A skilled worker visa is a type of work visa which allows international workers with the appropriate skills to work for an approved UK employer. It replaced the Tier 2 work visa at the end of 2020.


The skilled worker visa permits you to bring your spouse, partner and children with you and is granted for up to 5 years. Once you have held the skilled worker visa for 5 years, you can apply for settlement (Indefinite leave to remain), which means you will no longer have any restrictions living in the UK.


To qualify for the skilled worker visa, you must attain 70 points when making the application. The points are awarded when you meet the requirements of the visa. We will go into more detail about these requirements further below.


So, interested in learning more about the skilled worker visa? Keep reading to see how you could qualify!


What are the requirements of the skilled worker visa?


To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:


  • work or be offered a position by a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do


The minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:


  • £26,200 per year
  • £10.75 per hour
  • the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing


Your employer must make sure your job pays at least the minimum wage and follows the rules for how many hours a week you can work. If your employer does not do this, your application will be refused.


Portrait of factory workers in factory


Check if your job is eligible


To check if your is eligible, you need to know the 4-digit occupation code. If you already have a job offer, ask your employer for the code. If you do not know your code, you can search for your job on the government website. Here is the link – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations/skilled-worker-visa-eligible-occupations-and-codes


Approved UK employers


You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Approved employers are also known as sponsors. You can view the list of approved UK employers on the government website. Here is the link – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers


Your employer – also known as your sponsor – will check that you meet the eligibility requirements. They will give you a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ to prove this.


The certificate of sponsorship is an electronic record, not a physical document. It will have a reference number, which you’ll need for your visa application.


You must apply for your visa within 3 months of getting your certificate of sponsorship.


Knowledge of English


English language learning concept-portrait of cheerful attractive man with bristle showing colorful copy books standing over British flag background


You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.


You can prove your knowledge of English by:


  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English – if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC)for confirmation that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD


You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are a national of certain countries such as Canada, New Zealand and the USA.


Financial Requirement


When making the application, you must show that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK – you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available in your bank account which has been held for at least 28 days.


Should you not have these funds, then your employer may be able to make a declaration that they will cover your costs.


Visa fees


When applying from outside of the UK, you will need to pay the following Home Office fees:


  • Visa duration up to 3 years – £625.00
  • Visa duration more than 3 years – £1,235.00
  • Immigration Health Surcharge – £624 per year


When applying from inside of the UK, you will need to pay the following Home Office fees:


  • Visa duration up to 3 years – £719.00
  • Visa duration more than 3 years – £1,423.00
  • Immigration Health Surcharge – £624 per year


When applying for a role which is in the shortage occupation list, you will need to the pay the following Home Office fees. This is the same whether applying from outside or inside the UK:


  • Visa duration up to 3 years – £479.00
  • Visa duration more than 3 years – £943.00
  • Immigration Health Surcharge – £624 per year


Please note that the fees above will also be payable for each dependant.


If you are applying for a Skilled Worker Visa based on a role in the health and care sector, then you will eligible for substantive reduction on the above. Please contact us to find out more.


Skilled worker visa processing times


If you are applying from outside of the UK, applications usually take 3 weeks to be considered. If you are applying from within the UK, then applications can take up to 8 weeks to be considered.


Priority service is available where you can get a decision within 5 working days for £500.00. You can also receive a decision the next working day for an additional fee of £800.00.


Interested in applying for a skilled worker visa? Contact our immigration team today!


Call us on 020 7928 0276, our phone lines are open and we will be taking calls from 9:30am to 6:00pm.


Email us on info@lisaslaw.co.uk.


Use the Ask Lisa function on our website. Simply enter your details and leave a message, we will get right back to you: https://lisaslaw.co.uk/ask-question/


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