UK work permit, CoS, certificate of sponsorship, tier 2 general, skilled worker

How can I get a UK work permit?

By Keith Pilkington

​Before you’re able to apply for a work permit or visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You’ve received a confirmation offer of employment from a licensed UK employer who will act as your sponsor

  • You have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by your sponsoring employer

  • You’ve passed the points-based assessment

Work permit categories

There are three main categories of UK work permits:

  • Tier 2 General – Skilled Worker: this includes medium and highly skilled workers immigrating to the UK. To make an application under this category you must have a confirmed offer of employment from a licensed UK employer/sponsor and a valid CoS.

  • Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer: this allows a candidate to transfer to the UK from an overseas branch of a UK company to complete work on a specific project. Within this category, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the salary for the role is appropriate and the no UK resident worker can or could fill the position.

  • Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa: this is designed for elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment in the UK will generate a large contribution to the development of their sport. Applicants must be based in the UK and internationally established at the highest level of their sport.

The work visa application will be led by your employer, who will be responsible for issuing you with a CoS.

Changes of employment

If you want to change jobs whilst here in the UK, you’ll need to get a new CoS from a licensed employer. You’ll also need to take a reassessment against the current points test and your position will need to meet the advertising requirements of the resident labour market test (i.e. some jobs need to be advertised if they’re not on the shortage occupation list), if applicable.

Find out what documents you need in order to work in the UK.

For more information on moving to the UK, read our collection of blogs.