UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa: Application Process
The UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa is a work visa introduced by the UK government that allows employers in the UK to hire skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The visa scheme is available to talented individuals who are looking to build their career in the UK and to employers who require highly skilled and talented workers to address their labor and skills shortages.
If you are interested in applying for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa or you are an employer who would like to bring in skilled workers from outside of the EEA, this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the application process.
Who is eligible for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa?
In order to be eligible for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Tier 2 sponsorship license.
- The job offer must meet the minimum salary threshold. The current minimum salary threshold is £25,600 or the “going rate” for the particular job, whichever is higher.
- The applicant must have a good knowledge of English.
- The applicant must have enough money to support themselves without relying on public funds.
- The skill level of the job being offered must be at RQF level 3 or above (equivalent to A-levels).
- The applicant must score enough points in the Tier 2 points-based system.
What are the steps involved in the application process?
The application process for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa involves several steps:
Step 1: Find a sponsor
The first step towards applying for a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa is to find a UK employer who has a valid Tier 2 sponsorship license. The employer will provide the applicant with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
Step 2: Complete the online application form
The next step is to complete the online application form and pay the application fee. The application fee for a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa is £610 for the main applicant and £610 for each dependant.
Step 3: Provide biometric information
The applicant and any dependants must provide their biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) at a designated visa application center.
Step 4: Provide supporting documents
The applicant must provide supporting documents to prove that they meet the eligibility requirements. The supporting documents may include:
- Payslips or bank statements to prove that the applicant has enough money to support themselves.
- Proof of English language proficiency.
- Original passport or other travel documents.
- Police clearance certificate, if requested.
- Evidence that the applicant has been offered a job at the required skill level.
Step 5: Attend an interview, if required
The applicant may be required to attend an interview with an immigration officer. The interview will usually focus on the applicant’s immigration history, job offer, and financial situation.
How long does the application process take?
The processing time for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa varies depending on the country from which the application is made. Generally, it takes between 2 to 3 weeks for the application to be processed and a decision to be made. However, it is advisable to check the processing times for individual countries.
Q: Can I apply for a UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa without a job offer?
A: No, the UK Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa is a work visa that requires a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Tier 2 sponsorship license.
Q: Do I need to have a certain amount of savings to apply for a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa?
A: Yes, you must have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds. The amount required depends on your individual circumstances.
Q: Can I bring my family with me on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa?
A: Yes, you can bring your spouse, partner, and children under the age of 18 with you on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa. They will need to apply as dependants.
Q: Can I apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa?
A: Yes, after 5 years of living and working in the UK on a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa, you may be eligible to apply for ILR.
Q: Can I switch to a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa from another visa category?
A: Yes, in some cases, it is possible to switch to a Tier 2 Skilled Worker Visa from another visa category. The eligibility criteria for switching depend on the visa category you are currently in.