How to obtain a Tier 2 ‘Work Permit’ in the UK?
By shanthi-law, Jun 11 2012 04:00PM
Broadly, the procedure to be followed can be outlined as follows:
First, if your prospective or proposed employer does not already have the required Tier 2 licence, they should apply to be included in the Tier 2 Register of Sponsors. This entails completing an application online and then submitting the hardcopies of all the specified list of evidence (with the current appropriate fee, which is expected to increase from 14th June 2012) to enable the UK Border Agency to determine your employer's application to be permitted to employ foreign workers from outside the European Economic Area. Further details of the procedure (including the process that will need to be followed to obtain one of the Certificate(s) of Sponsorship to employ you post-recognition) is set out in the current Sponsors Guidance Note (due to be updated in June 2012).
Second, once your employer has been granted a licence, they are required to issue a prospective employee who they wish to employ under the Tier 2 (General) Points Based System a document called a 'Certificate of Sponsorship' (‘CoS’) using the online-interface with the UKBA utilising the access keys they will be given on recognition (referring to the various online guides for assistance, if necessary).
Before being able to issue a valid CoS however, your employer must ensure that the position, job title/description and pay-scale, etc. meet the requirements set out either in the Shortage Occupation List or the Standard Occupational Classification (also set to be updated in June 2012) or its associated requirements (like the job descriptions contained within the NHS Employment website) and the necessity to comply with the resident labour market test (or advertising) requirement, if applicable (which, if you are a Tier 1 (PSW)-status holder or fall within a set of other limited exceptions, you do not have to). Though this brings the work of your employer in the process to an end somewhat, they should nevertheless keep abreast of developments by following the ‘Employer’ news feed on the UKBA website and honour the strict terms of their licence, type/scope of immigration offences, civil penalties and documents to be retained.
Thereafter, thirdly, you are required to make an application for a visa (the type of application varying on whether you are applying in-country or out-of-country, with their associated guidance – due for update on 14 June 2012) scoring the required 30 points for attributes (which, you will automatically attain if you currently have PSW-status), scoring 20 points or more under salary and then scoring the required 10 points for holding the necessary £800.00 (+ additional sum for any dependent) consistently for the preceding three months of the application which is due to increase on 14th June 2012. An ad hoc idea of what score you will likely score can be gathered from accessing the UKBA’s online PBS Calculator.
These are general points and are designed to give you an overview of the processes involved and is no substitute to individually particularised advice. By its nature, this area of law is subject to frequent change and we would always urge that readers keep abreast of the UKBA News RSS feed which you can find here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-and-updates/
 Nationals of the EEA countries [currently consisting of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden (plus the non-EU nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the UK] have automatic rights of free movement, to access services, etc. provided they fall into one of the specified categories (see our note on ‘EEA Rights’ for further information).