Tier 2 Visa Guidance

This guidance will refer to the Tier 2 (General) visa as this is the most applicable to Aberystwyth University employees and future employees. Information on the other sub categories of Tier 2 visas can be found on the UKVI website.

Before applying to come to the UK on a Tier 2 visa you need to be sponsored by a licensed sponsor. Aberystwyth University holds a Tier 2 sponsorship licence, all employers who hold a sponsorship licence for Tier 2 or Tier 5 can be found on the Home Office website.

What is a Tier 2 (General) visa?

A Tier 2 (General) visa is for non-EEA nationals who have a skilled longer-term job offer in the UK. 

Skilled Temporary workers should visit our Tier 5 guidance.

Before applying for a visa Aberystwyth University must issue you with a Certificates of Sponsorship. Certificates of Sponsorship permit Aberystwyth University to employ you without it you would be unable to take up your employment and therefore, it is required before applying for your visa.

Eligibility for a Tier 2 (General) visa

-          A certificate of sponsorship reference number from Aberystwyth University.

-          An ‘appropriate’ salary (£20800 or more), please look at the PBS codes of practice for appropriate salary rates for skilled positions. In Autumn 2016 this will increase to £25000.

-          For those currnetly living outside of the UK if you were previously sponsored on a Tier 2, you are required to wait 12 months after the date you left previously before returning to the UK.

-          The required level of English

-          £945 in savings*

*Savings are not required if you are sponsored by Aberystwyth University and on your Certificate of Sponsorship it is stated that you will not be claiming benefits during your stay.

The UK NARIC can assist you in finding out if you are eligible.

Applying for a Tier 2 (general)

Applications should be made online at https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/apply-visa-type/tier2

If you are applying for a visa for dependents please apply at https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/apply-visa-type/dependant

Migrants applying from outside the United Kingdom for a Tier 2 must apply in the country in which they reside.

You may only apply from within the United Kingdom if you;

- currently hold a Tier 2 visa and you are reapplying due to a change in job

- currently hold a Tier 2 visa and you are applying to extend it.

- currently hold a different visa and you are applying to switch to a Tier 2 visa.

Extending a Tier 2 (general) visa

Applications for extension must be made prior to your current visa expiring. As the process for extending/renewing a visa can take up to 8 weeks it is highly recommended that individuals apply early for an extension. Options are available for a faster service which can give the individual a decision quicker but at an increased cost.

Guidance on applying or extending your visa

Tier 2 visa holders are permitted to stay a maximum of six continuous years in the UK, providing they have been given a Certificate of Sponsorship. After five years of continuous Tier 2 sponsorship, Tier 2 visa holders are able to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Additional employment

Taking a second job will often require a new Tier 2 (General) visa application unless the new job is in the same sector as your main job, it is voluntary work or it is on the UK shortage list, further information.

Switching to a Tier 2 Visa from a Tier 4

You can only switch from a Tier 4 when you have successfully completed and passed your UK recognised bachelor's or master's degree. PHD students are permitted to switch when they have completed 12 months of study in the UK during their current period of leave in the UK.

You must also apply from inside the UK.

You should inform your Tier 4 sponsor when your immigration status changes.

Additional Information on switching to a Tier 2 visa from a Tier 4 visa.

Family members of Tier 2 visa holders

Bringing your family – Family members able to come with Tier 2 visa holders include:

-          Your partner/wife/husband

-          Your child under 18 years old

-          Your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant.

Further guidance.


Fees for a Tier 2 (general) visa can vary depending on the length of time on the visa. Along with the cost of the visa a Tier 2 (general) visa application may require the payment of a healthcare surcharge which enables all visa holders to use the NHS. Health surcharge costs can be calculated using the UKVI health surcharge calculator.

Important Note: All future employees must provide evidence of their right to work in the United Kingdom prior to starting work. We have produced some guidance on right to work documentation to make it clearer.

Tier 2 visa holder's responsibilities

When an individual has been provided with a Tier 2 visa they have additional responsibilities, examples of these are to keep their contact details up to date and to make sure all leave is booked through ABW, guidance has been created to help employees. The responsibilities of the visa holder, the line-manager/department and the compliance manager are outlined in full on our Attendance Monitoring Guidance for Tier 2 International Employees.