International Work Permits represent Tier 2 migrants with visa applications, applications for extension of stay and indefinite leave to remain (ILR).  In most instances, we can present your case on a same day basis in one of the numerous Premium Service Centres (PSC) dotted around the UK (the most popular being the Croydon PSC in Greater London)

Tier 2 (General) is the route for skilled workers who have received a job offer from a UK based registered employer, formerly known as simply a work permit sponsorship visa.

From 6 April 2011, this route has been “capped” for new entrants: only 20,700 new migrants will be allocated certificates of sponsorship in the 12 months between 6 April 2015 and 5 April 2016.  The annual cap is divided into 12 monthly limits.  The demand for places is typically at its highest during the month of April.   The “cap” does not apply to those who are already part of the UK labour market (i.e. Tier 2 (General) migrants extending their stay or changing employment, Tier 4 migrants, and Post-Study Work migrants). High earners (those with an annual salary of £155,300 or more) are also exempt from the limit.

New Tier 2 (General) migrants can only be sponsored for NQF level 6 jobs with a minimum salary as prescribed in the applicable SOC code for Tier 2, but not below £20,800 per year.  The only exception to this rule applies to pre-registration candidate nurses who must be paid at least £16,271 by their sponsors while doing their supervised practice and £21,478 thereafter.

Tier 2 migrants are entitled to bring their spouse or unmarried partner and children to the UK.  No other dependants are allowed. Dependants of Tier 2 (General) migrants are entitled to take up employment without any restrictions.  However, they cannot switch in-country to any other category and have no independent right to remain in the UK if the main applicant leaves the country.

For all Tier 2 applicants it is important to know about restrictions on re-entering the UK on completion of their sponsored employment or decision not to take up sponsored employment after the visa is issued.  A migrant who spends more than three months in the UK under Tier 2 before leaving the country is not allowed to re-enter in the same category for 12 months. However, they are allowed to extend their stay in the UK for a maximum of six years.

Settlement is available after five years in this category (or a combination of qualifying categories) and is equally open to the spouse/unmarried partner on completion of five years’ residence.  Children can also apply along with their parents, however, if they were born in the UK, you might be able to skip ILR and go straight for the Children's British citizenship. International Work Permits can clarify the best options available to you and your family.

Contact us to see if this is possible. A FREE assessment is given to all Tier 2 General ILR applicants. Please note, Tier 2 ICT does not qualify for ILR in most instances. For further information on Tier 2 ICT switching and rules on applying for ILR, please click our ICT blog

Alternatively, please contact Chris Houghton on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (personally registered with the OISC since 2004 and experienced in overseeing 1000s of ILR applications)


Do not risk the disappointment and stress of refusal, when this can be avoided by a simple, no-obligation phone call: +44 (0) 207 866 8170