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Tier 2 (General) Visa. Frequently Asked Questions


The Tier 2 (General) visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment. Applicants will need to have a job offer from a licenced sponsor, who will confirm that they can do the job they are hiring them for and will pay them the appropriate salary for said job.


Q: Can I be a shareholder of my Tier 2 Sponsor?

A: You sure can. However, this is limited to no more than 10% of shares of the company sponsoring you. The exception to this is if you are earning an annual salary of £159,600 or more, which then sees the 10% limit be lifted. 


Q: I am on a Tier 2 (Visa) but want to start studying for my Master’s degree, is this allowed?

A: You certainly can study, however you must ensure that your studies do not interfere with your job. In practice, this will likely mean that you will need to study in the evenings or weekends as you will need to ensure that you are still working in your job, undertaking the same job duties for the same daily hours as stated on your certificate of sponsorship.  


Q: Will this visa allow me to stay forever?

A: This depends on how long your job is sponsored for. The Tier 2 (General) visa provides a route to settlement in 5 years. If your employer is sponsoring you for your job position for the full 5 years, or you have had multiple job roles sponsored by an employer for a period of 5 years, you will be eligible to apply for settlement. Which means you can stay in the UK indefinitely without needing to be sponsored by an employer. Once you have had settlement, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain, for 12 months, you can then apply to be naturalised as a British citizen. Once your naturalisation application is approved, you can apply for your passport. 


Q: I want to come to the UK for a job, can my husband come with me?

A: Absolutely! You are permitted to bring family members, such as your spouse or unmarried partner and dependent children under the age of 18. The family members will be issued a visa for the same duration as your visa.  


Q: I do not like my job, can I look for another job?

A: Yes, there is nothing stopping you from looking for another job. If you receive another offer from a Tier 2 sponsor licence holder, you will need to make a new Tier 2 application to receive a new visa based on your new certificate of sponsorship. 


Q: I don’t have enough money for maintenance, what can I do?

A: You will need to show that you have held a least £945 in your bank account for at least 90 days before you apply. This is to show that you can support yourself. If you do not have the funds, you can ask your sponsor to certify your maintenance, this means that they will tick a box on your certificate of sponsorship and in turn you will not need to show that you have the maintenance funds.  It is only A-rate sponsors who are able to do this. 


Q: Do I need to have a Degree to be eligible?

A: There is no formal requirement to have a degree to be eligible, however the jobs available for sponsoring are in the most part skilled jobs. Therefore your chances of being offered a job are likely to be higher if you have a degree as well as industry experience.  If you do not have a degree taught in the UK or approved by NARIC, then you will need to pass an approved English language test to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of English. If you are looking to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 visa in the UK, then you will need to have completed or be due to complete your degree. 


Q: I would like more money, can I work two jobs?

A: In certain circumstances, you are permitted to do extra work. The secondary job that you take must be outside your current working hours as detailed on your certificate of sponsorship. You can only work a maximum of 20 hours per week in your second job. You should also only take a second job if it is on the shortage occupation list or a job in the same profession and level as the current job you are working. In these circumstances, you do not need to inform the Home Office of your other job. However, if these circumstances do not apply, you may need to apply for a new certificate of sponsorship.  


Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including UKTurkeyVanuatuEU & the Caribbean.


For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at or call +44 207 292 2977