For those who are looking to move to the UK in order to work and be employed for a UK business or company with the view of settling in the UK, i.e. obtaining Permanent Residence and Indefinite Leave to Remain, then potentially acquire British citizenship, this article should help up understand how the process really work in the UK.

Moving to the UK to work and settle is a process that is done under the Tier 2 (General) arrangements immigration route. An applicant may be eligible to apply for a visa/leave to enter and remain in the UK as an employee of a UK company, also known as Sponsor. In a separate article we will deal with how a UK company obtain the Sponsor Licence status to be able to bring employed migrants to the UK in the first place.


An applicant may be granted leave to enter and remain in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) migrant for a period ranging from 1 to 6 years provided that they have been offered employment by a UK Licensed Sponsor/Employer.


A UK Licensed Sponsor is an employer who has granted a special licence from the Home Office (government) which enables that employer to sponsor migrant workers from outside the Europe and from outside the UK after Brexit.


As an applicant who is looking to move to the UK under the Tier 2 (General) route, especially when accompanied by family, one has to consider the followings aspects; I call them the EPSA; Employer, Position, Salary and Ability to Settle.


The Employer: whether the Employer has already got a sponsor licence in place or they would need to apply for one, as this may take between 2 and 4 months to process and obtain. Assuming the employer is successful in his application, there is legal and government fees associated with the process and some employer will think and hard before committing to engaging in the process and incur hefty fees especially that they have not yet test the potential of the new employee. Even if the employer has a Sponsor Licence in place, the question would be, do they have the capacity to employ more workers, i.e. apply and obtain new Certificate of Sponsorship. Do they have a justification for requesting additional employee from overseas?


The Position: The position has to be an approved job that is listed by the UK government as a needed skill in the UK. Currently positions that are below certain skill level would not qualify for to come or stay in the UK. The current skill level is Level 


The Salary: There is a minimum national salary threshold that employer has to offer and pay to their prospective employees coming from outside the UK.


Ability to Settle: Is the employment likely to continue with the employer to be able to obtain settlement and indefinite leave to remain in the UK for 5 years.


As part of the requirements under the Tier 2 (General) Migrant Worker category, an applicant will be required to provide the following:

  1. A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an approved UK employer who has a valid Sponsor Licence.  As indicated above, the employer must be an approved licensed sponsor and the job offered must meet specific skill criteria, currently Level 6 NVQ, unless the position is listed on the Shortage Occupation List.

Example of Level 6 Positions:  

  • Business Development Manager
  • Accounts Manager
  • Arts Officer
  •  Journalist
  • Production Manager
  • Construction Manager
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Electric Engineer
  • IT project manager
  • Software Developer

Examples of Shortage Positions:

  • Medical Nurse
  • Physical Scientist
  • Medical Practitioner
  •  Artist
  • Musician
  • Oil& Gas Mechanical Engineer

       2. The UK employer who is acting as a licensed sponsor will also be required to provide evidence to confirm that the Resident Labour Market Test (i.e. advertising) had been completed for a minimum period of 28 days at two medium of advertising including the Find A Job portal.


       3. An applicant will have to provide evidence of passing an approved English Language Test at at least Level B1 of CEFR unless they can provide acceptable evidence of holding a Bachelor degree or higher that is considered to be taught in English by NARIC.

       4. An applicant would also be required to provide evidence that they have at least £945 that has been available for a consecutive period of 90 days before submitting the application. Additional funds will be required to show if accompanied by dependant family.

      5. An applicant would need to show evidence their academic background, qualifications and previously employment to demonstrate their suitability to confirm that the proposed UK employment is relevant and genuine.


For those with a genuine enquiry, you can contact us to discuss your individual case in depth and find out how GOOD ADVICE UK can assist you or your prospective employer.



The above summary and explanation is for information purposes only and subject to policy changes in line with the immigration rules. This summary does not in any way constitute legal advice as every application is unique and rules and policies are frequently updated.

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