Tier 2 (General)
Can you apply?
This section explains the requirements that you must meet if you want to come to or remain in the UK as a skilled worker under Tier 2 (General) of our points-based system.
To be able to apply, you must score a total of 70 points and meet all the other requirements of the Immigration Rules.
If you are already in the UK in a different immigration category, you can find out whether you can 'switch' into Tier 2 (General) under 'More information' below.
Points for your attributes
You must score 50 points for having a Tier 2 (General) certificate of sponsorship, and for being paid an appropriate salary. These are known as your 'attributes'.
Points are available for your attributes as follows:
Assigned a certificate of sponsorship, because:
The Certificate of sponsorship page explains how you can score these points.
Appropriate salary and allowances
The Appropriate salary and allowances page explains how you can score these points.
Points for your English language ability
You must score 10 points for English language ability.
The English language page explains how you can score these points.
Points for maintenance (funds)
You must score 10 points for maintenance (funds).
The Maintenance page explains how you can score these points.
Additional requirement for students
You may need to meet an additional requirement if you are in the UK as a Tier 4 student, or in one of the student categories under the Immigration Rules that were in place before March 2009. For more information, see the Students with financial sponsorship page.
Other requirements (general grounds for refusal)
Even if you meet the requirements described above, we may refuse your application for other reasons (such as your previous immigration history) . For more information about these 'general grounds for refusal', see Chapter 9 of our immigration directorate instructions.
Can you switch into Tier 2 (General)?
If you currently have permission to stay in the UK under any of the following immigration categories, you can apply to Tier 2 (General) from inside the UK:
- any Tier 1 category
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
- Tier 2 (Minister of religion)
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer: established staff), if you are applying to switch sponsor
- Tier 2 (Intra company transfer) under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010, if you are applying to change sponsor
- any Tier 4 category
- Tier 5 (Temporary worker - creative and sporting), for a job as a professional footballer - but you must meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements, including English language
- dependent partner of a Tier 4 migrant
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
- Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
- International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
- Business and Commercial work permits (except multiple entry work permits)
- Sports and Entertainment work permits (except multiple entry work permits)
- Jewish agency employee
- Member of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
- minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
- overseas qualified nurse or midwife
- person writing up a thesis
- postgraduate doctor or dentist
- representative of an overseas business
- representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- student re-sitting an examination
- student nurse
- student union sabbatical officer
If you are not in any of these categories, you must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad.
If you are switching from Tier 4 or the former categories of student, student nurse, student re-sitting an examination, overseas qualified nurse, person writing up a thesis, postgraduate doctor or dentist or student union sabbatical officer, you must have lawfully obtained a UK bachelors or masters degree, postgraduate certificate in education or professional graduate diploma of education during your current or last permission to stay (period of continuous leave). This does not include, for example, vocational qualifications at degree level which are not degrees. If you are a PhD student, you do not need to have completed your course, but you must have completed at least 12 months' study towards it in the UK.
You must have obtained one of the named qualifications above:
- at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or one which holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the points-based system; and
- during your most recent period of permission to stay, or period of continuous permission to stay that includes your most recent permission to stay - this must have included permission for you to study for the qualification.
Tier 2 policy guidance
- Tier 2 policy guidance PDF 608KB opens in a new window
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