TIER 2 (General Work Permits)

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TIER-2 General Work Permits

The Tier 2 work permit system replaces the old UK Work Permit system. Tier 2 work permits are applied for by employers who need to fill a vacant position with a specific person.

It is vital that the employer can show that the business is genuine and that there is a genuine requirement for the intended role. In addition, the proposed employee must be suitably skilled and/or qualified for the vacant position, meeting the basic requirements and passing the Tier 2 points test.

In order for an employer to be able to obtain a work permit, in most cases they must first be able to prove that they had advertised the position nationally and could not fill it with someone from inside the European Economic Area.

Note: If you are looking to fill a position on the Shortage Occupation List it does not need to be advertised


In order for an employer to sponsor a foreign worker, the employer must first have an Employer Sponsorship Licence.

There are 4 categories of Tier 2 work permits:

Skilled Worker

The Tier 2 skilled worker category is for people with a specific skilled job offer in the UK who are needed to fill a temporary gap in the labour force.

Intra-Company Transfer

The intra-company transfer category is for people who are being transferred to a UK branch of their organisation.

Sports People

The sports people category is for elite professional athletes and coaches.

Minister of Religion

The minister of religion category is for workers within a bona fide religion.

Work Permit Conditions

A successful applicant is given up to 3 years to live and work in the UK for that employer. This period can be extended later. After being in the UK for 5 years, it is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), also known as permanent residency. Work permits are specific to the employers who obtained them, meaning that they are not transferable.


The Tier 2 Migration System uses a points test to qualify applicants.  Applicants must score 70 points in order to be successful, as well as meet the normal basic requirements.

The UK skilled immigration test is as follows: 

  • English language ability (mandatory);
  • Available settlement funds (mandatory);
  •  Qualification;
  •  Certification of Sponsorship;
  •  Prospective Earnings.

Mandatory Points for English language ability

Point of English Language Ability Criteria Points available
You must be able to demonstrate you have sufficient. English language ability.  10

Mandatory Points for Available Settlement Funds

Points for Available Settlement Funds Points available
You must have sufficient available settlement funds.  10

Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds readily available to help them settle in the UK. However, should you have any dependents also applying with you, they must all demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available when migrating with you.

Points for Certificate of Sponsorship

Points for Available Settlement Funds Points available
GCE A level or equivalent 5
Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree 10
Doctoral Degree (PhD) 15

Points for Certificate of Sponsorship

Age at time of application Points available
If you have a Certificate of Sponsorship and your job is on the Shortage Occupation List.* 50
If you have a Certificate of Sponsorship and your job offer passes the Resident Labour Market Test.* 30
If you have a Certificate of Sponsorship and are switching from a post-study work category.* 30
If you have a Certificate of Sponsorship for a Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) application.Note: Applicants for Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer) do not need to score points for English language if they are applying to extend their stay after their intiial 3 years in the UK. 25

These earnings must be specified in your Certificate of Sponsorship.


If you would like more information about applying for Teir 2 Work Permits then contact the highly trained lawyers of Awan Links Services. We will help you in any way that we can.

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