The tier 2 Visa is designed for nationals from non European Economic Area who have a confirmed job offer from a UK based company. Implemented on 27 November 2008, this visa category is an employer-led process with the sponsoring company applying on behalf of the candidate. Applicants for tier 2 visas must obtain a work permit before entering the country. The visa is especially designed for medium to highly skilled workers in possession of a sponsorship certificate.

Categories of the Tier 2 Visa
Tier 2 Visa is divided into the following 4 categories:

  • General – Those with a skilled job offer to occupy a position that cannot be filled from resident labour force.
  • Intra-company transfer – Multi-national company employees who are transferred to UK based branch of their organization. The employees can either be transferred on a long term basis or be frequently sent on short visits. The Intra-Company Transfer is further sub categorised into to the following areas:
  • Established Staff – Established employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred for a skilled job requirement that could not be occupied by a new employee from the resident labour workforce.
  • Graduate Trainee – Recent graduates training at a multi-national company who are being transferred as part of a structured graduate training programme to the UK branch of the same organisation. This is to enable trainee progression towards a managerial or specialist position.
  • Skills Transfer – New employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred to the UK branch of the same organisation to learn the skills
  • and knowledge required for their role.
  • Sportsperson – Elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment in UK will make a significant contribution to the sport’s development in the UK.
  • Minister of Religion – Those coming to the UK to fill a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, missionary, or member of a religious order.

Candidates who wish to apply to work as a sportsperson or minister of religion cannot apply under Tier 2 General and Intra-Company Transfer categories.


  • Potential route for settlement in the UK.
  • According to current work permit system, tier 2 applicants may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK or for permanent residence after living in the UK for 5 years.
  • Candidates may be able to naturalize as a UK citizen.


Tier 2 visa applicants are required to have:
  • A sponsor
  • Valid sponsorship certificate

Candidates are required to score 50 points in the following assessment areas:

  • English Proficiency
  • Expected future earnings
  • Financial self sufficiency
  • Qualifications
  • Sponsorship

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