The UK has a points based system for work visas known as the Tier 2 Skilled Migrant visa. This system allows UK employers to recruit individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) for the purpose of directly employing such an individual to fill a vacancy that can’t be filled by a British or EEA worker for a period of up to three years.

In accordance with the Tier 2 system, there are four categories of long term work visas, namely:

(a) Skilled worker
(b) Intra-company transferee
(c) Sportspeople and coaches
(d) Ministers of religion


(a) Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker Tier 2 visa is an employer-led system for skilled migrants with a job offer. Before an applicant is eligible to apply for a work visa under this category, he/she will require a sponsor. The sponsor will normally be a business or educational institution in the UK that wishes to employ a foreign skilled worker. In order to become a sponsor, the employer will need to apply and register with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to be a licensed sponsor. The sponsor will need to meet the requirements for the specific visa category within the Tier 2 Visas. Once licensed, the sponsor will be able to issue Certificates of Sponsorship to those individuals who he/she think will qualify. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will then decide if the individual applicant meets the points threshold or not. The number of certificates that an employer will be able to issue will be specified in the terms of the license.

An individual who wishes to obtain a work visa under the Tier 2 system must apply for a priority entry clearance only after receipt of a Certificate of Sponsorship. It is important to note that a Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee a visa, rather it acts as a confirmation from a licensed sponsor that he/she wish to bring the applicant migrant to the UK to work and that to the best of his/her knowledge the applicant meets the rules for this visa.

It is important to note that the applicant is required to show the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that he/she has sufficient points to qualify for a prior entry clearance after the applicant has received a Certificate of Sponsorship. Once an entry clearance has been granted to an applicant, he/she will be able to enter the UK up to 14 days before the start date for the job shown on the Certificate of Sponsorship. Once an applicant has received a Certificate of Sponsorship from his/her prospective employer, the applicant must prove that he/she has seventy (70) points from the following attributes which are divided into the following three (3) sections: 

(i) attributes which consist of three categories in which the applicant must score 50 points from either one, two or three of the categories: 

 

(1) Certificate of Sponsorship

30 points are awarded to an applicant who has an offer of a job in a shortage occupation in accordance with the Migrant Advisory Committee's List of Skilled Occupations in Shortage as published from time to time. 30 points are awarded to an applicant who has an offer of a job that passes the Resident Labor Market Tests or if the applicant has an intra company transfer. The Resident Labor Market Tests require the employer to show that there is no suitable qualified worker from the UK or the EEA available to fill the position. The applicant needs to confirm with his/her sponsor that his/her Certificate of Sponsorship will show that a Resident Labor Market Test has been completed. If so, the applicant must then earn at least 20 points from the Qualifications and/or Prospective Earnings categories below. In the event of an intra-company transfer see the details outlined in sub-paragraph (b) below. 

(2) Prospective Earnings

These are earnings before tax. If an applicant will be receiving 30,000 pounds in future earnings, he/she will be awarded 20 points This salary reflects yearly before tax (gross) salary and includes allowances if they are part of your guaranteed salary package. Salary includes basic salary plus any allowances such as London weighting but does not include other benefits such as overtime, bonus or incentive pay, travel and subsistence (including travel to and from the source country).

It is important to note that even if one attains the 50 required points from the attributes described above, it is mandatory to fulfill both of the following conditions to obtain this visa: 

(i) Proof of Ability in the English language

In addition to obtaining the threshold 50 points from the above criteria, the applicant must show evidence of his/her level of ability in the English language. This is an absolute requirement. In order to demonstrate the required knowledge of English, the applicant must provide one of the following forms of evidence: an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test Report Form, issued in the two years prior to the date the application was received, with a Band 6.5 or above; or evidence that the applicant holds a Bachelor degree that was taught in English, and is of an equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree; or that he/she is a national of a majority English speaking country such as the USA or Canada. 10 points are awarded to an applicant of proof of ability in the English language. 

(ii) Maintenance Funds 

Even if one has attained the pass mark of 50 from the above criteria and has the required standard of English, an application will be refused in the event that one is not able to prove that he/she has in his/her possession the prescribed amount of maintenance funds. In order to qualify for this visa, one needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has 945 pounds for himself/herself and 630 pounds for each accompanying dependent. It is necessary to prove that these funds are held in cash in the applicant's personal bank account for a minimum of three months immediately preceding the filing of the application. One is required to submit evidence of the funds by means of bank statements for a three month period that date no more than 30 days prior to the lodging of his/her application. It should be noted that the balance in the bank account should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the 3 month period. 10 points are awarded to an applicant who is able to prove the required amount of maintenance funds. 

Dependents 

Dependents are able to join an applicant who is granted this visa. Dependents are defined as a husband, wife, civil partner, same sex partner and children under 18. Every dependent is required to file a separate visa application as a dependent and the applicant is required to prove that he/she has an amount of 630 pounds for every dependent. 

(b) Intra-company Transfers

Due to the specific nature of intra-company transfers, which are for employees of multinational companies being transferred by their employer overseas to a skilled post in a UK based branch of the company, no Resident Labor Market Test is necessary but the applicant must have been working overseas for the sponsoring company for at least twelve months prior to applying for the visa and while in the UK must earn a salary or remunerative package appropriate for that job in the UK. The applicant must also possess qualifications above the minimum skill level.

There are also transfers for recent graduates of multi-national companies who wish to be transferred to the UK branch of the same organization as part of a structured graduate training program which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role. In this category, the applicant must have worked for the organization for at least three months before the date of the application outside the UK.

There is a further category that allows new recruits of multi-national companies to be transferred to the UK branch of the multi-national company to learn or to transfer skills to the sponsor’s UK environment.

(c) Sports people

This visa is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level, whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK and whom intend to base themselves in the UK. Applicants who seek to enter under this visa category will need to obtain an initial entry clearance and will need to show that they have 70 points to qualify from the following criteria:

(i) Certificate of Sponsorship

Migrants applying for this visa will need to be sponsored by a club (or the equivalent) in order to obtain a license from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and receive a Certificates of Sponsorship. Applications for a license to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship under this category must be accompanied by approval from the relevant Governing Body that is recognized by one of the Home Sports Councils for the sport. Where a sport does not have a governing body as recognized by the Home Country Sports Councils, the advice of the sports councils and other relevant sporting bodies will be sought. The sponsor needs to vouch that the applicant is qualified to carry out the job, intends to be based in the UK, has been approved by the governing body for that particular sport and will comply with the conditions of the visa, leaving the UK when the visa expires. The sponsor is also providing an undertaking that it will accept the responsibilities of sponsorship in respect of the applicant migrant. 50 points are awarded if the applicant has a Certificate of Sponsorship.

(ii) Proof of Ability in the English language

In addition to obtaining the threshold 50 points from the above criteria, the applicant must show evidence of his/her level of ability in the English language. This is an absolute requirement. In order to demonstrate the required knowledge of English, the applicant must provide one of the following forms of evidence: an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test Report Form, issued in the two years prior to the date the application was received with a Band 6.5 or above; or evidence that the applicant holds a Bachelor degree that was taught in English, and is of an equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree; or that he/she is a national of a majority English speaking country such as the USA or Canada. 10 points are awarded to an applicant of proof of ability in the English language. 

(iii) Maintenance Funds 

Even if one has attained the pass mark of 50 from the above criteria and has the required standard of English, an application will be refused in the event that one is not able to prove that he/she has in his/her possession the prescribed amount of maintenance funds. In order to qualify for this visa, one needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has 945 pounds for himself/herself and 630 pounds for each accompanying dependent. It is necessary to prove that these funds are held in cash in the applicant's personal bank account for a minimum of three months immediately preceding the filing of the application. One is required to submit evidence of the funds by means of bank statements for a three month period that date no more than 30 days prior to the lodging of his/her application. It should be noted that the balance in the bank account should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the three month period. 10 points are awarded to an applicant who is able to prove the required amount of maintenance funds. 

Dependents 

Dependents are able to join an applicant who is granted this visa. Dependents are defined as a husband, wife, civil partner, same sex partner and children under 18. Every dependent is required to file a separate visa application as a dependent and the applicant is required to prove that he/she has an amount of 630 pounds for every dependent. 

(d)Ministers of Religion

This visa is for those applicants coming to fill vacancies as religious workers of recognized religions and includes anyone who preaches to their community and/or performs a pastoral role. Tier 5 will cover migrants coming to work temporarily in the UK, as a religious worker in a non-pastoral role, where the duties include performing religious rites but not preaching to a congregation. 

All migrants seeking to enter under this category, will need to obtain an entry clearance in this category and will need to show that they have 70 points from the following criteria: 

 

(i) Certificate of Sponsorship

Migrants applying for this visa will need to be sponsored by a religious institution recognized by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Religious agencies wishing to recruit religious workers will need to provide evidence that they are a bona fide religious institution, and are a registered, excepted or exempt UK charity according to the relevant UK charity legislation as well as provide an undertaking that it will accept the responsibilities or accommodate the applicant migrant. 

(ii) Proof of Ability in the English language

In addition to obtaining the threshold 50 points from the above criteria, the applicant must show evidence of his/her level of ability in the English language. This is an absolute requirement. In order to demonstrate the required knowledge of English, the applicant must provide one of the following forms of evidence: an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test Report Form, issued in the two years prior to the date the application was received with a Band 6.5 or above; or evidence that the applicant holds a Bachelor degree that was taught in English, and is of an equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree; or that he/she is a national of a majority English speaking country such as the USA or Canada. 10 points are awarded to an applicant of proof of ability in the English language. 

(iii) Maintenance Funds

Even if one has attained the pass mark of 50 from the above criteria and has the required standard of English, an application will be refused in the event that one is not able to prove that he/she has in his/her possession the prescribed amount of maintenance funds. In order to qualify for this visa, one needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has 945 pounds for himself/herself and 630 pounds for each accompanying dependent. It is necessary to prove that these funds are held in cash in the applicant's personal bank account for a minimum of three months immediately preceding the filing of the application. One is required to submit evidence of the funds by means of bank statements for a three month period that date no more than 30 days prior to the lodging of his/her application. It should be noted that the balance in the bank account should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the three month period. 10 points are awarded to an applicant who is able to prove the required amount of maintenance funds. 

Dependents

Dependents are able to join an applicant who is granted this visa. Dependents are defined as a husband, wife, civil partner, same sex partner and children under 18. Every dependent is required to file a separate visa application as a dependent and the applicant is required to prove that he/she has an amount of 630 pounds for every dependent. 

TEMPORARY WORKERS

The UK has introduced a new visa system known as the Tier 5 system which comprises temporary workers and Youth Mobility Scheme categories which will allow people to travel to the UK to undertake certain types of temporary work. The Tier 5 Temporary Workers visa compromises the following sub-categories:

(a) Creative and Sporting Workers

This visa allows sportspeople, entertainers and creative artists to come to the UK to work or to perform for up to 12 months. The applicant for this category of visa must have the sponsorship of a sporting body, sports club, events organizer or other organizer intending to join in the sporting sector or be a sponsor who operates or intends to operate in the creative industries such as a national body, events organizer, venue, agent or other similar organization. 

(b) Charity Workers

This visa category is suitable for an applicant who is coming to work temporarily in the UK as a voluntary worker as defined by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, that is for a charity. The "work" must be a pure voluntary activity and not be for the purpose of paid employment. The applicant needs to carry out fieldwork that is directly related to the purpose of the sponsoring organization. In order to gain a license as a sponsor of voluntary workers, the employer must be a registered, excepted or exempt UK charity according to the law. The maximum period granted under this visa is one year. 

(c) Religious Workers

This visa category is for those applicants coming to work temporality in the UK, for a recognized religion, and who will be undertaking religious work as recognized by the religion, but not including preaching or pastoral work. Applicants entering under this visa will be granted a maximum of 24 months and need to be sponsored by a religious institution licensed by the United Kingdom Borders Agency to issue certificates of Sponsorship under this category. 

(d) Government Authorized Exchange

This visa is relevant for those applicants coming through approved schemes aimed at sharing knowledge, experience and best practices. Individual employers and organizatons will not be allowed to act as sponsors themselves. Instead, there is an overarching body that runs and administers the exchange scheme and is the sponsor that applies for the license and issues the Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicants who meet the criteria. The scheme and the overarching body must have the support of a UK Government department in order for a license to be approved. The maximum period granted for stay under this visa is 24 months. 

(e) International Agreement

This visa category applies to those applicants who are coming to the UK under contract to provide a service that is covered under international law, including General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), similar bilateral agreements, employees of overseas governments and international organizations and the provision for domestic help in diplomatic households. The sponsor must be a diplomatic mission or an international organization recognized by the UK. The maximum period granted for stay under this visa is 24 months.

 

 

Points test for temporary workers

All temporary workers need to obtain an entry clearance in one of the above relevant categories (with the exception of non-visa nationals in the Creative and Sporting Category who are coming to the UK for less than 3 months) and will need to show that they have enough points to qualify. Points will be earned from two sets of objective criteria with an overall pass mark of 40 points, namely: 

(i) Certificate of sponsorship

The applicant needs to show that he/she has a valid certificate of sponsorship issued by their license sponsor and this gives the applicant 30 points.

(ii) Maintenance Funds

An application will be refused in the event that one is not able to prove that he/she has in his/her possession the prescribed amount of maintenance funds. In order to qualify for this visa, one needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has 945 pounds for himself/herself and 630 pounds for each accompanying dependent. It is necessary to prove that these funds are held in cash in the applicant's personal bank account for a minimum of three months immediately preceding the filing of the application. One is required to submit evidence of the funds by means of bank statements for a three month period that date no more than 30 days prior to the lodging of his/her application. It should be noted that the balance in the bank account should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the three month period. 10 points are awarded to an applicant who is able to prove the required amount of maintenance funds. 

Supplementary Employment

Visa holders under this category will be allowed to undertake work supplementary to that for which their Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued, however this must not be more than 20 hours a week and must be outside of normal working hours and in the same sector and at the same level as the work for which the certificate of sponsorship was issued. 

Dependents

In keeping with its temporary nature switching from Tier 5 into other tiers is NOT permitted. 

Dependents will be allowed to come to the UK to accompany the applicant or join them in all sub-categories of this visa as stated above, for the period of leave granted to the principal visa holder. Dependents will be allowed to work while they are in the UK.

THE YOUTH MOBILITY SCHEME

This visa category now includes au pairs, gap year participants, working holiday scheme and the Japan Youth Exchange Scheme. The Youth Mobility Scheme operates on the principle of sponsored young people between 18 and 30 years old from participating countries who want to come and experience life in the UK for up to 24 months. Under this visa category, young people will be free to carry out any work they desire during their stay in the UK except for setting up in business and professional sport, or work as a doctor in training. Each year the Border Agency will publish a list of countries that qualify for the Youth Mobility Scheme, together with the number of places, on the Scheme that are allocated to each country. To date only Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Republic of Korea, Japan, Monaco and New Zealand have joined the Scheme. An applicant under the Youth Mobility Scheme must obtain 50 points in order to qualify for this visa from the following two categories, namely: 

(i) Certificate of Sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship must be obtained to apply for this visa and this will grant the applicant 30 points. The applicant will need to be a national of a participating country. 

(ii) Age

The applicant must be aged between 18 and 30 years inclusive at the date that his/her entry clearances become valid of use. An applicant meeting this requirement is awarded 10 points.

(iii) Maintenance Funds

An application will be refused in the event that one is not able to prove that he/she has in his/her possession the prescribed amount of maintenance funds. In order to qualify for this visa, one needs to be able to demonstrate that he/she has 1890 pounds. It is necessary to prove that these funds are held in cash in the applicant's personal bank account for a minimum of three months immediately preceding the filing of the application. One is required to submit evidence of the funds by means of bank statements for a three month period that date no more than 30 days prior to the lodging of his/her application. It should be noted that the balance in the bank account should not fall below the required minimum at any time during the three month period. If the applicant fulfills the maintenance condition, 10 points will be awarded. 

Dependents

No dependent children will be permitted under this scheme. There is nothing to prevent those who are married or have partners from participating in the scheme however spouses and partners cannot enter as dependents. They may accompany Youth Mobility Scheme participants or join them in the UK, provided that they qualify and obtain an entry clearance in their own right either under this scheme or in another category. 

PERSONS NOT REQUIRING A WORK VISA TO THE UK

It should be noted that the following categories, people can take up lawful employment in England and do NOT need a work permit: 

(i) Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA comprises the 25 EU member states in addition to Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Nationals of some of the EEA countries must apply for a registration certificate under the Worker Registration Scheme within one month of commencing a new job in England. 

(ii) a person who has the status of Indefinite Leave to Remain. 

(iii) a spouse of an EEA national.

CONTACT US

Kangaroo Migration Services is a company that has for many years dealt with and continues to deal with immigration and the obtaining of all types of visas (short term and long term).

Please feel free to contact us to discuss with our representative the options available to you and/or to complete our questionnaire and send it to us.



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