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Tier 2 (General) Worker

Most students will be expected to apply under Tier 2 (General) Worker. Students will need to meet most of the current requirements, except they will not be subject to Resident Labour Market Tests – which means employers will not need to show that there is no individual in the settled labour market that could do the job before offering it to a recent international graduate.


In order to switch into a Tier 2 visa from within the UK you must meet the following requirements:

  • a Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Postgraduate Diploma in Education issued from a HEI with a Tier 4 sponsor license, or
  • have completed a PhD or at least 12 months of a PhD
  • a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a company on the list of Tier 2 Home Office sponsors
  • earn a minimum of £20,800 per year
  • Be able to show that you have held a minimum of £945 in a bank account in your name for a period of 90 consecutive days prior to applying

How to apply

Before applying you should read the Tier 2 Policy Guidance carefully.

In order to switch into a Tier 2 visa in the UK you will need to complete either the online or paper application form on the Home Office website.

In addition to completing the application form, you will need to submit the following documentation:

  • passport/ID card
  • a passport photograph
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • a degree certificate or transcript
  • financial evidence as stated above

Decisions are usually made within eight weeks for online and postal applications.

How long can I stay in the UK

The visa will be issued for up to five years depending upon the length of your employment.

You can apply to extend for a further period of leave if you are still employed at the time of your visa expiring.


You can have your dependent(s) with you in the UK on a Tier 2 (General) Worker visa.

Information on financial requirements and how to apply can be found on the Home Office website.


Applying by post or online in the UK – £1,302

Applying via a in person premium appointment – £1,702


Applying by post or online in the UK – £1,302 (each person)

Applying via a in person premium appointment – £1,702 (each person)

For further information please contact Student Support.


Student Support Office

+44 (0)20 7590 4140

[email protected]


Home Office