Saturday 29 November 2014

Different Categories under UK Tier 2 Visa

The Tier 2 visa is the most popular way to migrate to the UK. This visa allows skilled workers of non-EEA (European Economic Area) countries to work in the UK. However, to become eligible for this visa you must first be sponsored by a UK employer for a vacant post in the UK. Your sponsoring employer must have a valid Tier 2 sponsorship license. Also, you need to submit the Certificate of Sponsorship (provided by the employer) while applying for the UK Tier-2 visa.

The Tier 2 visa has four categories.


This category is for those foreign nationals who are migrating to the UK to fill skilled positions which cannot be filled by native and settled skilled workers in the UK. The annual cap on the number of Tier 2 visa for general category is 20,700. However, people with an annual salary of more than £150,000,who migrated to the UK under this category,are not included in the cap. The maximum stay under this category is 5 years and 14 days, which can be extended by another 5 years.

Intra Company Transfer

This category is for those foreign nationals who are being transferred to a UK branch of a multinational company. This category is further divided into 4 sub-categories. The validity for each subcategory is different. Here are the details.
  • Long-term Staff: For employee transfer of more than 12 months with maximum stay period of 5 years and 14 days
  • Short-term Staff: For employee transfer of up to 12 months with maximum stay period of 12 months
  • Graduate Trainee: For employee transfer to graduate trainee program for specialized roles with maximum stay period of 12 months
  • Skills transfer: For employee transfer to gain and pass knowledge and skills in the UK with maximum stay period of 6 months

Sports People

This category is for elite sports persons and internationally recognized coaches. The visa application must be endorsed by the concerned sports governing authority. It must also prove to the UK immigration department that applicant’s employment will promote that sport in the UK. This visa remain valid for 3 years, however, you can also apply for a 3 years extension on it.

Minister of Religion

This category is for those foreign nationals who have been offered a position in the UK within a faith community such as minister of religion, missionary, or a member of religious order. Under this category the Tier-2 visa remains valid for 3 years, which can be extended for another 3 years.

If you are eligible under Sports People category but your intended stay period is less than one year, then you should apply under the Tier-5 visa. Similarly, people who are eligible for Minister or religion category should apply for Tier-5 visa if their intended stay period is less than 2 years.

Having knowledge of different categories under the Tier-2 visa will help you selecting the right visa category while applying for a UK visa as a skilled worker.