Staff Immigration

Tier 2 (General)

Tier 2 (General) is the route which enables UK employers to employ nationals from outside the resident workforce to fill particular jobs which cannot be filled by settled workers. You must have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an organisation that is a licensed sponsor in the UK.

In order to enter to the UK as a Tier 2 sponsored worker, there are various criteria you and the University, as your sponsor, must meet.

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Points requirement

In order to apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa, you must be able to demonstrate that you meet the points requirement.  In order to apply for a Tier 2 (General) you must obtain 70 points as below:

Attributes Description Your points
Sponsorship Do you have a Certificate of Sponsorship? 30
Salary Does the offer meet the salary requirements? 20
Total (50 points required)
English language If you are from a majority English speaking country you can automatically claim ten points for English language skills.
If you are not from a majority English speaking country, you can claim points either for an English language test, or a degree taught in English equivalent to a Bachelor's degree or above in the UK.
Total (10 points required)
Maintenance You must have £945 of available funds in your account and these funds must have been continuously in your account for a period of 90 consecutive days when you apply. 10
Total (10 point required)

An online points calculator can be found at:

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

A Certificate of Sponsorship is not an actual certificate or paper document, but is a virtual document, similar to a database record. When we assign a Certificate of Sponsorship we will give you a reference number which you will need to use when applying for your visa.

You must have a valid CoS reference number before you can apply under Tier 2. By assigning a Certificate of Sponsorship, we confirm to the best of our knowledge that you are able to and intend to undertake a particular job.

A CoS is valid when assigned to you and which has not been used in a previous application. You can only have one Certificate of Sponsorship assigned to you at a time.

Certifying Maintenance

The University is able to certify maintenance for individuals sponsored under Tier 2 of the points based system.

For further information please refer to the Certifying Maintenance Policy and Procedure

Visa application

Visa applications can be made through various routes and will depend on the visa processing centre and current immigration status in the UK.

When applying from outside of the UK, Visa applications must be made to the British Consulate in the country where you currently reside.

Please note: this does not have to be your country of origin.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website, or you may wish to contact your British Consulate.  It is advisable to ensure you have all the correct, original documentation prior to commencing a visa application.

Roles and responsibilities

It is essential that we as your employer, and you as a Tier 2 visa holder, comply with any rules and conditions associated with sponsorship and you understand your responsibilities as a sponsored worker.

Change of employer

If you are sponsored under Tier 2 or Tier 5 and you wish to change employer (where the conditions of leave allow this), you must make a new application supported by a CoS from your new sponsor. The exception is if you are moving to a new sponsor with Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment (TUPE) or similar protection to continue in the same job. Once you have been assigned a CoS to change employment, you must then make a new visa application. Your application must be approved before you can start work in your new job.  This applies whether the new job is with the same sponsor or a new sponsor. You can continue working in your original job, for your original sponsor (provided your last leave or authorisation has not expired or you have made an application in time) until the start date of the new job, as stated on your new CoS.

Cooling off period

If you have been sponsored under Tier 2 and your leave has ended or expired, you must wait 12 months before applying again under any Tier 2 category. This is called the ‘cooling off period’.

The cooling off period applies where:

  1. you are overseas and your last grant of Tier 2 leave has expired or ended, or
  2. you are in the UK and had an earlier period of Tier 2 leave, but then switched into a different immigration category and now wishes to apply again under Tier 2.


Immigration - © University of Kent

The Registry, The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 824998

Last Updated: 18/02/2016

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