Finally the pieces are falling into places. Gradually your dream of working in the United Kingdom as a doctor is coming true. It is just one step away, and that step is – getting the Tier 2 visa. And in this article we are going to talk about
The UK Tier Visa system is a points-based visa category system. Applicants must score a minimum number of points on an assessment test to be eligible for a visa. The test takes into consideration such factors as age, fluency in the English language, and other factors dependent on the specific Tier under which you apply.
There are five Tier visas (Tier 1-5). As doctors, we are considered skilled workers, and thus are entitled to obtain a Tier 2 visa.
What do I need to apply for a Tier 2 visa
The documents that you need for the application are:
- Certificate of sponsorship (CoS)
- Criminal records certificate
- TB clearance certificate (based on your country of residence)
With the first two in hand, you can start the online application process.
Steps of the visa application
The visa application has the following steps:
- Online application
- Submission at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) with supporting documents
- Collection of British Resident Permit (BRP) in the UK.
When and how can I apply for it?
As mentioned above, with the CoS and a valid proof of English language proficiency at hand, you can start the online application process. Remember that the validity of the CoS in three months. So you will have to apply within that time.
Recently UKVI has transferred there service for applying all sorts of visa in GovUK website. For your visa, you select Tier 2 (General) in the visa type selection. Remember that, for your partner and children, the visa type is PBS Dependent – Partner visa & PBS Dependent – Child visa respectively.
The online process was done by BOTH GovUK and Visa4UK websites previously. We have discussed about the process in the Visa4UK website. From the following discussion you will be able to answer the questions in the GovUK website application as well.
- Register an account with your information in their website as it will save your applications as and when you make it.
- Apply for myself > Continue (accepting all their terms and conditions), will have you come across more sections to fill, most of which maybe already filled except for your passport number and date of intended travel.
- Date of intended travel: This is an important date as possibly you will get the entry clearance for one month starting from this date. Your CoS has a start date, but in most of the cases the date isn’t fixed (but make sure with your HR nonetheless). So, try to keep this date as close as to the date when you are actually going to travel.
- Select Visa Type:
- Reason for Visit: Work (right?)
- Visa Type: You can see Tier 2 has 5 types. If you are a doctor, you can either be “Tier 2 (General)” OR “Tier 2 (General Shortage Occupation)“. Whether you can apply for shortage occupation or not, it will be CLEARLY stated in your CoS. In the “Migrant’s Employment” section, the question – “Is the job on the current shortage occupation list?”, should be answered with an “Y”, in order to apply for a Tier 2 (General Shortage Occupation) visa type. Remember that this can not be changed later on, so make sure of this when you create the application.
- Visa Sub-type: You are MIGRANT. If the duration between your start and end date mentioned in your CoS is less than 3 years, then you apply in “… migrant, up to 3 years”.
- Preliminary questions are done. Let’s now proceed to create application.
Now if you had noticed the online part of the application has the following steps:
- Filling up the application
- Signing a declaration
- BRP Collection location
- Setting up an appointment at the VAC (submission and biometric)
- Pay for IHS (International Health Surcharge)
- Pay for application (depending on your country it can be online payment or payment at the VAC)
- Register with commercial partner (varies from country to contry)
- Print application
A. Filling up the application
This has 6 parts:
- Passport & travel information
- Personal details & travel history
- Family details
- Medical treatment
- Tier 2 skilled worker
- Additional information
1. Passport & travel information
The following questions needs to be answered about Passport and travel document.
And the following questions regarding travel information:
- Date of planned arrival: Same as the date of intended travel put before.
- How long do you intend to stay in the UK?: The difference between your start and end date in your CoS. It doesn’t matter what is your contract with the employer, it matters what is mentioned in your CoS.
- The address: If you don’t have a place figured out you can always use your hospitals address. Make sure you confirm this with your HR.
2. Personal details & travel history
Personal details is above your permanent residential address. Pretty basic!
Travel and Criminal History has a lot many questions. Out of them, answer the question regarding previous visa to UK, UK overseas territories, or commonwealth countries carefully. You will need to mention all visas from the last 10 years, so ensure you check any old/previous/expired passports to see if you have obtained any such visa in the past. Also the next question, have you traveled to the UK in the last 10 years? They will want you to mention if you went for your PLAB 2 exam. Don’t assume that ‘they should know’.
Then comes all the questions related to your criminal history. You should know the answers.
3. Family details
Information about your spouse/partner, father, mother, dependent, or non-dependent children. Again, pretty basic!
If you are also applying for a dependent, please understand first what that means.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
- Husband, wife, or partner
- Child under 18
- Child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent
You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK. Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.
You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependent’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.
You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a:
- fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor
- certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will give each of your dependants at least £630 to cover their costs for a month if they need it
4. Medical treatment
Have you ever received medical treatment in the UK? You’ll know better.
5. Tier 2 skilled worker
This is a very important part of your application.
UK Address: The address that you stayed in the UK previously. Be it for a tourist stay, PLAB 2 visit, etc.
The following parts:
- Employment : See your CoS
- Your Job: See your CoS
- Certificate of Sponsorship: Yes?
- English Language: See your IELTS for UKVI test report form (TRF) and also look below.
- Maintenance: See your CoS. Talk to the HR.
- Points claimed: Keep reading.
For English language, if you’ve taken IELTS for UKVI, the answers should be like this. The level in the overall band score (which have to be 4.0 or more) and the award reference number is the TRF No. If you think you may be exempt from providing the UKVI results, please check our post regarding TIER 2 UKVI exemption.
For points claimed, you need to input the points (as numbers) in the relevant sectors of the Tier 2 visa. Let’s first have a look at the points allocated:
|Resident Labour Market Test||30|
|Job salary £1,20,000 or more||30|
|Appropriate salary (>£30000)||20|
|Maintenance (either by sponsor or self- having £945)||10|
Whether you can claim points for any of the above, it will be CLEARLY MENTIONED in your CoS (except for English language).
Remember it always adds up to 70.
- An SOL job doesn’t need to have RLMT done. So the total becomes (30+0+0+20+10+10=70).
- A non-SOL job NEEDS to have an RLMT done before they can sponsor you, total (0+30+0+20+10+10=70).
- A high paid job (salary £1,20,000 or more) like that, will obviously be a non-SOL and they don’t need to have a RLMT done, total (0+0+30+20+10+10=70). This is usually not a case for us doctors.
The points based system (PBS) is made that way. It’s NOT about who score more points, it’s about that you MUST score 70.
6. Additional Information
I kept it blank as I didn’t have any other information that I wished to be considered as a part of my application. Simple!
B. Signing a declaration
You just have to read through the terms and conditions and type your name to confirm. Before this page, you will see the completed form that you just filled. Be very careful and check all the questions, as you CANNOT change anything in this form after you sign the declaration and confirmed.
C. BRP Collection location
You need to select a place for your BRP collection. It will be automatically set based on the address you gave earlier. You can change that too. Remember all the post offices don’t have BRP services. The instruction in the page are self-explanatory.
D. Setting up an appointment at the VAC (submission and bio-metric)
The portal will set itself up according to your country as it varies a lot from country to country.
E. Pay for IHS (International Health Surcharge)
It will take you to the GovUK site and you have to fill all the information according to your CoS, start date and end date and all. And upon confirmation, you will email and also an IHS reference number. It is payable through a credit card only.
F. Pay for application
Depending on your country, it can be an online payment or payment at the VAC during submission of the documents.
G. Register with commercial partner
Some countries VAC needs you to register with them too.
H. Print application
Finally, it’s done!
To conclude, you can keep the online application up to signing declaration as long as you have all the other documents ready. You can also halt at the booking an appointment part. If you made any major mistake, e.g. wrong visa category, you can create another application, your current application won’t cause any issues so long as you don’t proceed with it. If you made minor mistakes, e.g. wrong address, you can mention that in your cover letter as you can’t edit the form again.
Our next discussion will be about the documents that you’ll need to apply for a Tier 2 visa.