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How to get a UK Tier 2 Work Permit as a US Citizen

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Have you ever dreamed about being an expat in England? As a US citizen it is possible to work in the United Kingdom, once you get a work permit. The UK operates a 'points-based' system, so if you get enough points, under a certain category, you may go to the UK to work. This article provides details about how to apply for the Tier 2 'Sponsored skilled worker' permit. This permit includes four categories: Tier 2 (General), Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), Tier 2 (Sportsperson) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer).

What is meant by each of the four types?

1. Tier 2 (General) -

This category is for skilled workers who are coming to the United Kingdom with a skilled job offer to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a UK worker.

2. Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)

This category is for people who are religious workers within religious organisations and who will perform tasks such as preaching or performing pastoral duties, missionary work or work in a religious order within a community such as a monastery or a convent.

3. Tier 2 (Sportsperson)

This category is for internationally established, elite sports people and coaches at the highest level of their profession who will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport.

4. Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer)

This category is for employees of multi-national companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a United Kingdom based branch of the organisation in a skilled job.


Things You Will Need

For all of the Tier 2 categories you will need:

a sponsor (employer)

a valid certificate of sponsorship from your employer

English language skills

maintenance funds

an application fee of 465 British pounds

2 passport photographs

For General and Intra-company transfers you also need Qualifications and proof of future expected earnings.


Step 1

If you think you qualify under Tier 2, use the free, online points calculator from the UK government to make an initial check


Step 2

You'll need to be able to get a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer or potential employer, so apply for this certifcate or apply for jobs and note on your applications that you'll need this sponsorship. Once you have that, proceed to the application step.


Step 3

Print out the online application and guidance notes from the UK government website found via this UK government site.


Step 4

Fill in parts A and B of the application with your basic demographic details such as name, address, gender, marital status, etc.


Step 5

Personal Information: In part C fill in your passport and nationality details. In part D fill in your past travel history to the UK. In part E fill in any details of past criminal activities. In part F you'll need to enter any details about any dependants you may have.


Step 6

Job Information: In part G you need to enter your Sponsor (Employer's) details, and part H is for your specific job details. Part J is where you specify under which category you would like to apply and part K is where you document your 'attributes' of where you earn your points, including qualifications and possible earning potential.


Step 7

Part L requires you to be able to prove that you have 800 GBP available for 'maintenance', so that you have money to live on in the UK. Part M requires you to prove your credibility with the English language, but your US passport will prove this point.


Step 8

Part N looks for details about public funds, and part P is your declaration that your application is correct and complete.


Step 9

Gather all of the original documents which have been referenced during the application steps (US passport, any birth/marriage certificates, sponsorship certificate, bank statements, payslips, education certificates, photographs, application and fee) and mail it to the UK and then wait.


It is possible to live your international dream of working in the UK. Getting a work permit for the UK may be difficult, but it's not impossible if you follow the guidelines and can meet all of the requirements.

Tips & Warnings

If you can prove that your occupation is on the 'UK Occupation List', you'll get 50 points, so this is a great way to get the needed points.
Never try to work illegally in the UK! It will negatively impact your application if/when you're caught.
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