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Skilled Worker visa: Eligibility & Requirements

The Skilled Worker visa route has replaced the former Tier 2 (general) visa to allow migrant workers to enter the UK to work in a job that appears on the governments eligible jobs list.

For more information on how Immigration Advice Service can help you with your Skilled Worker visa application, or if you require assistance in extending your current UK Skilled Worker visa, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530.


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    What is a UK Skilled Worker visa?

    Formerly the Tier 2 General visa, the new UK Skilled Worker visa allows skilled migrant workers to come to the UK and work an eligible job with an approved employer.

    To be an approved employer, the company you wish to work for in the UK must hold a valid Sponsor Licence in order to issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship, as part of your Skilled Worker visa application.

    In order to be eligible for a UK Skilled Worker visa, applicants must meet a specific eligibility criteria for their Skilled Worker visa application to be considered by the Home Office. This criteria includes scoring 70 points under the new points based immigration system.

    For more information on how Immigration Advice Service can help you with your Skilled Worker visa application, or if you require assistance in extending your current UK Skilled Worker visa, call our friendly team of advisors today on 0121 667 6530.

    Skilled worker visa

    Eligibility requirements

    You must meet the following eligibility criteria in full to become eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. The criteria outlines that you must;

    • Have been offered a job by a Home Office approved employer with a valid Sponsor Licence
    • Have been offered a job that meets the appropriate skill level
    • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from your sponsoring employer
    • Meet the minimum English language ability of level B1
    • Meet the minimum salary requirement for your specific job
    • Provide a criminal record certificate if requested from you
    • Have enough money to support yourself and any dependants when you arrive in the UK

    The Skilled Worker visa requirements are in place to ensure that the person applying has genuine intentions to take on a genuine vacancy in the United Kingdom. The Skilled Worker visa, once granted, is valid for five years.

    What are the eligible jobs?

    There are multiple jobs that appear on the eligible job list deemed as an eligible skilled occupation- these are professions that the UK requires Skilled Workers for. With over 1000 eligible skilled job titles on the list, below is a selection of jobs that qualify for a Skilled Worker visa:

    • Civil Engineers
    • Nurses and Doctors
    • Veterinarian
    • Marketing and Sales Directors
    • Senior Police Officials
    • Scientists
    • Barristers and Judges
    • Teachers and Teaching assistants.

    A full eligible jobs list, along with occupation code, can be found on the Government website.

    Do you need help applying for a Skilled Worker Visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      Sponsoring employer requirements

      You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor for your Skilled Worker visa application to be considered. To assign you with a Certificate of Sponsorship, the UK employer must hold a valid Sponsor Licence.

      In addition, the employer sponsoring you will be required to pay the correct immigration skills charge to employ you correctly. A small organisation is required to pay £364, whilst a larger sponsor must pay £1,000 to employ you for a 12-month period.

      Under the Skilled Worker route, the Resident Labour Market Test is no longer required from the Sponsor Licence holder- this was dismissed in 2020 when the Tier 2 visa was replaced by the Skilled Worker visa route.

      Employers must still ensure that the job they are advertising is a genuine vacancy.

      What are the specific job requirements?

      The job role you wish to take on in the UK with a Skilled Worker visa must meet the job requirements outlined below.

      Firstly, you must have a job offer from a UK-based employer offering a genuine vacancy which you will be sponsored for.

      The job offer in question must meet the minimum skill level requirement of RQF level 3- which is typically equivalent to A-Level standard. This does not mean you must have a formal qualification to do the job, the skill level will be determined by the job itself.

      When sponsoring you, your UK employer must ensure that they select the appropriate occupation code for the job you are planning to take on in the United Kingdom.

      Furthermore, the job offer must meet or exceed the minimum salary requirement in order for you to become eligible for the Skilled Worker visa route.

      What is the Skilled Worker visa financial requirement?

      To become eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you must be able to meet the general salary threshold. This means that the job offer you receive must be paid either the going rate or the minimum salary requirement- whichever is higher out of the two is what you will be paid. Typically, the minimum salary must equate to £25,600 per year, or £10.10 an hour.

      There are some exceptions to this rule. These include if:

      • You are working in a certain healthcare role
      • You are working a certain job in the education occupation
      • You have a STEM PhD qualification
      • Your job is on the UK’s shortage occupation list
      • You are aged under 26 and are in professional training
      • You are a graduate

      Although there are some exceptions, it is unlikely that a salary under £20,480 will be accepted with a Skilled Worker visa.

      If you are granted a Skilled Worker visa, you will be subjected to paying the Immigration Health Surcharge for every year spent in the UK.

      How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa

      You must apply for a Skilled Worker visa online. As part of your application you must submit the following documents:

      • Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number- given to you by your sponsor
      • Proof of your English language ability
      • A valid passport to prove your identity and nationality
      • Your job title and annual salary
      • The correct occupation code for your job
      • Your employer’s name and Sponsor Licence number

      All of the documents must be translated into English or Welsh by the Skilled Worker visa applicant before being submitted for approval.

      The documents should be sent at the point of applying for your Skilled Worker visa and paying the specified application fee.

      As part of the Skilled Worker visa application process, you may be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to have some biometric information taken- this will include photographs and fingerprints.

      Can you extend your Skilled Worker visa?

      Usually, a visa acquired via the Skilled Worker route will remain valid for five years at a time.

      You may be able to apply to extend your Skilled Worker visa under the following circumstances:

      • You are working in the same job that you were offered when you were granted permission to enter the UK on a Skilled Worker visa
      • You job is still in the same occupation code as when you applied for a Skilled Worker visa
      • You are still working for the UK employer who issued your Certificate of Sponsorship

      How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyer help?

      Applying for Skilled Worker visas can seem daunting for some, so, acquiring expert legal advice could prove beneficial.

      Birmingham Immigration Lawyers have a wealth of immigration law knowledge to assist you in successfully applying for a Skilled Worker visa to work in the United Kingdom. Get in touch with our team of professional immigration lawyers today.

      For more information on how we can help you, call our team of advisors on 0121 667 6530 for immediate assistance.

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