General Work Visas

General work Visa (Tier 2)

You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if:

Getting sponsored

You need to be employed by a licensed sponsor to apply to live in the UK.
Your sponsor checks that you can do the job they are hiring you for and if it qualifies you for a visa. They will assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.
They must also give you other information you need when you apply, for example how much you will be paid.

How long it will take

The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you are due to start work in the UK. The date you can start is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
 

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on the type of visa and where you are.

Up to 3 years

Who you are applying for - You
Apply (outside the UK) - £610
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £704
 
Who you are applying for - If you are a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia
Apply (outside the UK) - £555
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £649
 
Who you are applying for - All dependants
Apply (outside the UK) - £610 each person
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £704 each person

Up to 3 years - shortage occupation

A shortage occupation is a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK.
 
Who you are applying for - You
Apply (outside the UK) - £464
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £464
 
Who you are applying for - You - as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia
Apply (outside the UK) - £409
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £409
 
Who you are applying for - All dependants
Apply (outside the UK) - £464 each person
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £464 each person

More than 3 years

Who you are applying for - You
Apply (outside the UK) -  £1,220
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £1,408
 
Who you are applying for - You - as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia
Apply (outside the UK) - £1,165
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £1,353
 
Who you are applying for - All dependants
Apply (outside the UK) -  £1,220 each person
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £1,408 each person

More than 3 years - shortage occupation

A shortage occupation is a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK.
 
Who you are applying for - You
Apply (outside the UK) - £928
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £928
 
Who you are applying for - You - as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia
Apply (outside the UK) - £873
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £873
 
Who you are applying for - All dependants
Apply (outside the UK) - £928 each person
Extend or switch (in the UK) - £928 each person

Healthcare Surcharge

You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.

If you are applying to extend or switch in the UK

You will need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

Get a faster decision on your application

If you are applying to extend or switch in the UK you can pay an extra £500 for the priority service to get a decision within 5 working days.
You can pay an extra £800 for the super priority service to get a decision:
  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend
Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
Once you have got your decision letter, your biometric residence permit will take up to 10 working days to arrive.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
You can start your stay up to 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.
 
Example
Your start date is 15 July - the earliest you can start your stay is 1 July.
 
You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

What you can and cannot do

You can:
  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you are sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you
You cannot:
  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
  • get public funds
  • apply for a second job until you have started working for your sponsor
See Also:
 
For Further Information: