Tier 2 Visa Guidelines

The basic principle for your Tier 2 visa application is to keep it simple.


What is Tier 2 Visa?

Tier 2 visa is our work visa. We are not allowed to work in the UK on visit visa or on PLAB visa. Tier 2 visa allows us to work in the UK.


When is Tier 2 Visa Needed?

After accepting your first job in the UK you will apply for your Tier 2 visa (unless you are already allowed to work in the UK). Whenver we switch jobs, it is very easy to renew Tier 2 visa.


Category of Visa

Tier 2 (General) Visa – General Migrant for 3 years.


Documents Needed for Tier 2 Visa

Documents Needed Beforehand

Before you begin your Tier 2 visa application, you should make sure that you have the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Sponsorship (valid for 3 months)
  2. TB Clearance Certificate (valid for 6 months)
  3. Police Clearance Certificate (valid for 6 months)
  4. IELTS UKVI academic certificate (valid for 2 years)
  5. Letter of maintenance (optional).


Letter of Maintenance

You can ask your trust’s HR to issue a letter of maintenance to you, certifying that they will take care of your expenses and accommodation before you get your first paycheque. However, as long as they have mentioned this on the certificate of sponsorship, you do not need a separate letter of maintenance from the trust.


Other Documents

You can check the complete list of documents I submitted for my visa application to get an idea of what to submit along with your application.


Cover Letter

You can check my cover letter for my Tier 2 visa application to get an idea of how to write your cover letter.


The Points System

Tier 2 Visa is a points-based visa. You need to score 70 points to be eligible for the visa. Scoring 70 points does not guarantee visa clearance, though.


1. Shortage Occupation 30 points
2. RLMT 30 points
3. Salary of £159,600 or more 30 points
4. Appropriate Salary* 20 points
5. English Language* 10 points
6. Maintenance* 10 points
Total Needed 70 points

*Point number 4, 5 and 6 are discussed below. Point number 1, 2, 3 and 6 are mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship.


Appropriate Salary

You must be paid at least £30,000 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher. Check the appropriate rate for the job you’ve been offered.


English Language

You must score at least 4.0 overall in IELTS UKVI Academic or you can apply for UK NARIC.



What is maintenance?

Maintenance includes two things:

  1. Funds.
  2. Accommodation.

The UK government wants to know that you will be able to support yourself financially before you get your first pay cheque and that you will have a place to stay in the UK. They want to make sure that you will not be a burden on the UK government during your first month of stay before you get your salary.


Can my hospital provide maintenance for me?

Most hospitals are able to provide maintenace. In case they are not, you will have to arrange your own funds and accommodation for your first month.


How do I know if my hospital will provide maintenance to me?

You can ask your hospital HR during your recruitment process if the hospital will provide maintenance.


How will my hospital declare that they will provide for my maintenance?

Most NHS trusts mention on the certificate of sponsorship if they will provide maintenance to the employee. You should get in touch with your HR and discuss this in detail to make things clear for you.


If your hospital IS providing maintenance for you

In case you are being provided maintenance by your sponsor, your sponsor must be a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor, which most NHS trusts are. But it is best to confirm this by checking the list of fully approved sponsors.

In this case, you do not need to show your bank account in your visa application and you can mention the hospital address as your accommodation address in your visa application.


If your hospital is NOT providing maintenance for you

In this case, you must have £945 in your bank account for 90 days or more before you apply for your visa and you will have to arrange your own accommodation as well.

You should contact your HR to discuss the accommodation situation with them. Sometimes the HR is able to arrange accommodation or provide us with contacts who can arrange accommodation.


The Visa Process

The procedure is very similar to the procedure for PLAB 2 visa. I have discussed it in detail in a separate post here.


What You Do NOT Need

You do not need to show the following to the entry clearance officer as they know that you are going to the UK to work.

  1. Strong ties to home country.
  2. Employment in your home country.
  3. Strong bank balance.



Tier 2 visa application is very different from PLAB 2 visa application. There is a very small margin of visa rejection for Tier 2 application. Tier 2 applications are only rejected if the applicant makes a blunder. Like I said above, the most important rule is to keep the application simple.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it necessary to submit my passport at the visa office?

A few visa offices offer the service where you do not have to submit your passport. This is ideal for people who wish to travel elsewhere during the coming weeks and do not feel comfortable in submitting their passport. You should check with your local visa office if this service is available to you.


2. Is it necessary that I must have 70 points?



3. Is it certain that I will get my visa if I score 70 points?

No, your application will still be judged based on your circumstances and your past. However, scoring 70 points is a must to get visa approval.


4. For how long do I need to have savings of £945 in my bank account?

If your hospital is not providing you with maintenance, then you must have personal savings of at least £945, which must have been held for 90 consecutive days (finishing on the date of the closing balance), ending no more than 31 days before the date of their application to score 10 points for maintenance.

23 thoughts on “Tier 2 Visa Guidelines

  1. Congratulations on your Tier 2 visa Dr Naseer. How long did it take you to receive your Tier 2 visa from date of submission?

  2. My hospital is providing maintenance and its an A rated hospital .
    I have applied to accomodation but on waiting list .
    My question is i just need to right hospital address in my accomodation . Would that be ok ? because i havent been allocated any accomodation yet in real (still on waiting and its months long ) , in real case scenario i am looking for my own accomodation. Or do i need to attach hotel reservation / tenancy agreement ,

    1. The maintenance provided by the hospital includes providing finances and accommodation to you until you find your feet at the new place. So you are safe. Just mention the hospital address.

      All the best! 🙂

  3. Hi Naseer, I have heard that for the visa we also have to pay a 500 pound healthcare surcharge. Does this mean we get free access to healthcare and for those of us with chronic conditions our medicines will be free? For example I have diabetes so will those medicines be free of cost along with my regular gp/obgyn visits and preventive medicine screenings. Ty have a good evening friend.

    1. Since the UK is a welfare state, healthcare is free for everyone, including doctors who are working there on Tier 2 visa.

      And yes, we do pay a fee of £200 per year as Immigration Health Surcharge.

      I don’t know exactly which health facilities will be free for you. You can write to the Home Office to clear your doubts. 😊

  4. Can you please highlight if we’re applying for tier 2 visa with a dependant or spouse how would that be different from this normally tier 2? Please help me with this.

  5. Hi Dr. Naseer, thank you very much for this incredibly informative blog! I have a question about the UKVI IELTS. I did the IELTS academic exam last year for the purpose of PLAB exam. Would this not suffice for the Tier 2 visa application or do I have to do another IELTS exam that’s specific for the visa? Thanks.

  6. Hi, Dr Naseer, your blog has been a huge source of information and help. Kindly help clarify this issue of Tier 2 visa validity, I have been offered a contract of 6months, does this mean I can only apply for 1 yr and have to renew again every yr

    Also, can i conduct my TB test before i apply for visa application officially. Thank you so much

  7. After clearing PLAB2 and getting a tier 2 visa
    how will I be eligible for UK citizenship?
    is it necessary to hav a british spouse?

    1. 1. By working in the UK at a salary of more than £35,000 per year for 5-7 years.
      2. No, it is not.

      1. i have question with start date on the COS. It was issued 31 January and start date is 5 February. lam still waiting for letter from Naric and l anticipate that it will come in late. What can l do about that and will visa be denied if l delay applying. l know that the COS is valid for 3 months but in my case what are the implications if l apply in a week or two weeks time after the start date on the COS. wIll l be refused visa and will l be granted entry

  8. Can we go to uk on tourist visa and attempt plab 1 and 2?
    If the tourist visa runs out before plab 2 can we reapply?

      1. Is there any special preparation for plab1 visa as compared to plab 2visa.Is plab 1 visa difficult to get.

  9. Congrats Nasser. Please if my spouse is not going to relocate to the UK now but will probably be ready to do so in about 2 to 3 years time, do you advice that i apply for him as a dependant now or i wait untim he is ready to relocate? Thanks.

  10. I plan to go to UK for ID check at GMC on play 2 visa, fortunately I have job offer but not the COS, so can I apply for tier 2 visa while in the U.K.

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