Following are the various frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Tier 2 General Migrant visa category:

FAQs: Tier 2 General Migrant - FAQs

You need certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from a licenced sponsor to apply for Tier 2 General visa. If your prospective employers do not have the sponsor licence, they can apply for the Tier 2 General sponsor licence.

You need to:

You need to have an eligible qualification if you’re switching from a Tier 4 visa to Tier 2 General.

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.

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of majority English speaking country.

There is an annual limit on the number of Certificates of Sponsorship available under Tier 2 (General). This limit applies to Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for those nationals seeking
entry clearance to the UK under the Tier 2 (General) category and those who are applying to switch into the Tier 2 (General) category from within the UK as a dependant of a Tier 4
(General) student. The Home Office UKVI refer to these as “restricted” Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).

If you are connected with the inward investment provision, your application for entry clearance as Tier 2 General will not be affected by the annual limit on certificates of sponsorship (CoS).

Your job will satisfy the inward investment provisions if:

  • it is connected with the relocation of a high value business to the UK or a significant new inward investment project, and
  • your sponsor was registered in the UK with Companies House no earlier than three years before the date the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned, and
  • your sponsor is the registered branch or wholly owned subsidiary of a business which has its headquarters and principal place of business outside the UK, and
  • the relocation or inward investment involves new capital expenditure of £27 million or the creation of at least 21 new UK jobs, and
  • your job does not involve the supply of services to a third party client.

Whether you are applying in or out of the UK an d on a restricted or unrestricted Certificate of Sponsorship you must
score 50 points in total for your attributes. The points you can score for attributes are listed in the table below. You can only score points for one entry in each row.

Criterion Points

Assigned Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) having met the requirements of:

  • A resident labour market test exemption; or
  • A resident labour market test by the sponsor; or
  • An extension - continuing to work in the same occupation for the same
Appropriate salary 20

If you are applying to work in the UK, the Certificate of Sponsorship must confirm that:

  • the job is at RQF level 6 as stated in the codes of practice or,
  • in a creative sector occupation, job is skilled to RQF level 4 as listed in the Tier 2 Sponsoring Guidance, or
  • the job is at RQF level 4 and appears on the list of shortage occupations.

This does not mean that you must be educated to this level; it means that the job is at that level. The Certificate of Sponsorship must also confirm that you will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job. These requirements are set out in Appendix J and the Tier 2 Sponsoring Guidance on

You will be granted leave to cover the period of sponsorship under the Certificate of sponsorship (CoS). It is very common for the sponsorship to be for a period of up to 3 years or a period exceeding 3 years but not more than 5 years. You can be spsonored for a maximum period of 5 years in one go and therefore in the same line you can be granted leave for a maximum period of 5 years in one go. However, you will not be able to extend your total stay in this category beyond 6 years.

You will be awarded the following points for the appropriate salary offered by your sponsor. These bands are before tax (gross) and yearly.

Salary Points
If you are applying as an "experienced worker", £30,000 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher 20
If you are considered to be a “new entrant”, £20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher 20

If your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned before 1 July 2019 and is for one of the following occupations:

  • Medical radiographers (2217)
  • Nurses (2231) – please see below for nurses in a supervised practice placement
  • Secondary education teaching professionals – subject teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computer science and Mandarin only (2314)
  • Paramedics (3213)

£20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher

If you are applying for an extension or a change of employment application and your initial grant of leave was granted on the basis of a CoS assigned before 24 November 2016, £20,800 or the appropriate rate for the job, whichever is the higher  20

You are being sponsored as a pre-registration candidate nurse or midwife and:

  • you will be paid at least £16,800 (the appropriate rate for a pre-registration nurse);
  • you will continue to be sponsored as a nurse or midwife by the sponsor after achieving Nursing and Midwifery Council registration;
  • your salary will not be less than £21,909 (the appropriate rate for a registered nurse or midwife) once that registration is achieved.

In addition, you must be paid at or above the relevant salary threshold once you have your registration confirmed – nurses are exempt from the £30,000 threshold until 1 July 2019, but midwives are not.

 Under £30,000 and none of the above apply  0

 The Home Office UKVI will consider:
• guaranteed gross basic pay (excluding overtime); and
• allowances which are guaranteed to be paid for the duration of your employment in the UK and would be paid to a settled worker in similar circumstances.

The resident labour market test does not apply if the job offer is:

  • in a supernumerary research position where you have been issued a non-transferrable scientific research Award or Fellowship by either:
    • by a third party organisation, and the Award or Fellowship cannot be transferred to anyone else; or
    • by your Sponsor if the following requirements are met:
      • you have been selected through a competitive process on the basis of your own research proposal; and
      • the funding of the research is secured in an agreement between your Sponsor and a third party organisation, which includes objectively justified requirements that effectively prohibit any settled worker from undertaking the role.

This exemption continues to apply after the relevant third party funding has ended, as long as you are being sponsored to continue to undertake the same research; or

  • to continue working as a Doctor or Dentist in training, under the same NHS Training Number which was assigned to you for previous lawful employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training in the UK, including where you are applying to return to your training after an out of programme experience; or
  • as a Doctor in Speciality Training and your salary and the costs of your training are being met by the government of another country under an agreement with that country and the UK Government; or
  • to resume a post in a Higher Education Institution, working for the same Sponsor as in a previous grant of entry clearance or leave to remain as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, where the break in employment is due solely to a period of academic leave.
  • to continue working as a member of an existing research team and:
    • the Sponsor is a Higher Education Institution or a Research Council, and
    • you have previously worked with the lead researcher as part of their team for a continuous 12 month period immediately before the date of the application (or for 12 months during the 24 months immediately before the date of the application, if you have been on maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave or long term sick leave during that time)
  • connected with the inward investment provisions in paragraph 59 of this guidance.
    Your sponsor must include full details of the why the exemption applies on the Certificate of
  • for a job which is in shortage occupations list;
  • as a new Entrant switching from Tier 4 General student visa to Tier 2 General migrant category;
  • for a job with a salary of £159,600 or more
  • to continue work as Tier 2 General Migrant in the same occupation with the same sponsor (Tier 2 General extension cases only);
  • for switching from Tier 1 PSW or Tier 1 Gradate Entrepreneur to Tier 2 General.

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years lawfully in the UK, of which the most recent period must have been spent with leave as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, in any combination of the following categories:

  • as a Tier 1 Migrant, other than a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) Migrant or a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (General) Migrant, a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Migrant or a Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Migrant,
  • as a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant, provided the continuous period of 5 years spent lawfully in the UK includes a period of leave as:
    • a Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Migrant granted under the Rules in place before 6 April 2010, or
    • a Work Permit Holder, provided that the work permit was granted because the applicant was the subject of an Intra-Company Transfer,
  • as a Representative of an Overseas Business,
  • as a Highly Skilled Migrant, or
  • as a Work Permit Holder.

You can challenge the refusal of your application under Tier 2 General category by filing an Administrative Review (AR) against the Home Office UKVI decision to refuse your application.

You can switch into Tier 2 General visa category if you are in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa - if you have an eligible qualification or you’ve done at least 12 months of a PhD

You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re:

  • a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa
  • a representative of an overseas business

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