Tier 2 Visa General Qualification

The Tier 2 Visa General qualification applies to foreign nationals from outside Europe who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. We only assist people in this category in the fields of IT, Engineering and Finance although this category includes applicants coming to the UK to fill all shortage occupations. This visa is sometimes referred to as a UK Work Permit Visa or a British Working Visa.

How to Get a Work Visa in the UK?

The application process for a work visa in the UK is in two stages. First the employer must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to an individual and then the individual must submit a qualifying application. To qualify under this category you must score 70 points.

Points Calculation

To qualify you must score:

  • 50 points for Attributes (i.e. Certificate of Sponsorship and Salary), AND
  • 10 points for English Language, AND
  • 10 Points for Maintenance

Certificate of Sponsorship (Maximum 30 Points)

The Certificate of Sponsorship is the all important electronic document that allows you to apply for this visa.

Please note that you CANNOT apply for this visa if you do not have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a Tier 2 Licensed Employer.



Job has an annual salary of £150,000+ (£152,100 if recruited after 6th April 2013) 30
Job is listed on the Shortage Occupation List
Resident Labour Market Test Completed
Switching from the Tier 1 Post Study work Category after 6+ months with the sponsor
Applying to extend with the same sponsor under Tier 2 General

Salary & Allowances (Maximum 20 Points)

In order to qualify you must be paid an annual salary of at least £20,000+ (£20,300 from 6th April 2013) unless one of the exemptions apply. Please note the actual minimum salary threshold for the role is decided by the SOC code used. The Sponsor must confirm that they will pay the required amount when assigning or applying for a CoS.

Annual Salary and Allowances (gross) before tax


Salary of £20,300+ (from 6th April 2013 – previously £20,000) 20
If the salary is below £20,300 you can still qualify if you already have permission to stay in the United Kingdom as:

  • A Tier 2 General Migrant under the rules in place before 06/04/11
  • A Jewish Agency Employee
  • A member of operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • A minister of religion
  • A representative of an overseas newspaper or broadcaster
  • A Work Permit holder
Salary of below £20,300 (and not detailed in a category above) 0

English Language Requirement (10 Mandatory Points)

If you do not speak English to a satisfactory level you will not be able to secure a Tier 2 General Visa. There are three ways in which an individual can qualify, as detailed below. Please note that you will need to submit supporting documents with the application as proof that you meet the requirement.


English Language Attribute


National of a majority English speaking country 10
Hold an approved English Language Test 10
Hold a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s Degree (as verified by UK NARIC 10

Maintenance Requirement (10 Mandatory Points)

There are two ways to satisfy the mandatory Maintenance requirement detailed below.


Maintenance Attribute


You have £800+ (£900+ from 6th April 2013) in personal savings which has been in your account for 90+ days.

An ‘A-Rated’ Tier 2 Licensed Sponsor is confirming on the Certificate of Sponsorship that it will maintain and accommodate you until the end of you first month of employment if required 10

Please note that if you are applying on the basis of bank statements the balance cannot drop even £1 below the minimum threshold in the qualification period otherwise the application will be refused.

Cap on Visas

For the year from 6 April 2013 to 5 April 2014, a maximum of 20,700 skilled workers can come to the UK under Tier 2 (General) to do jobs with an annual salary below £152,100.
There is no limit on the number of workers coming to the UK to do jobs with an annual salary of £152,100 or above.


When is there no need to apply?

  • you are a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland – the European nationals section describes your right to work in the UK;
  • you are a British overseas territories citizen, unless you are from one of the sovereign base areas in Cyprus;
  • you are a Commonwealth citizen with permission to enter or stay in the UK because at least one of your grandparents was born here – the UK ancestry section explains how you can apply;
  • your partner or (if you are under 18) one of your parents has permission to stay in the UK under Tier 2 of the points-based system – you should apply as their dependant; or
  • you have no conditions or time limit attached to your stay.

Are you a highly skilled IT, Engineering, or Financial Services Professional? Do you need a visa to work in the UK? If so Commonwealth Contractors can help!

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with Visa Licensed Employers & Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a highly skilled Individual on a Tier 2 General Visa.

To find out more about securing Tier 2 Work Permit Sponsorship or our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get right back to you!