Skilled Worker Visa UK - A Complete Guide

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Meridean Overseas

Updated On 07 June 2024 & Read Time 23 minutes

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Are you a skilled worker wanting to work in the UK? Do you know that there is a separate kind of visa that you need to apply for if you wish to work as a skilled person in the UK?

 

Skilled Worker Visa UK

 

If you are looking for answers to all these questions, you have come to the right place.

 

The skilled worker visa is one of the most favourable visas for Indian citizens, as recent reports indicate an acceptance rate of 98.45%.

 

Therefore, the blog addresses the essentials required for the application process, requirements, minimum salary, and other important details. So, without any more delays, let’s dive right in!

What is a Skilled Worker Visa UK?

Employers may sponsor non-UK citizens to fill qualified, skilled positions in the country through the Skilled Worker Visa UK. The visa is available to those who receive 70 points by fulfilling particular eligibility conditions, such as skill and wage level, English proficiency, and possessing a legitimate sponsorship license and qualified work offer from a UK business.

 

Spouses, "durable" partners, and dependent children may seek to join with the primary visa applicant in the UK as Skilled Worker dependants under the terms of the Skilled Worker visa. The skilled worker visa UK lasts up to five years, after which the employee may apply for UK indefinite leave to remain.

 

Have difficulties in applying for a skilled worker visa UK? Connect with the MOEC Application Team to successfully submit your form.

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Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements

The basic requirement for the skilled worker visa UK is that the applicant gets a total of 70 points accumulated by applicants in order to be eligible for a skilled worker visa UK.

 

The 70 points required for a skilled worker visa UK are composed of 20 points for "tradeable" criteria and 50 points for mandatory or "non-tradeable" requirements (such as the employment offer, English proficiency, and required skill level for the offered position).

 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements for Sponsorship

  • 20 points are required to be sponsored for work. Both the employee and their employer (i.e., the sponsor) have obligations.

  • The sponsor must have an A-rated, current sponsorship license and have paid the Immigration Skills Charge. 

  • The Home Office will also try to ascertain whether the job and the vacancy are real, meaning that the sponsoring company actually needs the position.

  • The employer must have given the employee a current Certificate of Sponsorship for the position for which they are being hired.

 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements of Certificate of Sponsorship

The worker's UK sponsor must first provide them with an authentic Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to verify that they and their position fulfil the standards for sponsorship eligibility before they can submit their visa application.

 

The applicant for a skilled worker visa UK must submit their Home Office application together with the CoS, which is a reference number. A CoS can only be accommodated by an authorised sponsor. There is a defined Certificate of Sponsorship as well as the undefined Certificate of Sponsorship, which are the two varieties of certificates that are now available. The previous limited and unrestricted CoS, which were in effect before December 1, 2020, has been replaced by these:

 

Undefined CoS are for-

  • workers with valid leave currently residing in the UK who are applying to change from one immigration route to the skilled worker category or 

  • individuals applying from inside the UK or abroad under one of the other visa channels.

 

Defined CoS are for the people who are out of the country skilled worker visa UK applications.

  • To obtain a specified CoS, sponsors must apply. Details on the exact work and income must be included because this is a special application to the Home Office.

  • Every year sponsors undefined CoS. Numerous variables, like the amount of the sponsor's personnel and the type of business, will affect the number of CoS. After every twelve months, any CoS that is not utilised will be deleted from the SMS. Throughout the year, more undefined CoS may be requested by application.

 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements for Skills

Holders of skilled worker visa UK are limited to employment in specified occupations. To qualify, the position must be judged to be at RQF level 3 or higher, which is comparable to an A-level in the UK. The requirements for the skilled worker visa UK will not apply to any occupations deemed to be less important than this.

  • The Home Office uses "Standard Occupation Codes" (SOC) to evaluate UK job eligibility for skilled worker visas. 

  • The sponsor must identify the applicable SOC code for the position to ascertain whether it qualifies for the Skilled Worker route. The ONS occupation coding tool may be used for this. The post being filled should correspond with the job description on the list.

  • After the code is located, it must be compared to the list of occupations that qualify to confirm that it falls within the Skilled Worker route and is included.

  • Employers are prohibited from using inappropriate job codes or inflating a role's qualifications to fit inside a SOC code to appear more highly competent and, therefore, qualified for the position.

  • In order to resolve any concerns that an inaccurate SOC code has been applied, the Home Office may ask for further details regarding the job. This would include proving that the candidate possesses the knowledge and expertise needed for a position in the relevant SOC code.

  • If an honest mistake is made in selecting the code, it can be corrected, provided that the Home Office considers it.

  • The Home Office has the authority to deny a Skilled Worker Visa UK application if the caseworker is convinced that the person applying for the designation is not skilled or experienced enough as per the relevant SOC code and skill level requirement.

 

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Skilled Worker Visa Requirements for the English Language

  • For reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending English, the candidate should at least be at a level of B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages mandatorily.

  • Unless they have already shown their proficiency in the language as part of their previous UK immigration application or if the applicants are citizens of one of several exempt nations, the majority of applicants for skilled worker visa UK will need to demonstrate that they fulfil the English language scale.

  • Language proficiency should be demonstrated, unless exempt, by passing an authorised Secure English Language Test (SELT), earning a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English, or obtaining a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher, or Advanced Higher in English.

 

Below is a list of places that are exempted from the English Language requirements; they are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda

  • Australia

  • the Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Canada

  • Dominica

  • Grenada

  • Guyana

  • Jamaica

  • Malta

  • New Zealand

  • St Kitts and Nevis

  • St Lucia

  • St Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • USA

 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements for Financial Maintenance

  • Since the applicant will not have access to public resources like benefits, they have to show that they satisfy the financial requirements and have enough money to maintain themselves.

  • According to the criteria, candidates must have at least £1,270 in their bank account at the time of application. The funds had to be accessible for at least 28 days in a row, with the 28th day occurring within the first 31 days of submitting the visa application. Unless they have been in the country for a full year with legal status or if their sponsor is willing to cover their expenses up to £1,270 for the first month of their stay, the applicant must provide proof of their funds.

  • Under the "sponsor certifies maintenance" portion of your certificate, the sponsor should attest to their capacity to meet the financial demand. This falls inside "Additional data."

  • If dependents are applying, more money will be required. The primary applicant's spouse must provide evidence of money totalling £285, and the first dependent child applicant must provide evidence of funds totalling £315. The financial criteria for each extra kid must be satisfied by demonstrating finances of £200 per child. For instance, a skilled worker visa UK holder who also has a spouse and three children must demonstrate that they have at least £2,270 in maintenance funds (£1,270 + £285 + £315 + £200 + £200).

 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements for Background Check

Some applicants might also have to show their criminal records certificate, provided that their occupation requires it and they ask for it.

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How to Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa UK?

This section addresses how an individual can apply for a skilled worker visa UK:

  • For being considered for a skilled worker visa UK, the candidate must complete an online application, submit it with the necessary supporting documents, and pay the application fee. 

  • As specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship, applications possibly be submitted up to three months before the worker's anticipated start date of employment in the UK.

  • After obtaining their Certificate of Sponsorship, the individual applying has three months to submit an online application. They must apply for the specific reference number associated with each certificate.

  • Additionally, they will need to make an appointment with the visa application centre to enrol their biometric data and provide various supporting documents.

 

Processing Time for UK Skilled Worker Visa

  • Applications for skilled worker visa UK can often take up to 8 weeks to process if submitted from within the UK or up to 3 weeks if submitted from outside.

  • Depending on where the application is being processed, expedited processing could be paid for.

 

How Long Does the Skilled Worker Visa Last?

  • Typically, the skilled worker visa UK is issued for a maximum of five years. The visa holder would then have to seek to renew the visa or, after meeting the five-year residency requirement, they could apply for indefinite permission to remain in the UK.

  • There is no restriction on how many times the skilled worker visa UK may be renewed as long as the worker continues to fulfil the conditions of the visa.

 

Read More: UK Work Permit Visa

 

Supporting Documents for the Skilled Worker Visa UK

In addition to the application form, the candidate is required to gather and submit supporting documentation to prove their eligibility and identity.

 

Depending on whether the application is being submitted domestically or abroad, the applicant must either submit the ID document using the UK Government's "UK Immigration: ID Check" app or provide biometric data (fingerprints and a photo) at a UKVCAS centre.

 

Furthermore, the candidate must submit the following supporting documentation:

  • Their Certificate of Sponsorship reference number, as assigned by their sponsor

  • The sponsor’s name and sponsorship licence number

  • Confirmation of job title

  • Confirmation of annual salary for the job

  • Job occupation code

  • A current passport or other travel document to prove they can travel

  • Expired passports or travel documents to show their travel history.

 

Moreover, based on your particular situation, it can also be required that you provide other documentation, like:

  • Proof of personal savings, where applicable

  • Proof of knowledge of English, where applicable

  • Tuberculosis test results if from a listed country

  • Evidence of relationship to any dependants also applying

  • Valid ATAS certificate, where applicable

  • UK PhD certificate or Ecctis reference number, where applicable

  • Criminal record certificate from any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, where they will be working in either the education, health or social care sector in the UK.

 

Candidates not from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, as well as those from these nation but do not have a biometric passport with a chip, must additionally have a blank page in their passport.

 

Based on the points they have accrued under the points-based system, the Home Office will evaluate their application.

 

It is crucial to remember that a legitimate job offer accompanied by a current sponsorship certificate does not ensure that a skilled worker visa will be granted. The potential employee still has to fulfil all other pertinent requirements. The Home Office will also consider any general reasons for denial, such as any relevant criminal background or prior immigration offences.

 

Skilled Worker Visa Cost

The applicant will bear the cost of the visa application and will vary based on a number of variables, including the job's listing in the Immigration Salary List.

Any dependents applying along with the primary visa applicant must pay the same fees.

Application Type

Application Fee per Application

Applying from outside the UK

  • up to 3 years – £719 

  • more than 3 years – £1,420 

Applying from inside the UK (switching, extending or updating)

  • up to 3 years – £827 

  • more than 3 years – £1,636 

Immigration Salary List roles for applications after 4 April 2024, and Shortage Occupation roles for applications made until 3 July 2024, both in-country and out-of-country applications 

  • up to 3 years – £551 

  • more than 3 years – £1,084

Read, More: Student Visa Application Requirements

Skilled Worker Visa UK Minimum Salary

The majority of applicants' minimum yearly wage criteria for a skilled worker visa in the UK is £38,700 for applications submitted after April 4, 2024; salary discounts are not offered. As stated in the Home Office advice, this is known as Option A. The worker's remuneration must not only reach or exceed the applicable annual salary level but also the applicable hourly rate, which in Option A is £15.88, and the full going rate for the occupation. 

 

The minimal requirements are outlined in Appendix Skilled Worker by the Home Office. The first criterion is for new skilled worker applicants seeking a skilled worker visa UK for the first time, while the second is for current holders of skilled worker visas submitting new applications, such as for renewals or job changes.  

Option

Description

Salary Requirements

Points

1

Only Salary (no discounts)

The applicant's pay either matches or surpasses both:

 

  • £38,700 (the usual threshold) annually

  • The entire going rate of £15.88 per hour for the profession code is listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations.

20

2

Relevant Doctorate

(10% off the going rate and general threshold)

The candidate holds a PhD in a field related to the position, and their pay ranges from the following to above:

 

  • £34,830 (the usual threshold) annually

  • 90% of the going rate shown in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations for the occupation code

  • £15.88 an hour.

20

3

Relevant PhD in a

STEM topic (20% off the going rate and general threshold)

The candidate earns a PhD in a STEM field relevant to the position, and their pay ranges from the following to the following:

 

  • The annual general barrier is £30,960.

  • Eighty per cent of the market wage for the code of profession as indicated in Appendix Skilled Occupations Table 1

  • £15.88 an hour.

20

4

Employment in the Immigration Salary Appendix (20% off the general threshold alone)

The candidate is receiving sponsorship for a position on the Immigration Salary List, and their pay meets or surpasses each of the following criteria:

 

  • The annual general barrier is £30,960.

  • The current hourly pay for the occupation code is £15.88, as indicated in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations.

20

5

10% off the general threshold and 30% off the going rate for newcomers

The candidate is a recent hire just beginning their career, and their pay meets or surpasses each of the following:

 

  • The annual general barrier is £30,960.

  • 70% of the going rate as indicated in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations for the occupation code

  • £15.88 an hour.

20

6

Salary alone; no deductions

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

The candidate makes at least as much as each of the following:

  • £29,000 as the annual threshold

  • The whole going rate for the occupation code is shown in Appendix Skilled Occupations' Table 2 or 2a

  • £11.90 per hour.

20

7

Relevant PhD (10% off the going rate and general threshold)

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

The applicant's income matches or surpasses all of the above, and they hold a PhD in a field related to the position:

 

  • The annual general barrier is £26,100.

  • 90% of the going wage for the code of profession as indicated in Appendix Skilled Occupations' Table 2 or 2a

  • £11.90 per hour.

20

8

PhD in a STEM field that is relevant (20% compensation based on general threshold and going rate)

 

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

The candidate possesses a PhD in a STEM field relevant to the position, and all or most of the following are covered by their salary:

 

  • £23,200 (the usual threshold) annually

  • Eighty per cent of the market wage for the code of profession as listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations, Table 2 or 2a

  • £11.90 per hour.

20

9

Employment in the Immigration Salary Appendix (20% off the general threshold alone)

 

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

Sponsored for a position on the Immigration Salary List, the applicant's pay meets or above all of the following:

 

  • £23,200 (the usual threshold) annually

  • the entire going wage for the code of occupation as indicated in Appendix Skilled Occupations, Table 2.

  • £11.90 per hour.

20

10

10% off the general threshold and 30% off the going rate for newcomers

 

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

The candidate is a recent hire just beginning their career, and their pay meets or surpasses each of the following:

 

  • £23,200 (the usual threshold) annually

  • 70% of the going wage for the code of profession as indicated in Appendix Skilled Occupations' Table 2 or 2a

  • £11.90 per hour.

20

11

Occupation code for health or education eligibility

 

[Transcriptional work in health and care and transitional arrangements]

The candidate is being sponsored for a position in one of the specified health or education-related fields, and their pay is on par with or more than both:

 

  • £23,200 annually (general threshold); and the going rate according to the employment classification shown in Appendix Skilled Occupations, Tables 3, 4, or 5.

20

Read, More: Study PhD Courses in the UK

 

Salary Limit for New Applicants

  • The wage criteria for the majority of new candidates will be £38,700 as of April 4, 2024. Compared to the prior £26,200, this represents an increase.

  • For positions included in the new Immigration Salary List or if the candidate is a recent entry into the workforce, a lower, reduced threshold of £30,960 is applicable.

  • The revised minimal barrier for eligible candidates relying on a relevant STEM PhD is £30,960. Previously, they had to earn £34,830.

 

Salary Limit for Existing Applicants

Beginning on April 4, 2024, the £29,000 wage requirement will be applied to current holders of skilled worker visa UK who submit new applications, such as renewals or job changes.  

 

Salary Limit for Health and Care Workers

  • Additionally, the income threshold for holders of Health and Care Worker visas will rise to £23,200 (from £20,960) on April 4, 2024, or the national pay scale for the position, whichever is greater.

  • Candidates seeking positions outside of the national pay scale must earn at least £29,000 annually in general compensation. As we explain above, a lower threshold could be accessible in some situations when certain conditions are satisfied.

  • These additional thresholds apply when requesting an extension of authorisation or filing for a first Health and Care Worker visa.

 

Skilled Worker Going Rates

  • The income threshold for Health and Care Worker visa holders is also increasing. On April 4, 2024, it will increase from £20,960 to £23,200, or the national pay scale for the occupation, whichever is higher.

  • Candidates must have a yearly general compensation of at least £29,000 to be considered for positions outside of the national pay scale. However, as previously explained, a lower barrier may be reachable in some circumstances, provided that specific requirements are met.

  • These extra thresholds apply when applying for a first Health and Care Worker visa or while requesting a renewal of permission.

 

Read, More: UK Student VISA

Additional Things to Consider Concerning Skilled Worker Visa UK

In this section, we have mentioned all the additional things that one should be aware of when having a thorough knowledge of the skilled worker visa UK.

 

Changing Jobs or the Employer as a Skilled Worker

The visa holder must apply for a new skilled worker visa UK based on their updated Certificate of Sponsorship in order to request a new leave term if their sponsor or employment changes.  

 

Taking on Additional Work with Skiller Worker Visa UK

  • Particular regulations must be followed if an individual holding a skilled worker visa wants to work two jobs or supplement their sponsored position with extra money.

  • Holders of skilled worker visa UK are allowed to take on extra employment, even volunteer work, as long as they continue to work and perform their primary sponsored position. The additional work must either be on the Immigration Salary List or fall within the same occupation code and employment level as their primary sponsored position. It may be performed for up to 20 hours per week.

 

The employee must inform the Home Office to request that their visa be modified to include sponsorship for both employment if neither of these two requirements is satisfied. The employee will need a Certificate of Sponsorship from their second employer along with a letter asking for the conditions of their current visa to be changed in order to do this.

 

Switching to Skilled Worker Visa UK

  • If certain requirements are completed, it is feasible to "switch into" the skilled worker visa in several situations while in the country. The regulations will mostly vary based on the kind of visa the person wishes to replace.

  • For instance, holders of student visas are often not able to convert to a skilled worker visa until after they have finished their studies unless they are enrolled in a PhD program and have been studying for at least 24 months.

  • The individuals switching to the skilled worker visa UK should match all the eligibility requirements.

 

A person who presently resides in the UK with any of the following statuses cannot change into the Skilled Worker category:

  • visit visa

  • short-term student visa

  • parent of a Child's Student visa

  • seasonal worker visa

  • domestic worker in a private household visa

  • permission to stay outside the immigration rules

  • immigration bail 

Skilled worker visa UK list

The UK government has made a list of jobs and professions that will be considered under the skilled worker visa UK and some of the criteria pertaining to those as well. Here is a link to the list, which includes all the professions, for better understanding.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, a skilled worker visa UK allows any individual who qualifies to come to the UK to work for an approved sponsor for an eligible role. The motive of this visa is to mention the authenticity of the person wanting to work within the country, along with the whole process of whether the said individual also qualified for the same or not. All in all, knowing the ins and outs of the skilled worker visa is essential for people thinking of approaching it.

 

If you want to know more about skilled worker visa UK, we encourage you to speak with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). Our counsellors will provide you with guidance throughout your study abroad. Get help with the application process, SOPs, and filing for a visa. Visit us and get one-to-one counselling, or avail yourself of free video counselling via our website. We will be happy to help you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or 1800-1230-00011. 

FAQs

Question: Is Tier 2 the same as the skilled worker visa?

Answer: The Skilled Worker visa replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa. This new visa is the same as the previous one, with certain modifications intended to facilitate the application process for both sponsors and applicants.

 

Question: Who is classed as a skilled worker?

Answer:As defined in Appendix Skilled Occupations to the Immigration Rules, a skilled worker is an individual who will be employed in a position in the UK that is considered to need a skill level of RQF3 or above, which is comparable to an A level.

 

Question: Do the EU nationals need a visa to work in the UK?

Answer:All EU nationals, excluding Irish citizens, who wish to work in the UK after January 1, 2021, have authorisation to do so. This authorisation may come in the form of a valid visa or valid status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

 

Question: Can I switch from a normal visa to a skilled worker visa UK?

Answer:Yes, a person can easily switch to a skilled worker visa UK, provided that the individual wants to switch fulfils the criteria given by the Home Office.

 

Question: Can a person take additional work along with a skilled worker visa UK?

Answer: Yes, the individual can take on additional work along with a skilled worker visa, but they have to request the Home Office to alter their visas, which would allow them to do so.

 

Question: What is the average cost required to pay for the UK skilled worker visa?

Answer: Below is a table that shows the application type and its fee for the application:

Application Type

Application Fee per Application

Applying from outside the UK

  • up to 3 years – £719 

  • more than 3 years – £1,420 

Applying from inside the UK (switching, extending or updating)

  • up to 3 years – £827 

  • more than 3 years – £1,636 

Immigration Salary List roles for applications after 4 April 2024, and Shortage Occupation roles for applications made until 3 July 2024, both in-country and out-of-country applications 

  • up to 3 years – £551 

  • more than 3 years – £1,084 

Question: For how long does a skilled worker visa UK last?

Answer: The visa lasts for a period of 5 years, and then the individual has to renew it.

 

Question: Can I change my job or employer with the same visa?

Answer: No, the individual has to apply for a new skilled worker visa in the UK if they change their current job or employer.

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