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University of Bath

Information for Tier 2 (General) skilled workers

Understand the restrictions of Tier 2 working so you can work in accordance with the terms of your visa.

Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker

University sponsorship under Tier 2 is ordinarily limited to the positions within our Research and Teaching activities:

  • Professor
  • Reader
  • Senior Lecturer / Lecturer
  • Senior Teaching Fellow / Teaching Fellow
  • Research Fellow
  • Research Associate

There are some other positions that may meet the requirements for Tier 2, for example KTP and some specialist IT roles, but they have additional requirements on their advertising.

Guidelines on sponsorship under Tier 2

The following are general (simplified) guidelines and each case will be administered based upon the specifics of the vacancy and the migrant applicant. Please contact for more specific information or full guidance can be found on the UK Visas & Immigration website.

A migrant worker can only be sponsored if they meet the requirements within the person specification, for example if the person specification states a PhD is essential for the role, the potential worker must meet this requirement.

The Points Based System was introduced to protect the resident labour market and the basic principle is that if a suitable resident worker meets the essential criteria for the role, then they should be appointed. However, a special dispensation exists covering the aforementioned roles, where the University may appoint a migrant worker if they are deemed to be the most suitable candidate for the role.

Resident Labour Market Test

In order to sponsor a migrant under Tier 2, the University would need to complete a resident labour market test (though there are exemptions for students switching from Student / Tier 4).

A resident labour market test involves a period of advertising of 28 days in two places, usually for the typical roles, this is the University's jobs page and This does not need to be a continuous period of 28 days, but in total it must add up to 28 days and each period of advertising must be no less than 7 days. (For example, if the role is advertised for 14 days and there is no preferred candidate or the preferred candidate is non-EU, then the University can advertise for a further 14 days and review the situation again, after which time, it may then be possible to sponsor the migrant worker under Tier 2.

There are other requirements of the resident labour market test, but the aforementioned research and teaching roles typically meet the requirements for earnings and skill level.

Once the RLMT has been met, the migrant worker will need to meet the points requirement for English Language and Maintenance.

English Language

English Language is a mandatory requirement and the points can only be attributed based upon specific criteria designated by UK Visas & Immigration. Further Guidance is available on the GOV.UK website.

If the migrant needs to complete an approved English test, it can lead to delays, typically the tests seem to take place towards the end of the month and then take a further 10 days to get the result. 


The University's current status as a Category A sponsor, means that we can vouch for the maintenance of the individual and their dependants in the first month (up to the value specified within the relocation policy), which generally simplifies the application process for them, so that they do not need to show bank statements etc.

Certificate of Sponsorship

Once the applicant (appointee) has shown that they meet these points requirements, the Department of Human Resources will need to issue them with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

The CoS combines the details of the vacant position and the details of the appointee.

The appointee will require the CoS before they can apply for their visa.

This issuing of CoS varies on whether the applicant is in-country or out of country.

  • For in-country applications, once the RLMT has been completed and the applicant is shown to be able to meet the points requirement, the Department of Human Resources can issue a CoS fairly quickly.   
  • For out of country applications, HR will need to apply for a restricted CoS. This is a monthly process, with applications having to be submitted by the 5th of the month and the outcome is released on or around the 11th of the month. Subject to approval being given, HR will then be able to issue a CoS.

Once the CoS is issued to the migrant, the visa application process typically takes around 6 weeks, though it may be possible for individuals to pay extra for a faster turnaround. (Visa costs are payable by the applicant).

  • CoS can be issued for a maximum of 5 years at a time, though they can be extended if there is an ongoing requirement for the role, but only up to a total maximum of 6 years.  
  • The migrant worker can only commence work when their visa has been approved.

Sponsor Responsibilities

On arrival and for the duration of the period of sponsorship, the University (namely the line manager and HR) and the sponsored worker both have an ongoing responsibility to comply with the conditions of the Tier 2 visa.

The UK Visas & Immigration website has further detailed information on Tier 2.