Here is a quick summary of what you can and can’t do under a Tier 2 visa to make sure you are not breaching any of the laws applying to you as a Tier 2 visa holder.
The Tier 2 UK work visa will allow you:
- to work for a UK company in the job described on the certificate of sponsorship issued by your employer;
- to work in another job either in the same sector and at same level; or in the job in shortage list for a maximum of 20 hours a week along your main current job;
- to work as a volunteer;
- to study as long as it does not interfere with your job;
- to bring family members in the UK on your visa as partners or dependents.
However, there are strict restrictions under this UK work visa that you need to consider before applying. You will not be able to
- own more than 10% shares of the company that is sponsoring you (unless you earn more than £155,300 a year); if you own more than 10% and earn less than £155,300 a year, you might consider the tier 1 category visas (investor, entrepreneur, graduate entrepreneur)
- access public funds or benefits that are given to people on a low income, as well as housing support usually. This means you will have to be able to sustain yourself in the country without any government scheme or help. For example, the following popular benefits will not be available to you:
- income-based jobseeker’s allowance;
- housing benefit
- council tax benefit
Know that years spend in the UK under the tier 2 general visa category are counted as years making you eligible to apply to ILR Indefinite Leave to Remain unlike visas under the tier 4 and 5 category.
However, a new regulation coming next April 2016 will make it compulsory to be paid an annual salary of £35K to apply to ILR under the tier 2 category.