Expert tier 2 legal advice for highly skilled immigration applicants and sponsors

I am looking for...

Home » Immigration Law » Tier 2 highly skilled workers

Tier 2 immigration applications

Darlingtons provide a bespoke, experienced service to those looking to relocate to the United Kingdom to work. Our Immigration solicitors have the knowledge, experience and expertise to assist and guide you through the application process.

The UK attracts thousands of people each year wanting to move to the U.K to work and to start a new life, highly skilled migrants who contribute economically to the UK whilst enjoying all the benefits this country has to offer.

Applications under Tier 2 General are for sponsored skilled workers, within the General Tier 2 category there are four categories of skilled workers:

Tier 2 General Application

Tier 2 (General) is governed by the Points Based System which means to qualify you will need to score 70 points as well as satisfy other Immigration Requirements. Points will be awarded for first and foremost having been issued a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, appropriate annual salary, English language, and maintenance.

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.

Annual salary requirements for tier 2

The job you’re offered must pay £20,800 or more, unless your current or last Tier 2 permission to stay in the UK was granted before 6th April 2011 or you qualify under other grounds which we would be happy to explain further to you.

Length of stay under General Tier 2

You can apply to extend your visa for up to 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

Tier 2 for Intra company transfers

An application can be made from outside the UK or within the UK if you have been issued leave in a category which allows you to ‘switch.’

Tier 2 (ICT) is a means to bring a member of staff from one of your overseas offices to the UK for a temporary assignment. There are for types of Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer visa which are listed as follows;

Long-term Staff intra-company transfer

This visa is for transfers of more than 12 months into a role that cannot be filled by a UK resident.

Short-term Staff intra-company transfer

This visa is for transfers up to and including 12 months into a role that can’t be filled by a new UK recruit who is resident.

Graduate Trainee intra-company

This visa is for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specific specialist roles.

Skills Transfer intra-company transfer

This visa is for existing members of staff to be transferred to the UK to gain skills and knowledge needed to perform their role overseas, or to pass on their skills to UK members of staff.

Employer requirements for intra-company transfers

Employers must have :-

  • a Tier 2 sponsor licence under the Points-Based System in the UK and provide the connection/common ownership between the UK and overseas entities
  • Intra Company Transfer Certificates of Sponsorship available to assign to prospective employees coming over to the UK.
  • Agreed to pay long-term Staff applicants at least £41,500.00 per annum or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the role (whichever is higher). For short-term staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer applicants, the minimum amount is at least £24,800.00 per annum or the ‘appropriate rate’ (whichever is higher)

Length of stay

A Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer – Long-term Staff) visa can be extended for the shortest of these options:

  • the length of time stipulated on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days
  • the length of time needed to extend your leave to the maximum period allowed in the category
  • 5 years

You can extend all other types of Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer visa if your original visa was issued for less than the maximum leave allowed by that type. You can only extend your visa up to the maximum period permitted.

If you are eligible and you choose not to apply for settlement after spending the maximum allowed time in the UK then you must leave the UK by the expiry date given on your visa.


Your dependants can also apply with you but must be able to prove that they have enough personal funds to maintain themselves whilst in the UK.

Immigration Health Surcharge

In addition to the fees associated with the application you will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

Please give us a call if you have any questions about Tier 2.