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Tier 2 (Skilled Worker with Sponsorship)

 

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Tier 2 (Skilled Worker with Sponsorship) is for people coming to the UK with a skilled job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker.

Who can apply as a skilled worker?

Before you apply under the skilled worker category (Tier 2 Skilled Worker with Sponsorship), you must have:

  • a sponsor; and
  • a valid certificate of sponsorship.
  • When you apply you are awarded points based on your:

  • qualifications;
  • future expected earnings;
  • sponsorship;
  • English language skills; and
  • available maintenance (funds).
  • You can apply under the skilled worker category (Tier 2 Skilled Worker with Sponsorship) now if you are:

  • applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as ‘entry clearance’) under the sponsored skilled worker category (Tier 2 Skilled Worker with Sponsorship) (see initial applications on the UK Border Agency website for more information);
  • in the United Kingdom with permission to stay (known as ‘leave to remain’) in an immigration category that allows you to switch into the sponsored skilled worker category;
  • already in the United Kingdom as a sponsored skilled worker and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category (see extending your stay on the UK Border Agency website for more information).
  • How long can you stay for?

    If you are applying from outside the UK and you are given permission to come to the UK under Tier 2 (Skilled Worker with Sponsorship), you will be able to live and work there for a maximum of three years plus one month, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus one month, whichever is shorter. You can find out more about the process in the country you are applying from, and download the application forms for Tier 2 (General) from the UK Border Agency website at this link.

    If you are already inside the UK in a different category, you may be able to apply to switch into the Tier 2 (Skilled Worker with Sponsorship) category. If your application is approved, you will be able to live and work in the UK for a maximum of three years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

    At the end of the three years, you can apply to extend your stay in Tier 2 (Skilled Worker with Sponsorship). If your application is approved, your stay can be extended by another two years, or the time given in your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days, whichever is shorter.

    If your previous permission to stay was as a work permit holder, you can apply under the transitional arrangements for permission to stay for a time that takes you to five years in the UK in an eligible category. For example, if you have been there for two-and-a-half years with permission as a work permit holder or under the transitional arrangements, you can apply for a further two-and-a-half years’ permission to stay.

    If this means you would get permission to stay for less than a further two years, you can apply for permission to stay for two years instead. For example, if you have been there for four years with permission as a work permit holder or under the transitional arrangements, you can apply for a further two years’ permission to stay.

    You may apply for settlement once you have been in the UK in an eligible category for five years. If you do not, you must apply under the points-based system and make a new application.

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