Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tier 2 - Sponsored Skilled Worker

Tier 2 - General (Sponsored Skilled Worker)

On 27 November the UK Border Agency, part of the Home Office, implemented Tier 2 of the new Points-Based System. Tier 2 replaces the Business and Commercial Work Permits Scheme. Tier 2 is for students who have a sponsor (employer) and a certificate of sponsorship (job offer) and who meet the points requirement.

In order for employers to employ students or other migrants, they must be registered as a sponsor with the UK Border Agency and they must fulfil certain sponsor duties such as making sure employees meet the conditions of their . Employers will issue a certificate of sponsorship which migrants will use to apply for permission to stay in the UK to work under Tier 2.

If you are an international student with a job offer from an employer and you want to apply under Tier 2 you will have to meet the points requirements set out by the UK Border Agency. You can earn points for:-

* Qualifications
* Future expected earnings
* Sponsorship
* English Language skills
* Available maintenance (funds)

Applying from the UK (switching from Student to Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker)

Please download the Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker application form and UK Border Agency guidance notes.

To find out which categories you can switch into Tier 2 visit the UK Border Agency website.

If you are applying for Tier 2 General the International Advice Team cannot assist you with your application so we recommend you consult an immigration specialist.

Applications to Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker can currently only be made by post but a premium same day service could be available by April 2009.

The standard fee for Tier 2 postal applications is £400 and we recommend that you pay with postal orders from the Post Office as they are a guaranteed form of payment.

Dependants (applying from the UK)

If you have dependants who hold student dependant visas they are also eligible to switch in the UK from dependant of a student to dependant of Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker. Each of your dependants will have to apply on a separate dependent application form but if they apply at the same time as you, the Tier 2 applicant, you will only have to pay one application fee. Your dependants should read the Help text at the end of the form and also the dependants policy guidance provided by the UK Border Agency

Switching from Tier 1 Post Study Work

If you currently have leave to remain under Tier 1 Post Study Work and you have been working for the same employer for at least six months and you wish to continue to work for this employer you can, if you wish, switch to Tier 2 Skilled Worker.

You can claim 30 points if you are switching from:-

* Tier 1 Post Study Work category
* Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
* International Graduate Scheme

If you have been working for your employer for at least six months your employer does not have to meet the resident labour market test. If you wish to eventually settle in the UK you may wish to switch to Tier 2 because time spent working under Tier 2 counts towards settlement. Tier 1 Post Study Work does not count towards settlement.

Applying overseas

You can also apply for Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Worker if you are overseas, visit the UKVISAS website for more information.

Please note there is currently a maintenance concession in place which means you only have to show that you meet the maintenance requirement at the time of making your application, not for the three months prior to making your application. This concession is only in place for four months (until March 2009) after which time you will have to show that you meet the maintenance requirement for the three months prior to making your application.

The maintenance requirements are the same as if you were applying from within the UK; you need to show that you have had £800 for yourself and £533 for each dependant.

You will need the following:-

* Application form VAF-9
* PBS Migrant VAF-9 Guidance Notes
* Tier 2 Guidance Notes
* Tier 2 Appendix 5 self assessment form

Take or send your application form, fee and supporting evidence to your nearest visa application centre. You must also arrange to give your biometrics information (fingerprints and a facial image) which are usually taken at the visa application centre.


To meet the maintenance requirement you will need to show that you have £800 in your bank account at the time of your application. Please note this is a temporary UK Border Agency concession which will be place until March 2009. After the concession ends you will need to show that you have had £800 in your bank account for the last three months prior to your application.

If you have dependants you must show that you have an additional £533 available for each of them. Alternatively you can include a letter from your A-rated sponsor that confirms they are willing to maintain and accommodate you and your dependants during your first month of work in the UK.

If you are unsure of how to calculate your points you can use the points calculator on
the UK Border Agency website.

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