Conditions of employment

Tier 2 visa holders must observe certain conditions of employment. A Tier 2 visa holder is only permitted to work in the specific job for which his/her visa was issued, and may also take supplementary work, subject to any necessary departmental or college approval, providing that all of the following conditions are observed:

  • the supplementary work is in the same profession as the job specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship* e.g. a University Lecturer may take up supplementary teaching or research for another department or organisation, or the supplementary work is in a job which is on the Home Office's 'shortage occupation list';
  • the supplementary work is at the same professional level as the job specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship, e.g. it is paid at the same level;
  • the supplementary work is for no more than 20 hours per week; and
  • the supplementary work is outside the working hours covered by the Certificate of Sponsorship.

*Note that the Home Office does not consider University research and University teaching as the same profession. Therefore, a Tier 2 sponsored visa holder in a research-only role would not normally be permitted to undertake additional teaching work as 'supplementary employment' unless their job description and the description of duties on their Certificate of Sponsorship include teaching.

For current sponsored visa holders whose job description and Certificate of Sponsorship do not include ad hoc teaching within the Collegiate University, the sponsoring department/college should complete a Tier 2 & Tier 5 Changes & Leavers form (269kb) and return it to the Staff Immigration Team so that a change in duties can be reported to the Home Office. Note that a change in duties must be reported before the individual can take supplementary work in a teaching role. 

If, however, a University researcher's job description and the description of duties on the Certificate of Sponsorship includes ad hoc paid teaching as a duty, the individual may take additional paid teaching work within the Collegiate University without further action required by the sponsoring department/college, providing this also complies with the above rules for supplementary employment.

Visa holders do not require permission from the Home Office to take supplementary employment that meets the above conditions.

Tier 2 visa holders are permitted to undertake a course of study in the UK without prior approval from the Home Office, however, those undertaking studies in science, engineering and technology subjects must check whether the course subject will mean they are required to first obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate. Further information can be found in relation to ATAS and applying for clearance in the University's Tier 4 student visa guidance.

In addition, Tier 2 visa holders must also observe the following conditions:

  • they will have no access to state benefits;
  • they will register with the police within the required timeframe and report any changes to the police, as required (it should be stated on the visa holder's vignette or in a letter from the Home Office, whether they are required to register with the police, but for further information please see Police Registration);
  • they will, if applicable, collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from the designated Post Office within 10 days of arrival in the UK;
  • they will report to the Home Office if their BRP is damaged, faulty, lost, or stolen and if the details listed are incorrect or change;
  • they will not start up or run a business;
  • all payments (including salary) made to visa holders sponsored under Tier 2 must be made into the visa holder's own bank account. Sponsored visa holders must not be paid in cash.