Skilled Worker Visa

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Skilled Worker Visa

If you’re looking to immigrate to the UK, applying for a skilled worker visa is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. You can stay up to 5 years under this visa before you apply to extend or update your visa when it expire or if you switch jobs.

If you’re eligible, it’s important to note that your application must be supported by an employer who will sponsor you for a visa. You also need to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for a skilled worker visa. We’ll cover those in detail below.


To be eligible for Skilled Worker visa, you need to meet the following criteria:

-You must have a job offer from a UK employer who can sponsor workers.

-Your employer must already be approved by the Home Office and hold a valid Sponsor License.

-You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your employer stating the information about the role you have been offered in the UK.

-Your job must be on the list of eligible occupations.

-For some job role, you will be required to obtain criminal record checks prior to applying for your UK visa.

-You must meet minimum salary requirement for your occupation which is the higher of:

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

-You must meet the English language proficiency requirement which is currently set at CEFR B1.

The above are the Mandatory 50- points that you must meet to be eligible for a skilled worker visa.

In addition to the mandatory points, applicant will also require an additional 20 ‘tradeable points’ for a total of 70. There are various ways to earn these points and it is listed below:

A The applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £26,200 and the ‘going rate’ for the job’s SOC code 20 points
B The applicant has a PHD in a subject relevant to the job (the sponsor must provide a “credible explanation” as to how it is relevant) and their salary equals or exceed both £23,580 and 90% of the going rate for the SOC code 20 points
C The applicant has a PHD in STEM subject relevant to the job and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,960 and 80% of the going rate for the SOC code 20 points
D The job is in a shortage occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,960 per year and 80% of the going rate for SOC code. 20 points
E The applicant is a new entrant to the labour market and their salary equals or exceeds both £20,960 per year and 70% of the going rate for SOC codes. 20 points
F The job is in listed health or education occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,960 per year and the going rate for SOC code 20 points


Some points to note: who is a new entrant?

  1. Those under the age of 26 at date of application.
  2. Those applying for a postdoctoral position in a certain science role.
  3. Those whose job offer is for a UK regulated profession and the applicant is working towards one of those professions.
  4. Applicants who are working towards full registration or chartered status with relevant professional body for the job they are being sponsored for.
  5. Applicants who last had leave at a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur).
  6. Applicants who last had leave as a student which expired up to two years before application and completed a Bachelor, Masters, PGCE or PHD in the UK.

You can be granted up to four years’ permission to stay in the UK under the new entrant requirement.


To apply for Skilled Worker visa:

-You will need to complete an online application form, provide evidence of your job offer, personal information about you and your dependents if any.

-You will need to pay the application fee and the amount varies depending on the length of your visa.

-Gather and submit your documents to support your application which includes Certificate of Sponsorship, proof of English, valid passport, proof of funds to support yourself in the UK and a criminal record certificate(if applicable).

-For the proof of funds, your employer can opt to ‘certify your maintenance’ or alternatively, you will need to demonstrate that you have held funds for 28 days in your personal account. The relevant amount to show is:

  • £1,270 for main applicant
  • £285 for dependant partner
  • £315 for a first child
  • £200 for each subsequent child

-Arrange and attend a Biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and photograph at your nearest visa application centre.

Period of grant

Depending on your application request, your visa can be granted up to a maximum of five years at a time.

There is no longer a ‘cooling-off period’.

Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

You will be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once you have completed 5 years of residency under the Skilled Worker visa (or variation of other eligible visa combination). You must continue to meet the salary requirement under your job category, and you must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months.

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For every part of your life and business, talk to GSC

GSC Solicitors LLP
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+44(0)20 7822 2222
[email protected]