The UK boasts one of the best economies in the world, a good standard of living, a great health service, and many opportunities, so it is no wonder that many want to relocate to the country to live and work there. The visa process for working in the UK can be complex as there are many different types of visas. At London Visa Consultancy, we are here to walk you step-by-step through the process.

When applying to live and work in the UK, you may need to document your qualifications, evidence any job offers that you may have received, show that you can financially support yourself and that you have a good understanding of the English language so that you can effectively work there. You may also need health certificates and character references to help support your application. You may be able to obtain a visa if you are moving to the UK due to a job offer, are aiming to set up a UK based business, or looking to invest within the country.

UK Visa Types

Those who are highly qualified

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa
  • Tier 1 (Investor) Visa
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa
  • Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa

Skilled workers

  • Skilled Worker Visa (formerly known as the Tier 2 (General) Visa)
  • Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa

you can apply for a Tier 2 Visa (General) if you are outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and have been offered a skilled job in the UK from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship licence. Your proposed employer must be a UK based entity which holds a UKVI sponsorship licence, the list of all sponsor licence holders can be found here. If the prospective employer does not have a sponsor licence, it may be possible to apply for one, please refer to our sponsor licence article in business immigration section for more information.

The applicant must be issued with a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) by his employer. CoS holds information on the migrant and the proposed job. The visa or Leave to Remain (LTR) will be issued for the period stated in CoS. The CoS must also confirm that the applicant will be paid appropriate salary and that the job passed Residence Labour Market Test (RLMT) unless the applicant is switching inside the UK from Tier 4 (General) student visa and meets additional requirements. The CoS will then be used to make an application for Tier 2 (General) visa or LTR.

There is an English language requirement of B1 CEFR and the applicant must show sufficient maintenance of £945 (unless the sponsor is “A-rated” and certified maintenance for the applicant). It is also possible to bring dependants for Tier 2 (General) visa holders.

Tier 2 Visa Point Attributes

You will need to score 70 points in total under the following attributes for your Tier 2 visa application. Criteria Points Details

Criteria Points Details
Valid Certificate of Sponsorship 30 Employer with Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
Appropriate salary 20 Appropriate rate for the job category
English Language 10 English language requirement at least CEFR level B1
Maintenance Funds 10 Maintenance funds of £945 for last 3 Months unless exempt.

Requirements for Tier 2 Visa – General

There are several requirements you need to be careful of while making the Tier 2 work visa application. Generally, the requirements that you need to fulfil to make a Tier 2 General visa application include

  • You should have an offer for a skilled job in the UK
  • The job offer should be from a UK employer holding a valid Tier 2 Sponsor Licence from UKVI
  • The job offer should be from a UK employer holding a valid Tier 2 Sponsor Licence from UKVI
  • You should be assigned with a valid certificate of sponsorship (CoS) number from your employer
  • Your job should pass the Resident Labour Market test (undertaken by your employer). In some cases, a Resident Labour Market test exemption can apply.
  • You should be paid an appropriate salary for your job, above the minimum salary threshold of £20,800.
  • You will need to satisfy English language requirement at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • You will need to show maintenance funds of £945 to support yourself (You should have maintained the funds for a minimum of ninety days) unless you are exempt.
  • You can learn more about these requirements under different headings below.

Certificate of Sponsorship for Tier 2 Visa

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) required for Tier 2 visa application is an electronic record that holds your personal and your job information. A CoS is not a certificate as in a paper document, it’s a digital certificate reference number.
Your employer will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) number that you will need to make a valid Tier 2 Visa application.
The Certificate of Sponsorship reference number is valid for three months from the date of the issue and the CoS reference number can only be used for one application.

Tier 2 General Appropriate salary

You will need to be paid an appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered by your UK employer. You can check the appropriate rate for your job category in the UKVI official codes of practice for skilled work document.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer must also confirm that you will be paid at or above the appropriate rate for the job.

FLR – Further Leave to Remain – Tier 2 Visa Extensions

You can further extend your leave to remain in the UK under the Tier 2 (General) visa. You must apply for the extension before your current leave to remain expires.

In addition to the current permission to stay on Tier 2 (General) visa, you will need to fulfil the following criteria to extend your Tier 2 visa.

You still need to be employed at the same job that you used to obtain the leave to remain or enter the UK. You need to be working for the same employer with a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence who sponsored for your application.

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa is for young adults from participating countries and territories who wish to experience life in the United Kingdom for a period of up to two years. Dependants are not eligible to apply on the Youth Mobility Scheme visa route and it is not a route that leads directly to settlement in the UK. 

Requirements for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa

In order to qualify for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

You are aged between 18 and 30 on the date of the application;

You are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, or San Marino or are a British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen or British National (Overseas) (nb. from 1 January 2022, Indian and Icelandic nationals will also be eligible to apply – see Youth Mobility Scheme Opening to Citizens of India and Iceland);

If you are a citizen of India applying after 1 January 2022, you hold an education qualification equal to or above RQF level 6 or have a minimum of three years’ work experience in a professional role equivalent to an eligible occupation listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations;

You have funds of £2,530 which you have held for a 28 day period within the 31 days before your application;

You do not have any children under 18 who are living with you or are financially dependent on you;

You have not previously been in the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme route;

You have paid the visa application fee and Immigration Health Charge and provided any required biometric information;

You have taken a tuberculosis test, if required;

You do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

Seasonal Workers

Seasonal Worker Visa (Tier 5)

Seasonal Worker Visas are for those who are aiming to travel for work only for a short time (up to 6 months). This usually includes work such as farm work during the Harvest season. Applicants for this visa must be over the age of 18 and have an employer willing to sponsor them.

General Information

The UK Seasonal Worker visa is suitable for people, over 18, who wish to go to the UK to do farm work for up to 6 months. You can enter the United Kingdom as soon as your visa is valid (up to 14 days before the start date of your job).

It’s important to note that you cannot stay in the country for longer than 6 months in any 12-month period on this visa.

You can only apply for the Seasonal Worker Visa within 3 months of the start date of your employment.

In order to apply for this visa, you must be over 18, have a sponsor employer and meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.


In order to be eligible for this visa, you must:
Have a Certificate of sponsorship assigned to you by your employer (i.e sponsor)
Show you have enough money to support yourself in the UK - you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt).


In order to apply for the UK Seasonal Worker visa you will need:
A valid passport (your passport should have at least 6 months validity remaining and should have at least one blank page)
A Certificate of sponsorship assigned to you by your sponsor employer