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Tier 2 Sponsor License

Tier 2 work permit Visas - tier 2 general/Tier 2 intra-company transfer

As explained in the previous section, the Tier 2 scheme has replaced the old Work Permit scheme. As also explained, the UK employer has to fulfil various criteria before the skilled non-EEA national is in a position to make an application to the UK Border Agency, either in the UK or outside the UK, for Tier 2 Migrant leave so that they can work for the employer. In addition to these requirements the employer may have to advertise the relevant position in an appropriate medium so as to provide the maximum opportunity for workers settled in the UK to apply for the position.

There are two broad categories of Tier 2 Migrant: Tier 2 General Migrant and Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Migrant.

A Tier 2 General Migrant is a skilled worker who has been recruited (either in the UK or abroad) by a UK employer and who has been granted immigration leave in that capacity.

A Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Migrant, by contrast, is a person who was already employed by a foreign branch of an international company, and the company has transferred them to work for the UK branch of the company because of their specialist skills, and they have been granted immigration leave in that capacity.

Initial leave may be granted to a Tier 2 Migrant for differing periods, but the maximum amount of leave that can be granted is three years or slightly more. In some cases it is possible for a Tier 2 Migrant to apply to extend their leave. And in some cases a Tier 2 Migrant (who may also have been previously been granted Work Permit leave under the old rules) may, after five years of continuous leave, be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

However, the Government is making the immigration rules more restrictive for certain types of visa holder, including Tier 2 Migrants. One of the ways in which they have restricted Tier 2 Migrants is to reduce the possibility of Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Migrants acquiring Indefinite Leave to Remain.

These rules are fairly complicated, and there may be further restrictions introduced in the future but, at the present time, Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Migrants are only eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years if they have previously been granted leave under rules that applied before April 2010. The effect of this rule is that, eventually, no Tier 2 Intra-Company Migrants will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Tier 2 General Migrants do not currently have any such restrictions but the rules may change in future.

There is in some cases, but not all, an English language requirement for Tier 2 Migrants, and dependants may be included in the application.

Business visitor

A Business Visitor comes to the UK specifically for business-related purposes rather than just tourism, under the standard Visitor visa. Someone who comes from a non-visa national country can come to the UK as a Business Visitor without first obtaining a visa, but someone who comes from a visa national country must obtain a visa before they come to the UK. However, a non-visa national is still entitled to apply for a visa, and they might wish to do so in order facilitate easy entry into the UK.

The range of activities allowed on a Business Visitor visa is strictly limited.

To find out more about the above, you are welcome to call us on 020 8566 5522 for a preliminary informal discussion of your matter. We may ask you to send us further information about your matter either by fax on 020 8566 5511 or by email at so that we may get a fuller picture of your circumstances.

After this initial discussion, you may wish to book an appointment for a full consultation via SKYPE or ideally at our offices located at 7 Central Chambers, The Broadway, Ealing, W5 2NR. We are directly opposite Ealing Broadway tube and railway station.

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