How to – Tier 2 General Migrant Visa
After basically memorising the UK border patrol website, here are the steps you need to take to get a Tier 2 General Migrant work visa if you are an American Citizen.
You absolutely have to have a company sponsored work visa to do any sort of work in the UK and it is extremely hard to get one unless you transfer with your company. In order to do an internal transfer, you also have had to be with your company for a minimum of 2 years. Many people won’t even interview anyone that is not from the EU as it is very hard to get the visa and it takes minimum 3 months to get one after you have already been offered the job. Here are the things that go into it.
After the employer decides to hire an American, they have to prove that someone in the EU cannot fill the job and that the American can do it better. This take minimum 28 days where they must advertise on a variety of websites including ones that are required from the UKBA and interview other people. The only way around the 28 days is if the occupation is on the job shortage list, which can be found on the UK border site. Still no guarantee on the visa, but would shorten the amount of time a person would need to wait.
Once the company can prove that no, there is no one else qualified, they have to apply for a certificate of sponsorship. This takes minimum 1 month, but will most likely take 2-3 more if they have not been through the process previously.
Once the certificate is awarded if all the paperwork was done right at this point, then your the applicant will have to apply for their visa. This is when you get your finger prints done and sends in all your paperwork. This takes minimum 2 weeks, but more likely 1 month and you also would need to send in your passport for this.
If the UK Border control officer is satisfied with everything you will be awarded a 3 year work visa. Please note: this visa is non-transferrable. Therefore if you want to remain in the UK on a Tier 2 General Migrant visa, you must stay with the same employer. There is a law that states, once your visa expires, or if you want to change jobs, you must have a 1 year cooling off period. This means, you must go back to the USA for 1 year before you can apply for another visa to work in the UK.