If your company is expanding into the UK, it’s time to learn about the requirements for hiring new team members and how to obtain a Tier 2 General Visa. This visa is the main UK immigration route for skilled workers entering the region, which means this is your best bet for onboarding foreign nationals or expats. This visa gives workers the ability to accept your company’s job offer and remain compliant from an immigration standpoint.
Helping Employees Obtain a Tier 2 General Visa
As the employer, you have a large role in helping your team members obtain a Tier 2 General Visa. The primary requirement for the application is a written job offer and certificate of sponsorship from your company, the UK employer. Your firm will also need to obtain a Tier 2 sponsorship license.
You can hire employees in your overseas market quickly and efficiently by working with an International PEO (Professional Employer Organization). Working directly with a provider specializing in international expansion helps you stay compliant and manage all of the complexities associated with hiring overseas – such as obtaining visas for your team members.
Tier 2 General Visa Eligibility Requirements
Foreign nationals and expats can apply for a Tier 2 General Visa if they:
- Have a skilled job offer in the UK.
- Are a citizen of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
To receive sponsorship from your company, the prospective employee must have sufficient funds available in their bank account in order to sustain themselves while living and working in the UK.
Also, the employee can apply for the visa up to three months before their start date. Note that the application approval process can take up to three weeks. Make arrangements accordingly when hiring new talent in your new country. You should get a decision on your visa within three weeks when you apply from outside the UK.
Your Employee Has a Visa: Now What?
After approval, Tier 2 General Visa holders can work in the UK for a maximum of five years and 14 days, or the time allotted on their certificate of sponsorship plus one month.
The team member must start working for your company no more than 14 days before the start date listed on their application paperwork.
If the time comes for your team member to extend their visa application, you can help them extend the visa for up to another five years. Note that the final stay cannot be longer than a total of six years.
As mentioned, you can simplify the Tier 2 General Visa application and management process by working with a team of experts, like us at Velocity Global. Our International PEO service helps HR professionals manage their team’s compliance requirements in overseas markets, like the UK.
Give us a call today to learn more about our services!