Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled Worker Visa

A skilled worker visa allows you to come to the UK and work for an approved employer in an eligible job.

Important Travel Document Information – Please Read

The UK Skilled Worker visa is a points-based visa that allows skilled workers from outside the UK to come to the UK to live and work. The visa is designed to attract talented people to the UK to fill skilled jobs that cannot be filled by UK workers. Anyone can apply providing they reach the eligibility requirements. The Skilled Worker visa permits you to live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time. You can also bring your family members with you to the UK on dependent visas.

We advise that applicants apply as soon as they are able to ensure that their Skilled Worker Visa is supplied in time. Skilled Worker Visas typically take around 2 months to obtain when accounting for appointment booking and processing time.

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

Before you can apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a verified employment offer from a licensed UK employer who will serve as your sponsor.
  • Possess a Sponsorship Certificate provided by your employer.
  • Pass the point-based Evaluation.
  • Meet the minimum salary threshold for the job offer (or be able to trade points for a lower salary).

To start the visa application process, please click below.

What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker visa, formerly called a Tier 2 visa, helps non-UK citizens work in the UK for a specific employer. A skilled worker visa encompasses the majority of all employment opportunities in the UK.  To apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must already have a job offer from a UK employer and you must meet the required 70 points on the UK points based system. 

Who is eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker Visa is a visa that any worker can be eligible for so long as they meet the 70 points required by the UK’s points based system, and that they meet all the mandatory characteristics needed for an application. Here’s a breakdown of the points each characteristic is and whether they are mandatory or tradeable:

  • Offer of job from approved sponsor (Mandatory, 20 points)
  • Job at appropriate skill level (Mandatory, 20 points)
  • Speaks English at required level (Mandatory, 10 points)
  • Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 0 points)
  • Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 10 points)
  • Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 20 points)
  • Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee (Tradeable, 20 points)
  • Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job (Tradeable, 10 points)
  • Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job (Tradeable, 20 points)

What can you do while travelling on a Skilled Worker Visa

The UK is a great place to live and work, and a Skilled Worker Visa gives you the opportunity to experience all that the UK has to offer. Things you can do on a UK Skilled Worker Visa are

Live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time.

Bring your partner and children with you to the UK on dependent visas.

Study in the UK without prior approval from the Home Office (however those undertaking studies in STEM subjects should verify with the home office)

Take on additional paid work in certain circumstances (such as in the same occupation code and at the same level as your main job, or in a shortage occupation).

Access the UK's healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS).

Access the UK's education system, which is ranked among the best in the world.

Live and work in any part of the UK.

Travel freely within the UK.

Processing time for a Skilled Worker Visa

The processing time for a UK Skilled Worker visa is currently around 3 weeks for applications made outside the UK and 8 weeks for applications made inside the UK. However, this is just an average processing time and the actual processing time may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of your application, the workload of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) office, and whether you have applied for a priority service. Below are the average processing time for each form of priority.

  • Ordinary processing takes 2 to 8 weeks.
  • Priority processing takes 5 working days.
  • Super priority processing takes 24 hours. 

Skilled Worker Visa Length

A UK Skilled Worker visa is initially granted for a period of up to five years. However, the exact validity of your visa will depend on the duration of your job offer. For example, if you have a job offer for three years, your visa will be granted for three years.

If you want to stay in the UK for longer than five years, you can apply to renew your visa. You can apply for an renewal as many times as you like, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

After five years on the Skilled Worker visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which is a permanent right to live and work in the UK.

Documents Required for Skilled Worker Visa

The documents you need to submit for a UK Skilled Worker visa may vary depending on your individual circumstances. Some of the common documents you will need to submit include:

  • Your passport or other travel document
  • A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer
  • Proof of your English language skills
  • Proof of your qualifications
  • Proof of your salary
  • Your tuberculosis test results (if required)
  • A criminal record certificate (if required)
  • A valid ATAS certificate (if required)
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner and children (if they are applying with you)

For detailed information on specific parts of the Skilled Worker Visa Process, you can refer to the links below to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us

Other UK Visa Types

A Visa is required for any foreign national wishing to enter the United Kingdom. If you do not need a Skilled Worker Visa, you can choose from the following options instead:

Can you be rejected for a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, you can be rejected for a UK Skilled Worker Visa. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will refuse your application if you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements or if you have provided false or misleading information.

Some of the most common reasons for Skilled Worker visa refusals include:

  • Not meeting the skill requirements for the job offer
  • Not meeting the English language requirements
  • Not meeting the salary requirements
  • Not having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer
  • Having a criminal record
  • Having been previously refused a UK visa

If you are refused a Skilled Worker visa, you will be given a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal. You will then have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

People Also Asked

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, because they are sponsoring you to come to or stay in the UK.

Currently, the UK doesn’t offer a “self-sponsorship visa.” However, it provides different means to work in the UK while sponsoring yourself. These routes include the Innovator, and Start-up Visa. 

If you lose your job as an overseas worker, either under a Skilled Worker visa, you may still be able to stay in the UK provided you can secure a qualifying new job role with a different employer licensed to sponsor skilled workers. If you are unable to do so you will be required to leave the UK.

No if you apply to the UK seeking asylum you are not permitted to switch to a Skilled Worker Visa. Asylum Seekers are able to apply for permission to work if they have been waiting 12 months for a decision however they cannot apply for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Any dependents you have on your Skilled Worker Visa are permitted to be able to work in any job role, except as a sportsperson or coach. The Visa holder must continue to work in their sponsored role.

The Skilled Worker Visa replaced the Tier 2 Visa on 1st of December 2020. The Skilled Worker Visa is functionally the same as the Tier 2 visa, the Skilled Worker Visa has reduced the barrier of entry but nothing else has changed in the transition.

Yes you can buy a house in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa, you can even get a mortgage on a house in the UK while on a Skilled Worker Visa

While the requirements and the points required are the same, to be eligible for a Health and Social Worker visa your Certificate of Sponsorship must state that the job that you would be doing in the UK falls into the Health and Social work category.

You can do additional paid work on this visa as long as you’re still doing the job you’re being sponsored for. You can also do unpaid voluntary work.

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