UK Tier 2 General Work Permit

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

  • You’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK
  • You’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland

Getting sponsored

You need to be sponsored (i.e., have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor) before you can apply to come to the UK to work.

The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you’re due to start work in the UK. This date 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.

You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.


You must have all of the following to be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) visa:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • an ‘appropriate’ salary
  • the required level of English

You must also have £945 in savings – this is to prove you can support yourself. You must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, unless you’re exempt.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Your sponsor will give you your certificate of sponsorship reference number.

They must also give you some other information to help you to apply, eg how much you’ll be paid.

You’ll need to add your certificate of sponsorship reference number to your application form – you can only use it once.

Appropriate salary

The job you’re offered must pay £20,800 or more, unless your current or last permission to stay in the UK is as:

  • a Tier 2 (General) migrant before 6 April 2011
  • a Jewish agency employee
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
  • a work permit holder
  • an unregistered nurse but your salary will be at least £16,271 while you’re doing your supervised practice or £21,478 after you have Nursing and Midwifery Council registration – and you’ll still be sponsored as a nurse by the same sponsor after you’re registered

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply.

You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways or need a higher level of English in some circumstances.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings continuously over the last 90 days, or your sponsor’s certification that they can support and accommodate you for the first month you’re employed
  • proof that you meet the English requirement
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

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

Apply outside the UK

You must apply online for a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a bio-metric residence permit) as part of your application.

You’ll have to collect your bio-metric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK.

You may be able to get your visa faster or get other services (like translation) depending on what country you’re in – check with your visa application centre.

How do I apply? Please speak to one of our Experts +91 9246990014 /13.