Home Office. They are also not allowed to hold more than 10% shares in the company they are working for. Please note that this restriction is not on those workers who are working for a Partnership / Sole Proprietor business.

F. Switching Rules

Into Tier 2 (General):

Following persons would be able to switch into one of the above categories of Tier 2, provided they fulfil all the requirements of the TIER 2:

Tier 1 Migrant
Tier 2 Migrant
Highly Skilled Migrant
Innovator
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife
Participant in Fresh Talent: WISS
Participant in the IGS
Person writing up a Thesis
Post graduate doctor or dentist
Qualifying work permit holder
Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization
Student
Student nurse
Student Re-sitting an examination
Student Union Sabbatical Officer
Please note that the rules of switching are very strict and no one else would be allowed to switch to either of the above categories while remaining in the UK.

G. Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant would only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide / submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

H. Appeals (In country Applications only)

The applicants whose Tier 2 applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, the applicant would however be allowed to make use of fresh documentary evidences / information in support of his appeal against the decision of the UKBA. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

It is strongly advised to take independent professional assistance to lodge an appeal against the decision of the UKBA.

I. Settlement Prospects

Tier 2 workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of total five years on sponsorship. Following persons will be allowed to use the time spent in the UK on the following visas, while most recently having a TIER 2 visa:

Tier 1 (General / Investor / Entrepreneur)
Highly Skilled Migrant Program
Self employed Lawyer
Writer, Composer or Artist
The dependants would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant provided they have completed at least a 2 year stay.

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Tier 2 (Sportsperson)

The applicants would be expected to score at least 70 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and he can claim following points under the various heads:

A. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

Initial Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can only be claimed by having a valid sponsorship certificate from his / her sponsor. Only elite sports people and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level would be able to apply under this category. Before a sponsorship certificate can be issued, the sponsor is required to get an endorsement (a letter of confirmation) from its governing body confirming that the applicant is a highly recognized professional sports person and will make a significant contribution to the development of his / her sport at the highest level in the UK and position could not be filled by a suitable settled worker.

Extension Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can only be claimed by having a valid sponsorship certificate from his / her sponsor and a fresh endorsement from the governing body of the sponsor.

II English Language

For Tier 2 (Sportsperson), applicants would be required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand English language to a certain level. This can be done in three ways:

By being a national of one of the English speaking countries i.e. USA, Australia, Canada etc.
By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
By having passed an English language Test (IELTS: 4.0)
This will give 10 points to the applicant.

Following persons however would automatically be given 10 points under this section:

The one who was last granted leave under Tier 1 (General), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or the HSMP after 07th of November 2006.
The one who was last granted leave under a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) category and is making an application for extension within the same category.
The applicant who is making an application under the transitional arrangements
The applicant who is making an application as a result of a change of employment, where
He has already provided evidence of meeting the English language requirement as a Tier 2 migrant.
He was last granted leave as a Minister of Religion on or after 23 August 2004.
III Maintenance

The applicant will need to score 10 points under this section to obtain visa in line with the sponsorship documents. This can be possible in the following ways:

Providing last 3 months bank statements showing that the balance has been maintained would be required to have at least £800 at all times; or
Get his employer (sponsor) to certify that he would take care of his maintenance and accommodation during first month of his employment in the UK. Please note that only A rated sponsors would be able to certify its prospective workers for such purpose.
Transitional Measures: For the first 3 months, applicants (overseas national) would only be required to have a closing balance of £800 in their last month’s bank statements rather than having maintained this balance for the last three months.

Exemptions: Following persons having leave to remain or leave to enter in such capacity, would automatically qualify for 10 points:

Tier 2 Migrant
Work Permit Holders
Jewish Agency Employee
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Representative of an overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organization
A Person who obtains points under Post Study work provisions and applies to switch to Tier 2 (Sportsperson).
Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant would also be able to sponsor his dependants (spouse, unmarried partner, civil partner, children under 18 years of age) provided he can provide evidence of having £533 for each dependant.

The sponsor of the applicant will not be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.

B. Transitional Measures

An applicant can apply under the Tier 2 Sportsperson transitional arrangements where he / she has, or was last granted, leave as a work permit holder. Such applicants must comply with the following conditions:

The applicant must have a certificate of sponsorship reference number issued by a licensed sponsor; and
The applicant must have a governing body endorsement
The applicant will be awarded 10 points each for English language and maintenance requirements.

C. Duration of Tier 2 (Sportsperson)

The first time applicants would be given 3 years visa or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less.

Those who are already on Tier 2 (Sportsperson) would be given a visa for 2 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less (if the application is not for change of employment).

Those who are already on Tier 2 (Sportsperson) would be given a visa for 3 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less, if the application is for change of employment

Those who are applying for extensions under the transitional measures would be able to get the balance of the duration to enable them complete 5 years or the duration stated on the sponsorship certificate whichever is less.

D. Work Allowed

Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the PBS Tier 2 (Sportsperson) would be allowed to take supplementary employment that must meet the following criteria:

is outside of their normal working hours;
is no more than 20 hours per week;
is within the same profession at the same professional level as the work for which the certificate of sponsorship was issued.
In addition to the supplementary employment, the applicants are also allowed to take unpaid voluntary employment.

E. What is not allowed?

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) workers are not allowed to enter self-employment, set-up a business or join another business as a director or partner without obtaining further permission from the Home Office. They are also not allowed to hold more than 10% shares in the company they are working for. Please note that this restriction is not on those workers who are working for a Partnership / Sole Proprietor business.

F. Switching Rules

Into Tier 2 (Sportsperson)

Following persons would be able to switch into one of the above categories of Tier 2, provided they fulfil all the requirements of the TIER 2:

Tier 1 Migrant
Tier 2 Migrant
Highly Skilled Migrant
Innovator
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Sportsperson, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife
Participant in Fresh Talent: WISS
Participant in the IGS
Person writing up a Thesis
Post graduate doctor or dentist
Qualifying work permit holder
Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization
Student
Student nurse
Student Re-sitting an examination
Student Union Sabbatical Officer
Please note that the rules of switching are very strict and no one else would be allowed to switch to either of the above categories while remaining in the UK.

G. Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant would only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide / submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

H. Appeals (In country Applications only)

The applicants whose Tier 2 applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, the applicant would however be allowed to make use of fresh documentary evidences / information in support of his appeal against the decision of the UKBA. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

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TIER 2 (Minister of Religion)

The applicants would be expected to score at least 70 points in total to successfully apply for the required visa and he can claim following points under the various heads:

A. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

Initial Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can only be claimed by having a valid sponsorship certificate from his / her sponsor. Following personnel can apply under Tier 2 (Minister of Religion):

A religious minister who performs pastoral duties
Missionary or a member of a religious order like in a monastic community of monks
Nuns
Or a similar religious community involving a permanent commitment.
Extension Application
The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can only be claimed by having a valid sponsorship certificate from his / her sponsor.

II English Language

For Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), applicants would be required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand English language to a certain level. This can be done in three ways:

By being a national of one of the English speaking countries i.e. USA, Australia, Canada etc.
By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
By having passed an English language Test (IELTS: 5.5)
This will give 10 points to the applicant.

Following persons however would also be automatically given 10 points under this section:

The one who was last granted leave under Tier 1 (General), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) or the HSMP after 07th of November 2006
The one who was last granted leave as a Tier 2 Minister of Religion
The one who was granted leaves as a Minister of Religion on or after 19th of April 2007.
III Maintenance

The applicant will need to score 10 points under this section to obtain visa in line with the sponsorship documents. This can be possible in the following ways:

Providing last 3 months bank statements showing that the balance has been maintained would be required to have at least £800 at all times; or
Get his employer (sponsor) to certify that he would take care of his maintenance and accommodation during first month of his employment in the UK. Please note that only A rated sponsors would be able to certify its prospective workers for such purpose.
Transitional Measures: For the first 3 months, applicants (overseas national) would only be required to have a closing balance of £800 in their last month’s bank statements rather than having maintained this balance for the last three months.

Exemptions: Following persons having leave to remain or leave to enter in such capacity, would automatically qualify for 10 points:

Tier 2 Migrant
Work Permit Holders
Jewish Agency Employee
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Representative of an overseas Newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting Organization
A Person who obtains points under Post Study work provisions and applies to switch to Tier 2 (Minister of Religion).
Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant would also be able to sponsor his dependants (spouse, unmarried partner, civil partner, children under 18 years of age) provided he can provide evidence of having £533 for each dependant.

The sponsor of the applicant will not be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.

B. Transitional Measures

An applicant can apply under the Tier 2 Minister of Religion transitional arrangements where he / she has, or was last granted, leave under the Minister of Religion category in existence before 27th of November 2008. The applicant will be awarded 10 points each for English language and maintenance requirements.

C. Duration of Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)

The first time applicants would be given 3 years visa or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less.

Those who are already on Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) would be given a visa for 2 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less (if the application is not for change of employment).

Those who are already on Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) would be given a visa for 3 years or according to the contract offered by the sponsor whichever is less, if the application is for change of employment

Those who are applying for extensions under the transitional measures would be able to get the balance of the duration to enable them complete 5 years or the duration stated on the sponsorship certificate whichever is less.

D. Work Allowed

Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the PBS Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) would be allowed to take supplementary employment that must meet the following criteria:

is outside of their normal working hours;
is no more than 20 hours per week;
is within the same profession at the same professional level as the work for which the certificate of sponsorship was issued.
In addition to the supplementary employment, the applicants are also allowed to take unpaid voluntary employment.

E. What is not allowed?

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) workers are not allowed to enter self-employment, set-up a business or join another business as a director or partner without obtaining further permission from the Home Office. They are also not allowed to hold more than 10% shares in the company they are working for. Please note that this restriction is not on those workers who are working for a Partnership / Sole Proprietor business.

F. Switching Rules

Into Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion)

Following persons would be able to switch into one of the above categories of Tier 2, provided they fulfil all the requirements of the TIER 2:

Tier 1 Migrant
Tier 2 Migrant
Highly Skilled Migrant
Innovator
Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order
Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife
Participant in Fresh Talent: WISS
Participant in the IGS
Person writing up a Thesis
Post graduate doctor or dentist
Qualifying work permit holder
Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization
Student
Student nurse
Student Re-sitting an examination
Student Union Sabbatical Officer
Please note that the rules of switching are very strict and no one else would be allowed to switch to either of the above categories while remaining in the UK.

G. Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only)

If the entry clearance application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post, the applicant will be given a right of making a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of decision. The applicant would only be able to rely on the information / documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide / submit any fresh documentary evidences with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

H. Appeals (In country Applications only)

The applicants whose Tier 2 applications are refused will be given full rights of appeal, provided they are not left with any leave to remain in the UK at the time of the decision. In these appeals, the applicant would however be allowed to make use of fresh documentary evidences / information in support of his appeal against the decision of the UKBA. The applicant will have 10 working days from the date of service of decision to lodge an appeal against that decision.

It is strongly advised to take independent professional assistance to lodge an appeal against the decision of the UKBA.

I. Settlement Prospects

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of total five years on sponsorship. Following persons will be allowed to use the time spent in the UK on the following visas, while most recently having a TIER 2 visa:

Tier 1 (General / Investor / Entrepreneur)
Highly Skilled Migrant Program
Self employed Lawyer
Writer, Composer or Artist
The dependants would also be allowed to apply for settlement with the main applicant.

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TIER 2 (Intra-company Transfer)

 

Tier 2 Intra-company transfer applicants, first applying after 6th April 2010, will no longer qualify for settlement in the UK after 5 years.

Tier 2 Intra-company transfer applicants, first applying after 6th April 2011, have a maximum stay of 5 years.

12 month re-entry banapplies except when previous stay is und er ICT Short term categories when new applicationis under ICT Long Term Category

 

Previous experience requirement with company overseas depends on the sub-category of ICT the employee applies to come to the UK.  The sub-category also affects the length of stay allowed. 

Applicants do not need to score 10 points for the English Language requirement but do need the 10 points under the maintenance criteria as described under T2 – general.

Applicant are required to meet the English Language requirement when extending in excess of 3 years to the level A1 of the CEFR. ( different to T2 -General)

 

  ICT Short term ICT Long Term ICT Graduate ICT Skills Transfer  
Duration 12 months 5 Years 12 Months 6 Months  
Skill Level NVQ6 NVQ6 Graduate NVQ6  
Overseas Emp history 12 months 12 months 3 Months None  
Settlement NO NO NO NO  
Maximum Stay 12 Months 5 Years* ## 12 Months 6 Months  

 * if first entered after 6th APril 2011 otherwise no limit OR

## 9 year smaximum if salary in xcess of £152,100 pa