You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if:
- you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
You need to be sponsored - ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor - before you can apply to come to the UK to work.
The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
How long it will take
You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK.
You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.
You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.
How much you pay for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.
|Who you’re applying for||Apply||Extend or switch by post||Extend or switch in person (premium service)|
|If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia||£445||£520||£895|
|Your partner or child under 18 applying at the same time as you||£494 each person||£434 each person||£809 each person|
|Your partner or child under 18 applying later, or child over 18||£494 each person||£578 each person||£953 each person|
How long you can stay
You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 3 years and 1 month, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.
You can apply to extend this visa for another 3 years.
What you can and can’t do
- work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
- do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
- do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week
- do voluntary work
- study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring family members with you
- own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares
- get public funds
- start working before you get the visa
- apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor
You’ll need to make a new application if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same sector as your main job.