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This is the main immigration route for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who wish to work in a graduate level job in the UK. A Tier 2 visa is linked to a specific employer and job in the UK, therefore, if you change jobs, you will need to apply for a new Tier 2 visa.

In order to apply under Tier 2 (General), you must have an offer of employment and meet all the following requirements:

  • your employer must have a Tier 2 sponsor licence

  • your job must have a particular skill level

  • you must have successfully completed your course – you must have a UK-recognised Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree, or have completed the first year of a PhD

  • there is a minimum wage level of £20,800 (or £30,000 for certain applicants), though, importantly, this depends on the job and can be higher

  • usually the job must have been advertised as required by UKVI, but most Tier 4 students who have graduated recently are exempt from this advertising requirement (the ‘resident labour market test’)

  • you have to prove that you have English language skills (you meet this requirement if you have a UK degree) and meet maintenance requirements.

You can switch into a Tier 2 from Tier 4 from within the UK if you continue to hold a valid Tier 4 visa and meet all other eligibility requirements under the Tier 2 route.

You can find more information about the Tier 2 visa category on the GOV.UK website.


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