Whilst it opens up a much larger talent pool, employing a Tier 2 (skilled) worker can be a complex process, involving a many rule that must be followed.

The Job

Firstly the job must satisfy the minimum skill level – which generally means degree level or above. The employer will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (they "sponsor" the employer), and there is also a minimum required level of salary – the current figure is around £30,000.00 depending on experience. The reasoning is that you are employing a skilled worker, and they will need to support themselves and any family without reference to the state.


If required, the role will have had to have been advertised according to the Resident Labour Market Test, to ensure that the role couldn't be fulfilled by a resident worker, before one from outside the UK is considered.


You may need to provide details of the selection process, through copy CVs, interview notes etc. when you apply for a Sponsorship Certificate, to ensure that the processes have all been followed fairly. This may seem onerous, but it is a requirement of the Sponsorship scheme.

The Individual

Remember that although you will sponsor the individual, it is for them to apply for a Tier 2 Visa, not you. They will have to go through the process and it's important, wherever possible, to ensure in the first instance that they will actually be eligible to apply for visa. For example, if the role is working with vulnerable people, any criminal record may forbid the application, making the process redundant. Many other rules that apply to the individual and should be considered at the start of the whole process, including health and financial restrictions.


  • You will need to provide a certificate of sponsorship, which will then be used by the individual as part of their application.
  • Once it can be demonstrated that you have followed the correct procedure in advertising the role, recruiting the right candidate and proving the Sponsorship Certificate, then the individual themselves can make the application for a visa within 3 months of their start date of employment. They should receive a response within 3 weeks of the application.
  • Filling a role with a Tier 2 worker is a great way of improving the skillset within any organisation. However, procedures must be followed prior to, and throughout the period of employment. Though it is ultimately for the individual to make the application for a Tier 2 Visa, they cannot do so without your sponsorship. Whilst the reality is a little convoluted, the benefits are immense. A little effort at the start can mean great things for the organisation in the long run. 

Sassa Karakatsianis, Immigration Specialist

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