PBS Tier 2 Skilled Workers With A Job Offer

The following information is related to the UK's new points based system, which has not been fully implemented yet. Information may be updated in the near future.

Tier 2 Visa Overview

Under the UKs new points based system there are five tiers that cover employment and student-based immigration into the country. Tier 2 visas are designed for skilled migration into the UK for those who have a job offer from a UK employer. This will replace the current UK Work Permits program. Tier 2 is only for foreign workers who are citizens of countries outside the European Economic Area.

Tier 2 visas for skilled workers are designed to fill jobs where there may be shortages in the labour market, such as engineering, information technology, and education. It also relates to elite sports people and long-term religious workers. Tier 2 will go into effect on November 27th 2008, and will replace the following immigration categories:

  • general work permit employment
  • ministers of religion
  • airport-based operational staff
  • overseas qualified nurse or midwife
  • sabbatical posts
  • seafarers
  • named researchers
  • Training and Work Experience Scheme
  • Jewish agency employees
  • overseas media representatives (journalists and other news media)
Ministers of religion and sports people on temporary assignment will not fall under Tier 2. Tier 5 for temporary workers will cover these immigration categories.

The Tier 2 Points Test

The information below relates to coming to the UK as a general skilled worker under a Tier 2 visa. To be successful in your application as a Tier 2 skilled worker, you will be required to score 70 points from three sets of criteria:
  • Attributes (sponsorship, qualifications, and future earnings)
  • Maintenance (your ability to support yourself and any dependents.) Require 10 points for this.
  • English Language Ability. Require 10 points for this.
Points for Certificate of Sponsorship

If you wish to apply for a Tier 2 visa, you will be required to have a valid job offer and show a certificate of sponsorship from your future employer. You may score a maximum of 50 points for your certificate of sponsorship in the event the job is on the shortage occupations list.

You get 30 points if the job meets the resident labour market test.

Your employer will only be able to issue a certificate of sponsorship to you if the position requires a skill level of NVQ Level 3 or higher.

For positions currently on the shortage occupation list, you will receive 50 points for your certificate of sponsorship. In the event the position you will fill is not on the shortage occupation list, you will receive 30 points for your certificate of sponsorship and your employer will be required to submit a Resident Labour Market test to prove that an EU/EEA citizen could not be found to fill the vacancy.

Points for Qualifications

You can score up to 15 points for your qualifications:


No Qualification = 0 points

NVQ Level 3 = 5 points

Bachelors or masters degree = 10 points

PhD = 15 points

Only your highest qualification is eligible for points.

You may also score a maximum of 20 points for the earnings you expect to make at your new job in the UK:

Earnings (in GBP per year)

17,000 - 19,999 = 5 points
20,000 - 21,999 = 10 points
22,000 - 23,999 = 15 points
24,000 + = 20 points

Points for Maintenance

To have a successful application under Tier 2 for skilled workers, you must score 10 points under the Maintenance requirement to prove that you can support yourself and any dependents that you bring with you to the UK. To score the required 10 points, you must be able to prove that you have 800 in a savings account that you will have at your disposal while in the UK. If you bring any dependents, you must prove that you have an extra 533 for each person which you have held for at least three months.

It is permissible for an A rated sponsor to agree to cover the first month of support for the worker and any dependents. This must be in writing and included with all other documentation. This is not applicable to dependents of Tier 5 migrants.

Points for English Language Ability

You must prove that you can speak English at a basic level to be successful in your application for a Tier 2 visa. This requirement is worth 10 points. You must be able to speak English at a level that shows familiarity with everyday expressions, basic phrases, and the ability to introduce yourself to others and answer personal questions regarding yourself.

You can show your competence in English by:

  • Passing a test in English equivalent to the required level
  • Having come from a majority English-speaking country
  • Having taken a degree taught in English
If you are from a majority English speaking country, if you have passed an acceptable English Language Test, or if you have a degree that was taught in English you will receive 10 points.

If you do not have a job offer and are highly skilled, you may want to consider looking at the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) if you are applying from a country other than the UK or India, or the General Highly Skilled Migrants section of Tier 1 if you live in India or are legally residing in the UK

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