This scheme is aimed at skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area who have a full time job offer from a UK employer.

The application consists of four stages.

STAGE 1 - Joining the Register of Sponsors

In order for a UK company to be able to employ non-UK and EEA nationals, you will firstly need to apply for a Sponsorship License and add your company to the UK Border Agency official Register of Sponsors.

In order to do this, you will need to make an application to the UK Border Agency and submit various supporting documentation to show that your company exists and has a legitimate UK trading presence. Such documents would include (but are not limited to): audited accounts, p

remises / office lease, VAT certificate, and recent bank statements.

This process, on average can take up to 16 weeks and the UK Border Agency Fee for this is currently £500 for a small company or £1,500 for a large company. Those fees are refundable should the application be unsuccessful.

STAGE 2 - The Resident Labour Market Test

Unless you intend to pay your employee at least £150,000 pa or more, you will be required to test the resident UK and EU labour markets by way of placing advertisements. The advertisements need to run for at least 28 days. There are strict guidelines as to what information needs to be included in the advertisement. Where you advertise very much depends on the nature of the role on offer.

STAGE 3 - Allocating the Certificate of Sponsorship


Once your employer has been granted your sponsorship license, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).
A certificate of sponsorship is not a paper certificate; it is a "virtual document" with a unique reference number which you issue to your prospective employee so that they can apply for permission to enter the UK if they are overseas (known as "entry clearance"), or permission to stay in the UK if they are already here (known as "Leave to remain").
The COS contains all the necessary information regarding the job and details about the employer. The cost of applying for a COS is currently £175 and can take up to 2 weeks.

STAGE 4 - Making the Tier 2 Application

Subsequent to a UK employer issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship, the prospective employee can then apply for permission to live and work in the UK. The employee's application is assessed on the following criteria;

Future expected earnings;
Sponsorship;
English language skills; and
Available maintenance (funds)
.

Applicants who are resident outside the UK will need to make their applications to the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission (also known as "Entry Clearance").

Applicants who are resident in the UK need to apply directly to the UK Border Agency (also known as "Leave to Remain"). Processing times can vary greatly if applying from outside the UK. For "in country" applications, processing times stand at around 3 - 4 weeks.

If your application is successful you will be granted either Entry Clearance or Leave to Remain. Those applying from within the UK will also receive a biometric ID card.

Please note that you can choose any or all of the above stages.

How Takeoff Immigration and Visa can help you

We look at all of the relevant information surrounding your case, putting all the pieces together. Every case has its own merits, therefore, it is of the utmost importance that they analyse and assess your individual circumstances before they take your case forward. Only then, will they fully inform you on what they will do next and you are allocated a Senior Legal Caseworker.


The collation of documents is the back bone of your case, as it helps to strengthen and validate your UK Visa application. Our  Senior Caseworker will give you unrestricted access to a unique Case Management System, so you can raise any concerns you may have. It will also allow you to send important documents from the comfort of your home or office, 24 hours a day. No need for appointments.


Once the documents have been collated, the Senior Caseworker will then apply legal representation, applying the latest immigration rules to your application. This alone could be the difference in your application being rejected or granted. It's in these very important legal representations that our Barristers will use the expertise that they have honed, through submitting thousands of successful UK Visa applications, in presenting your case.



The Home Office makes their decisions based on the documents and legal representations that are presented to them. In most instances they don't get to meet you in person, hence the importance that the documents that our Senior Case Worker submit to them, contain relevant facts about your case that are further validated and strengthened by applying current UK Immigration Law.


It does not stop there. Once your application is submitted, our Senior Caseworker  will closely monitor the progress of your application with the deliberating body until a decision has been reached. They will then notify you of the outcome, so you are up-to-date on any information regarding your UK Visa application.


Contact a member of our Team  0203 283 8742.

Tier 2 - Work Permit