General Work Visa UK

General Work Visa

Overview:

The most frequently applied visa is the General Work Visa and is called the Tier 2 visa. Applications can be made for this visa if you aspire to enter the county when you have found a skilled job in the UK or if you are from a country that does not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
Sponsorship (potential employer) is crucial to being granted a visa to live in the UK. A work visa is granted only if you have an existing offer for a job that is based in the UK. The checks that your sponsor or employer conducts provide the government the required details and qualifies you for the visa. There is a list of licensed sponsors that are recognized by the UK and you need to be employed by one of them. Your sponsor ratifies that you can do the job they’re hiring you for. They’ll assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.
The sponsor is required for the visa application process as they furnish you with the pay details which are important and need to be filled into the application.

Financial Savings and Employment Remuneration

An application to enter the country on a General Work Visa requires you to be furnished with satisfactory financial savings that will enable you to support yourself. The UK government has put this amount down as £945 in your bank account for a minimum period of 90 days before you apply for the visa. However, if the company/organization hiring you with the letter of employment is able to certify that it can pay you the required amount to cover your costs for a month, this condition may be waived.
The minimum you will need to be paid by an employer in the UK who is offering you a job in the country is £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher.

Timelines

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the date of your travel to start the employment in the UK. The date you can start is listed on your certificate of sponsorship or the offer letter given by your potential employer in the UK.
Once the visa application is submitted, you can expect a decision to be made within a 3-week timeframe if the application is made from a country outside the UK. A processing times guide gives an indication of how long your visa process may take in your own country.

Application as A Partner or A Spouse

A valid employment letter with complete remuneration details is an essential part of the documentation that must support this application form. Fluency and proficiency with the English language must be proved, as with all visa applications to the UK (check the overview section on Family Immigration section for more details).
When you make an application for a work visa to the UK, it is essential to prove with adequate documentation your ability to support yourself under all financial circumstances. A statement of personal savings must be submitted as well as a 5-year travel history.
Medical records must include a report to prove you have undergone a Tuberculosis test if you are from any of the countries listed as mandatory by the UK government.
If the job opportunity you are being offered in the UK requires you to work among vulnerable communities, it is essential for you to provide a criminal record certificate from any country where you have previously lived for 12 months or more over the past 10 years.

Express timelines

A priority service on visa application timelines can be availed for an additional £500 when applying to extend or change visas while in the UK to get a decision within 5 working days.

Additionally, an extra £800 payment can be made for the super priority service to get a decision

  • by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday
  • 2 working days after providing your biometric information if your appointment is at the weekend

An application to extend a visa or change to another visa while in the UK can be made for a fee of £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) taken.

Working days are Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.

General Work Visa Fees Structure

The fees structure for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on the type of visa and where you are applying from.

 

A Visa For Up To 3 Years

The applicant If applying from outside the UKIf applying in the UK to extend or change visas
You£610£704
If you are a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia£555£649
or Macedonia
All dependants£610 each person£704 each person

 

Up To 3 Years Under The Shortage Occupation Bracket.

This is a special category for applications in specified skilled jobs categories, listed after a shortage of workers in the UK has been proven

 

The applicant

If applying from outside the UK

If applying in the UK to extend or change visas

You

£464

£464

You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia

£409

£409

All dependants

£464 each person

£464 each person

More than 3 years

The applicant

If applying from outside the UK

If applying in the UK to extend or change visas

You

£1,220

£1,408

You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia

£1,165

£1,353

All dependants

£1,220 each person

£1,408 each person

More than 3 years – shortage occupation

This is a special category for applications in specified skilled jobs categories, listed after a shortage of workers in the UK has been proven

 

The applicant

If applying from outside the UK

If applying in the UK to extend or change visas

You

£928

£928

You – as a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia

£873

£873

All dependents

£928 each person

£928 each person

Additional Medical fees

There is a mandatory Medical fee that must be paid as a part of the UK visa application. The fees vary depending on if you are applying alone, coming into the country with dependents or coming in to join an existing applicant in the UK.

Length of stay in the UK

The Tier 2 General Work Visa permits you to say in the UK for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the tenure mentioned on your employment offer letter with an additional 1 month, whichever is shorter.

Entry into the country is allowed up to 2 weeks prior to the start of your employment, as is mentioned in your employment offer letter. For example, if your Employment offer letter states your joining date as 1 October, the earliest you can start living in the country is 15 September. This visa can be extended through an application for an additional 5 years; however, the total stay may not exceed a tenure of 6 years in the country.

Additional regulations

When you apply for a Tier 2 General Work Visa to the UK, you have permission to do the following:

  • work for the employment specified in the employment offer letter
  • find an additional second job under some specific conditions
  • do voluntary work
  • pursue educational opportunities which will not conflict with your employment
  • visit other countries and return to the UK
  • bring family memberswho also have existing visas, with you

This visa does not allow you to do the following:

  • own more than 10% of shares in the place of employment which has made an offer to you (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
  • access public funds of any kind
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor

Process for change of job in the UK

If you have entered the country on a work visa with a particular employer and then wish to change your job to work with another employer, you can do so by making a fresh Tier 2 General visa application. To make a new visa application, you will need to furnish the employment offer letter of the new employer, along with all the remuneration details to support it.   

This applies to a situation when your current employment changes to a different standard occupation classification (SOC) code, and you’re not in a graduate training program or if the status of the job which you are currently in changes from being on the shortage occupation list.

A new biometric test report to confirm your identity, your right to work in the UK and details of any rights to public services or benefits that you can access is required to support your new employment and you cannot begin working until it is procured.