Before applying under the Tier 2 General category, applicants must have a valid certificate of sponsorship issued by a Sponsor that has a valid PBS Sponsor Licence. Points are awarded to applicants in consideration of the sponsorship, salary and allowances paid, English language and maintenance.

From 6 November 2014 immigration officers have had greater powers to refuse Tier 2 visa applications if they believe that it is not a genuine role. Also if immigration officers believe that the worker does not have the necessary qualifications to do the job a Tier 2 visa can be refused.