Tier 2 UK Visa – How to Qualify, What to Do and What to Avoid


Tier 2 UK Visa – How to Qualify, What to Do and What to Avoid

The Tier 2 UK Visa has now emerged as one of the most important channels of entering the UK. This visa is particularly useful for skilled workers living outside the EU. All applicants applying for the Tier 2 UK Visa must have a Certificate of Sponsorship and a job offer from a UK employer having a Tier 2 sponsorship license. You also need to understand that there is an annual cap on the number of Tier 2 Visas that can be processed. Currently, this cap is set at 20700 (excluding individuals who make over €150000 per annum).


One of the problems with the Tier 2 visa is that the do’s and don’ts aren’t really clear. Visa holders are often confused about what they can do and what they cannot do once in the UK, and this usually tends to lead to chaos. This section not only tells you all you need to know about applying for this particular visa, but also helps you ensure that you don’t end up breaking any of the laws that apply to you as a Tier 2 Visa holder presently living in the UK.



  1. Send original documents along with your application.
  2. Documents that are not in Welsh or English need to be accompanied by a certified translation.
  3. You will be allowed entry a maximum of 14 days before the start of your employment (as mentioned in the Certificate of Sponsorship).
  4. You must be at least 16 years old while applying for the Tier 2 Visa.
  5. You must register with the UK Police if you belong to certain countries.



Applicants wanting to qualify for the Tier 2 UK Visa must meet the following criteria.


Score 70 points in the Tier 2 points test

The point allocation is as follows –

  • 30 points for Certificate of Sponsorship
  • 20 points for earning proper income
  • 10 points for English language abilities
  • 10 points for maintenance criteria.


Have a job offer from an employer having a Tier 2 sponsorship license

Applicants are offered 30 points under the Tier 2 point test if they have a Tier 2 (General) Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer. To be eligible for the same, one needs to be paid more than €150000 per year, work in a job that is on the shortage occupation list or have a sponsor that has completed a resident labor market test. Individuals who worked for jobs that were present in the shortage occupation list (but have now been removed from the list), can also apply for the Tier 2 sponsorship license provided they continue working for the same employer.


Applicants are offered a further 20 points if they shall earn the proper income level. This means that the individual should be earning a minimum of €20000 per year (before tax). Anyone who earns this much is automatically offered 20 points. A few exclusions to this rule include being a UK work permit holder, being a Jewish agency employee, being a minister of religion or a member of a missionary and working for an overseas news agency.


Meet the UKBA English requirements

All applicants must get the 10-point score for their English language ability. In order to get this score, applicants must prove that their English is at a minimum of B1 (CEFR level) by taking an English Language Test. However, the same can be avoided if applicants can prove that they come from an English-speaking country or have a degree that was taught in English.


Meet the UKBA maintenance requirements

Applicants must get a score of 10 in the maintenance requirements section. 10 points are awarded to applicants if there are already present in the UK under a Tier 2 Visa category, is a Jewish agency employee, is a work permit holder, is a representative of an overseas news agency, is a member of the ground staff for an international airline or is a minister of a missionary or religion. Other ways of scoring 10 points include having an A rating sponsor who confirms that you will be accommodated and maintained till the end of the first month or having a minimum of €900 in your bank accounts for 90 consecutive days before application.


Here is a short list of the things that you can do as a Tier 2 Visa holder presently living in the UK.

  1. Work for the sponsoring company on a job that has been described in the sponsorship certificate
  2. Work in a job that belongs to the shortage list for a maximum of 20 hours (in addition to the current job)
  3. Work another job in the same sector and same level.
  4. Study while in the UK (provided it doesn’t interfere with the job)
  5. Work as a volunteer
  6. Bring family members into the country as dependents or partners.



Visa rules can end up being quite stringent, and this means that you must always take extra care to ensure that you’re not flouting the rules. Here are some of the things that you cannot do as a Tier 2 Visa holder presently living in the UK.

  1. Access benefits or public funds offered to people with low income
  2. Access housing support
  3. Access income-based jobseeker’s allowance or council tax benefit
  4. Own more than 10% of the shares of the organization that sponsors your visa. The exception to this rule is that you make more than £155,300 per year.
  5. Understand that the time spent in the UK as a Tier 2 category visa holder is counted as the time making you eligible to apply for the Indefinite Leave to Remain visa. A new regulation shall be passed in the year 2016 which will make it compulsory for Indefinite Leave to Remain visa holders to earn an annual salary of at least £35000 per year.


Remember, understanding basic visa rules and processes can go a long way in making your stay in the UK more pleasurable and memorable.

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