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Skilled Worker Visa

What is the Skilled Worker visa?

The Tier 2 visas have been replaced by the Skilled Worker route, which is now open for applications. These changes have made the system more adaptable, making the UK seem more attractive to potential immigrants. Under the new points-based system, a pathway is provided for skilled workers who have been offered a job by an employer the sponsor has approved.

What qualifications do I need for a Skilled Worker visa?

Applicants for the Skilled Worker visa must earn a minimum salary of £25,600. Employers seeking to hire employees through the Skilled Worker route must offer a salary equal to or greater than the salary threshold for the occupation as well as the prevailing wage for the position, whichever is higher.

It is possible for people who come to the UK through the Skilled Worker route to be paid less than the general salary, where they are given additional “tradable points” than can be used in exchange for other attributes. Some examples include:

  • An applicant with a job offer under the shortage occupation list may be eligible for a salary equal to or higher than the general salary of £20,480 per annum and 80% of the salary rate listed for the corresponding SOC code.
  • A new entrant applicant will be paid an annual salary of at least £20,480 or 70% of the going rate according to the applicable SOC code, whichever is higher.
  • A PhD applicant may be paid an annual wage equal to or higher than £23,040 and 90% of the standard salary for their occupation classification.

The new entrant criteria for Skilled Worker visas

Applicants must be 26 years old or younger at the time of Application and must have recently graduated or be about to graduate. Those sponsored in postdoctoral research positions and those working towards professional qualifications, registration, or chartered status are also eligible.

Students who applied under the Skilled Worker route within the two years prior to their Application will benefit from the new entrant position if they have been on Tier 4 at any point during that time.

What advantages does the skilled worker visa route offer?

  • Employers have increased access to potential employees from all over the globe, allowing them to recruit the best talent possible.
  • Greater flexibility to switch immigration routes within the UK through more generous regulations.
  • The minimum salary requirement for “new entrant” workers should be either £20,480 or 70% of the established rate for the job, whichever is greater.
  • There is no cap on the number of skilled workers entering the UK.
  • Visa holders can apply for unlimited visa extensions under this category
  • People who have been living in the UK for five years, holding a Skilled Worker visa, can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), allowing them to stay, work, and build a life in the UK.

What documents and information are required to apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

Some of the documents required for a Skilled Worker visa include the following:

  • Identification (e.g., passport)
  • The certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) issued by their employer
  • The job offer must specify a minimum skill level of RQF3.
  • Proof of having the necessary English language competency.
  • The candidate must demonstrate their ability to meet the maintenance requirement by presenting evidence of their savings or securing an agreement from their employer.
  • Tuberculosis test if you are from a country listed in Appendix T

How do I get the qualifying points for a Skilled Worker visa?

To be eligible for the Skilled Worker route, an applicant must have a minimum of 70 points.

There are 50 Mandatory Points in Skilled Worker Visas, as follows:

  • For the knowledge of the English Language at the required level, you get 10 points.
  • You receive 20 points for a job offer from an authorised sponsor.
  • You will receive 20 points for the required job skills.

There are some Tradeable Salary Points available:

  • If your salary is between £20,480 to £23,039, and you earn at least 80% of the minimum salary requirement for the profession, you receive 0 points.
  • If your salary is between £23,040 to £25,599, and you earn at least 90% of the minimum salary requirement for the profession, you receive 10 points.
  • If your salary is over £25,600, and if you earn at least the minimum salary requirement for the profession, you receive 20 points.

Other options regarding Tradable Points

  • You can earn 20 points if you have a job in an occupation in short supply, as determined by the Migration Advisory Committee.
  • You receive 10 points if you have a Doctorate (PhD) in a field relevant to your current position.
  • You receive 20 points if you have a Doctorate (PhD) in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) subject relevant to your current position.
  • Applicants who have a job listed in a health or education occupation or are new entrants to the labour market will receive 20 points if their salary is at least £20,480 per year or is equal to the going rate for the corresponding Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code.

What proficiency in the English language is required for the Skilled Worker visa?

Those who want to apply for the Skilled Worker visa can meet the language proficiency requirement with their GCSE/A level or Scottish Highers credentials. Alternatively, you may use a degree taught in English or SELT - English test.

If you are receiving financial support to practice as a medical professional, such as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or midwife, you will not need to demonstrate proficiency in English if you have passed an evaluation acknowledged by the applicable regulatory body.

The Application process for a Skilled Worker route visa

To apply, candidates must fill out the appropriate form and pay the relevant fees. A list of current fees can be located on the UK government website at the following link:

Who can apply for a skilled worker visa in the UK and what are the conditions

Candidates who are seeking to enter or remain in the UK for employment purposes can apply for a Skilled Worker visa if:

  • You must have a job offer from a UK employer on the list of registered sponsors, and the job must meet the required skill level and a minimum salary threshold.
  • You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your potential employer.
  • You satisfy the English language requirement
  • Satisfy the financial requirement
  • Achieve a score of 70 or more on the Points-Based System.

To apply for a visa, applicants must fill out the necessary form on the website and pay the visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Upon successful payment, they will be redirected to a third-party website to book their biometric appointment.

Can I apply for a Skilled Worker Visa from inside the UK?

You may be eligible to switch to a Skilled Worker visa if you are currently in the UK on a different type of visa.

You should know that some visas or circumstances do not allow you to switch to the Skilled Worker visa. You can apply from outside the UK if you fit into one of the following categories:

  • on a visit visa
  • on a short-term student visa
  • on a Parent of a Child Student visa
  • on a seasonal worker visa
  • on a domestic worker on a private household visa
  • on immigration bail
  • because you were permitted to stay outside the immigration rules

How long does it take to get a Skilled Worker visa?

The usual timeframe for Skilled Worker applications is eight weeks if the Applicant is in the UK or 15 working days if they are outside the UK. It is important to note that these are not guaranteed and may take longer if the case is more intricate or considered higher risk.

Depending on the availability, you may use the Priority Services as follows:

  • The Priority Service allows you to get a decision in 5 working days
  • The Super Priority Service allows you to get a decision in 24 hours

Additional fees apply if you use the priority or super-priority services.

How long can I stay on the Skilled Worker visa?

It is possible to apply for a visa for up to 5 years in one Application. The exact length of the visa will be based on the dates given by the sponsor on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

The employer can facilitate an extension application for the employee, allowing them to stay with the company in the same or different role. With a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), the employee can apply to extend their Skilled Worker visa while still in the UK.

What options do I have if my Skilled Worker application is refused?

If a Skilled Worker route application is refused, no appeal is available either from inside or outside the UK. However, you can request an Administrative Review or Judicial Review to challenge the decision.

Our team of expert immigration lawyers will assist you with applying for a Skilled Worker visa or guide the most suitable option for your needs.

What are the requirements for employers wishing to Sponsor Skilled Workers?

The employer must have a valid Sponsor Licence to assign a "Certificate of Sponsorship" to their prospective candidate.

The Certificate of Sponsorship provides details about the job being offered.

The job must be at the correct level and paid as required for Sponsorship.

The sponsor, when issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship, is affirming that they are responsible for fulfilling all their obligations as a licensed sponsor, such as keeping track of sponsored employees and informing the Home Office of any relevant changes to the sponsored employees' working conditions, if necessary.

The fee for a Skilled Worker visa

The fees depend on where you are when you submit the Application.

For applications made outside the UK:

  • For three years visa, the fee is £625 per Applicant
  • For five years visa, the fee is £1,235 per Applicant

For applications made inside the UK:

  • For three years visa, the fee is £719 per Applicant
  • For five years visa, the fee is £1,423 per Applicant

If your job is on the Shortage Occupations List, the same fee applies for Applications made outside or inside the UK:

  • For three years visa, the fee is £479 per Applicant
  • For five years visa, the fee is £943 per Applicant

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee is £624 per year per adult applicant and £470 per year per child Applicant.

For Health Care Work Visa, the same fee applies for Applications made outside or inside the UK:

  • For three years visa, the fee is £247 per Applicant
  • For five years visa, the fee is £479 per Applicant

The eligibility requirements for Skilled Worker visas

This Application requires an overall score of 70 points from the Mandatory and Tradable Points:

Mandatory Points:

  • 20 points for the sponsorship letter issued by a licenced sponsor
  • 20 points for the job being at the correct skill level
  • 10 points for meeting the English language requirements

Tradeable points:

Jobs are categorised according to the Standard Occupational Code (SOC), which determines the minimum wage necessary to fill the role.

Option A

You get 20 points if you have a minimum salary of £25,600 per year, an hourly rate of at least £10.10, and the current rate for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification code.

Option B

You get 20 points if you hold a PhD subject relevant to the job and earn a salary of at least £23,040 per year, £10.10 per hour, or 90% of the going rate for SOC Code. Not all occupations are eligible.

Option C

You get 20 points if you hold a PhD in a STEM field that is related to the position being sponsored, a minimum salary of £20,480 annually, an hourly rate of no less than £10.10, and a minimum of 80% of the standard rate for the Standard Occupational Classification code.

Option D

You get 20 points if you have a job on the UK shortage occupation list with a salary of at least £20,480 per year, at least £10.10 per hour, and at least 80% of the rate for the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code.

Option E

You get 20 points when you meet all three criteria of earning no less than £20,480 per year, no less than £10.10 per hour, and at least 70% of the going rate for the SOC code you are employed under to qualify as a "new entrant" to the labour market.

Option F

You get 20 points for a job within the Home Office's confirmed list of health or education occupations, with an annual salary of no less than £20,480 and at least the prevailing rate for the corresponding Standard Occupational Classification code.

Applying for a Skilled Worker Visa

In most cases, the procedure to apply for a skilled worker visa is straightforward.

  • Register, fill out the form and submit it on the website.
  • Ensure all necessary visa (immigration health surcharge and biometric enrolment fees, where applicable) payments are made correctly.
  • Go to the website of the appointment centre operator and book a biometric appointment (if applicable).
  • Submit scanned copies of supporting documents through an online platform.
  • Go to the appointment to have your biometric information (picture and fingerprints) taken. (If applicable).

Applicants who are EU nationals or certain non-EU nationals may be able to use the Home Office's approved Application to verify their identity without the need to attend an in-person biometric appointment. Instead, they would fill out an online form and upload a photograph of themselves on the APP.

What Financial Resources do I need to provide to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa?

The Applicant must demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves in the UK. This evidence can include bank statements. If the sponsor of the Applicant is A-rated and has "certified maintenance" on their certificate of Sponsorship, they will not need to submit any more evidence of finances.

Those who have resided in the UK for a year or more before their Application for leave to remain do not need to present proof of financial resources. However, those who do not meet this requirement must show bank statements for the four weeks immediately before their Application, indicating a minimum of £1270 in their account.

Can I extend my Skilled Worker Visa?

There is no restriction on how many times a Skilled Worker visa can be extended while in the UK. As long as the Applicant fulfils the criteria for the visa at the time of the extension application, the visa can be renewed an unlimited number of times.

What are the conditions for staying in the UK as a Skilled Worker?

Generally, the Certificate of Sponsorship limits the candidate to working exclusively for the sponsoring employer. They might be allowed a second job if it follows the regulations concerning "additional employment".

Studying is acceptable as long as it does not interfere with the sponsored work. Receiving UK public funds (state benefits) is prohibited. Unpaid volunteer work is allowed.

How long does it take to get a Skilled Worker Visa?

Once you have had your biometric enrolment appointment and submitted your passport, the processing of your skilled worker visa application will begin.

Generally, if you applied for a visa from outside the UK, you would receive a response within three weeks. If you applied for a visa from within the UK, the decision would be made within eight weeks.

At the time of submission, there may be an option to use a priority service (which has 5-day processing and costs £500) or a super-priority service (which has 24-hour processing and costs £800).

Can a skilled worker visa be refused?

A Skilled Worker visa may be refused due to various causes.

  • Issues due to the salary requirements needing to be met. Candidates should ensure they know the appropriate salary level for their role, the requirements, and the applicable rules.
  • English language requirements not being met. Make sure that when you are taking an English test, the test is at the appropriate level (RQF Level 6/CEFR Level B1) to meet your English proficiency requirements.
  • Financial requirements not being met at the required level.
  • If the Home Office thinks you don't possess the qualifications required to do your job or if you have a record of breaking the UK's immigration regulations, your Application could be refused.
  • Refusal because of the Immigration Rules part 9 – Grounds for Refusal

When an application for a Skilled Worker visa is refused, there is no right of appeal as it stands right now. In this case, applicants have three potential options: applying for Administrative Review, applying for Judicial Review, or submitting a new application.

Can I extend my Skilled Worker visa?

The skilled worker visa gives the holder the privilege to remain and employment in the UK for the duration of their Certificate of Sponsorship. There is no minimum period for the certificate, and the visa can be extended up to 5 years at a time, with no limit on the number of times it can be extended.

You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after five years of living in the country on this route. Once approved, you will no longer need to be sponsored by a registered employer, and you will be free from any restrictions on your job type and salary.

What is a health and care visa?

The Skilled Worker visa and Health and Care Worker visa are two distinct routes, yet both share similar criteria for eligibility and permanent residence after five years.

The Skilled Worker visa enables individuals to come to or remain in the UK to work for an approved employer in an eligible job. In contrast, the Health and Care Worker visa permits medical professionals to enter the UK to work for the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

On a Health and Care Visa, you will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.

You can verify if your job is appropriate for the Skilled Worker visa by obtaining a four-digit occupation code from your employer if you have already been offered employment.

Additionally, your salary may differ from that offered with a Skilled Worker visa. Generally, you must be paid a minimum of £20,480 or the going rate for your occupation code.

You must have £1,270 in your bank account for a consecutive 28 days ending no later than 31 days before you apply for your visa. If your sponsor covers your maintenance costs, you will not need to submit bank statements.

Why should I use Bogdan Law Office to help with my Skilled Worker visa application?

Our highly qualified team of business and personal immigration lawyers have a proven track record of success in helping skilled and talented individuals secure visas to enter the UK to further their careers, establish their businesses, or start a new life in the country with their families.

We have extensive experience in Skilled Worker visa applications and offer comprehensive and efficient assistance throughout the application process. Additionally, we can help your family join you in the UK as your dependents and ensure your visa process runs smoothly.

Distance is not a problem, we work with you over the phone, Worldwide
  • Step 1 - Get in touch, speak to our expert for a free assessment of your immigration case
  • Step 2 - Book a consultation and get a detailed advice letter out about your options
  • Step 3 - Instruct us to take your case

We are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) at the highest level - Advocacy and Representation (Level 3)

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