A Tier 2 visa allows you to enter or remain in the UK and work for a specific employer. Our experienced immigration lawyers can help both employers and employees ensure that the Tier 2 visa process goes as smoothly as possible.

The Tier 2 visa route allows businesses to employ skilled non-EU nationals, if the business has been unable to find someone with the necessary skill set in the UK. Both the workers and their employers are involved in applying for this type of visa.

It’s not straightforward for either employer or employee, and any mistakes can cause delays that are disruptive and stressful. Our experienced immigration lawyers can help both employers and employees make sure their Tier 2 visa applications go as smoothly as possible.

For employees, we can guide you through the application and make sure you have the correct documents in place to reduce the chances of your application be being refused.

For employers, we can advise on your responsibilities as a visa sponsor, and how to ensure the certificate of sponsorship is assigned correctly to the relevant employee.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

What Is A Tier 2 Visa?

A Tier 2 visa lets you move to or stay in the UK if you have an offer for a skilled job in the country from a licensed sponsor. You can only apply if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

There are four types of Tier 2 visa:

  • General Work visa (Tier 2) – for people who have an offer of a skilled job that can’t be filled by a settled worker
  • Intra-company Transfer visa (Tier 2) – for people who already work for a multinational employer and need to transfer to a UK branch. This includes both graduates transferring for training and long-term staff transferring to fill a post that can’t be filled by a settled worker
  • Minister of Religion visa (Tier 2) – for Ministers of Religion, Missionaries, or Members of a Religious Order taking up a religious post in the UK
  • Sportsperson visa (Tier 2) – for elite sportspeople or coaches who can make a significant contribution to their sport in the UK.

Tier 2 visas can last up to five years. You can extend your visa when it runs out, but in most cases your total stay in the UK can’t go over six years.

How Do I Apply For A Tier 2 Visa?

Before you can apply for a Tier 2 visa, you’ll to need obtain a certificate of sponsorship from your prospective employer. This proves that your employer has confirmed that your job is eligible for sponsorship.

You’ll also need to prove that:

  • You’re being paid the appropriate salary for the position according to the immigration codes of practice
  • You have an adequate command of the English language
  • You have at least £945 in savings in the event your employer is unable to certify your maintenance.

Some people may also need to provide tuberculosis test results or criminal record certificates.

Once you’re ready, you can apply online. You’ll also need to visit a local visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. Most applications take three weeks but you can get your visa faster if you pay for priority or super priority service.

Our lawyers can advise if you’re eligible for a Tier 2 visa, and how to prove it. If you’re not eligible right now, we can show you how to become eligible in the future or advise on other visas to apply for.

We can also make sure all your documents are in order to make sure your application goes as quickly and smoothly as possible – contact us today to find out more.

How Do I Hire Someone On A Tier 2 Visa?

If you want to employ someone on a Tier 2 visa, your company needs to hold a Tier 2 sponsor licence. Our lawyers can help your business apply for a licence and advise on your legal responsibilities as a sponsor if you already have one – read more about Tier 2 sponsor licences

Once you have a licence, you’ll need to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to each new migrant worker you want to employ. You must pay for each certificate, and may have to pay an immigration skills charge for certain employees as well – we can advise when this applies so you don’t pay any more than you need to.

You’ll also need to make sure that:

  • You’ve shown that you weren’t successful in filling the position with a settled worker by advertising it properly in the UK (known as ‘resident labour market test’)
  • The job is a skilled position
  • You are paying the appropriate salary for the job in hand
  • The employee is suitably skilled or qualified for the job.

There are some exceptions to these rules. For example, certain creative jobs have different pay and skill requirements and you don’t need to advertise jobs on the shortage occupation list.

We can advise your business throughout the whole process - including the resident labour market test – and whether any exceptions apply. Once you’ve found suitable migrant employees, we can also help them with their applications so they can get to work as soon as possible.

Why Choose Us?

The Home Office checks every single Tier 2 visa application very closely. They’re likely to reject your application if you don’t successfully prove that you meet the requirements. It’s essential to prepare your application thoroughly and carefully – and we can help.

We’ll get to know you and your situation, and listen to any concerns you might have. We’ll tell you exactly what documents you’ll need, and help you get them.

As your application progresses, we’ll give you updates along the way and explain everything so it’s easy to understand.

We understand that moving to a new country and applying for visas can be difficult. Our highly-experienced immigration lawyers can give you the peace of mind to focus on succeeding in your new job.

Your visa might not be the only thing that’s on your mind. Moving country can bring up many legal issues, from taxes, to property, to family law. We work closely with experts in all these areas and can help with anything that might come up while you relocate.

We’re ranked among the top immigration solicitors in the UK by legal directories Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Contact Us

Find out how we can help you today – call us on 0808 271 2602 or contact us online.

Awards & Accreditations

We’re proud of the recognition we’ve received for our business legal work. For a list of awards and accreditations, please visit our awards page.

Chambers & Partners 2020 logo

Business News

Our lawyers are regularly asked to provide expert insight, advice and analysis for the national media. Take a look at the stories below to see what we’re saying, as well as some of the recent deals we have completed for our clients here in the UK and abroad.

Testimonials & Feedback

We truly value the feedback we receive from both our clients and legal accreditation societies, such as The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

UK Chambers & Partners Leading Firm 2018

Clients say "The firm provides excellent service and good value for money" and they are "accurate, very detailed and able to work efficiently in restricted timeframes."

Chambers & Partners, 2018

"Incredibly responsive and able to present technical issues in an understandable format"

Legal 500, 2020
Legal 500 UK Leading Firm 2022

“Bilingual services that attract clients from China. Flexible and considerate team. Services are outstanding.”

Legal 500, 2022

We Work Nationally

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

See our latest health and safety updates before visiting our offices