UK Skilled Worker Visa

The UK Skilled Worker visa was introduced to bring in highly skilled overseas workers into the UK labor market and subsequently take up permanent residence in the UK.

With this visa, skilled workers from other countries can be selected based on the shortage occupation list and they will be eligible to get an offer letter without the labor market test and stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

Benefits of the visa:
  • Visa holders can bring dependents on the visa
  • Spouse is allowed to work on the visa
  • No cap on the number of people who can move to the UK on the visa
  • Minimum salary requirement has been reduced to £25600 from threshold of £30000
  • Fast Track Visas will be provided for healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses
Eligibility Requirement:
  • You must have a score of 70 points to qualify in the defined parameters like specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions.
  • You need to have a Minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with 2 years of skilled work experience from the eligible occupations list
  • You must have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • The job offer must be at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)
  • You must meet the English Language requirement at B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • You should also meet the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.
Documents required:

The following documents will be required at the time of applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa:

  • The applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship [CoS] reference number
  • Proof of knowledge of the English language
  • A valid passport [or other documents that establishes the applicant’s nationality and identity]
  • Job title
  • Annual salary
  • Occupation code of the job
  • Name of the employer
  • The sponsor licence number of the employer
Jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List [SOL]

If a candidate has their job on the SOL, they can be paid 80% of the “going rate” for their job in order to qualify for the UK Skilled Worker visa.

Occupation code

Job types included

2111

Chemical scientists [only jobs in the nuclear industry]

2112

Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs

2113

Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry:

  • geophysicist
  • engineering geologist
  • hydrogeologist

2113

Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the oil and gas industry:

  • geophysicist
  • geoscientist
  • geologist
  • geochemist
  • technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry
  • senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector

2114

Social and humanities scientists [only archaeologists]

2121

Civil engineers – all jobs

2122

Mechanical engineers – all jobs

2123

Electrical engineers – all jobs

2124

Electronics engineers – all jobs

2126

Design and development engineers – all jobs

2127

Production and process engineers – all jobs

2129

Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs

2135

IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs

2136

Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs

2137

Web design and development professionals – all jobs

2139

Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified [only cyber security specialists]

2216

Veterinarians – all jobs

2425

Actuaries, economists and statisticians [only bio-informaticians and informaticians]

2431

Architects – all jobs

2461

Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs

3411

Artists – all jobs

3414

Dancers and choreographers [conditions apply]

3415

Musicians [conditions apply]

3416

Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs

3421

Graphic designers – all jobs

5215

Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders

5434

Chefs [only skilled chefs, conditions apply]

Healthcare and education occupations have a different shortage occupation list –  

Occupation code

Job types included

2211

Medical practitioners – all jobs

2212

Psychologists – all jobs

2217

Medical radiographers – all jobs

2222

Occupational therapists – all jobs

2223

Speech and language therapists – all jobs

2231

Nurses – all jobs

2314

Secondary education teaching professionals [only teachers in maths, physics, science (where an element of physics will be taught), computer science and Mandarin]

2315

Primary and nursery education teaching professionals – only Gaelic medium teachers

2442

Social workers – all jobs

3213

Paramedics – all jobs

Visa fee details
  • Application Fees for stay up to 3 years – 610 pounds
  • Application Fees for stay more than 3 years stay-1,220 pounds
  • Application Fees if your job is in Shortage Occupation List for stay up to 3 years) – 464 pounds
  • Application Fees (f job in Shortage Occupation List and you wish to stay for more than three years 928 pounds
  • UK NARIC Fees 49.50 pounds

Apart from the application fees you will have to pay a health surcharge of 624 pounds when you apply which will be refunded in case your application is rejected.

FAQ
What is the Skilled Worker visa?

The Skilled Worker visa is for employers to recruit people from overseas to work in the UK in a specific job. A Skilled Worker must have a job offer in an eligible skilled occupation from an employer Home Office-approved sponsor.

Can you bring dependents on the visa?

Yes, you have the right to bring dependents with you which can be your spouse or partner and children below 18 years. The application of dependents is linked with yours.

What are the documents required for the Skilled Worker visa?
  • Offer letter from a UK Employer who has a license to sponsor from the Home Office
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
  • Passport with a validity of 12 months
  • Documents in support of your educational qualifications
  • Documents to prove English language proficiency
  • Proof of having the required maintenance funds which is 1,270 pounds
What is the cost of the Skilled Worker visa?

The application fee will depend on how many years you plan to work in the UK, and whether your job is on the skill shortage list.

  • Application Fees for stay up to 3 years – £610 per person
  • Application Fees for stay more than 3 years – £1,220 per person
  • Application Fees if your job is in the Shortage Occupation List for stay up to 3 years – £464 per person
  • Application Fees if your job is in the Shortage Occupation List and you wish to stay for more than three years – £928 per person
  • UK NARIC Fees 49.50 pounds

Apart from the application fees you will have to pay a health surcharge of £624 per year [for each year of your stay]. To be refunded in case your application is rejected.

Additionally, the applicant must have a minimum of £1,270 in their bank account to demonstrate that they can support themselves financially in the UK.

Is there a Salary relaxation for the Skilled Worker visa compared to the earlier Tier 2 visa?

The salary requirement has been reduced from GBP 30,500 to GBP 25,600. Or the applicant has to meet the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.

Is there any preference given for member of the European Union?

With the introduction of the Skilled Worker visa, European Union (EU) citizens will be treated on par with citizens of other nations. As long as the UK was a member of the EU, those from EU countries had a right to work in the UK. With Brexit they will no longer have this right and will have to apply for a work visa just like others.

Is there any preference for candidates with Ph.D.?

No preference will be given to PhD holders. However, every candidate must  have a score of 70 points to qualify in the defined parameters like specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions.

Is IELTS required for the Skilled Worker visa?

IELTS is not mandatory for the UK Skilled Worker visa. The English language requirements for the visa have to be meet by either IELTS for UKVI (General) with a minimum score of 4 bands in all the four modules or UK NARIC report for the Bachelor’s or Master’s qualification.

Can the Dependent spouse of the visa holder eligible to work?

Yes, the dependent spouse can work full time.

Is education free for children of Skilled Worker visa holders?

Yes, education will be free for children below 18 years of age just like UK citizens or PR holders.

Is there free medical services for the visa holders?

No, they have to pay the fees as per the NHS charges.

What is the duration of the visa?

The visa can be applied for either 3 years or more than 3 years (up to a maximum of 5 years).

After 5 years they can apply for FLR and after another 2 years apply for ILR.

What is new point-based system introduced in the UK?

The government of UK announced the launch of a points-based immigration system which has come into effect from January 2021.

The main features of the points-based migration include:

  • Immigration candidates for both EU and non-EU nations will be treated the same way
  • Highly skilled workers, skilled workers and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
  • A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
  • 70 points is the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa
  • A job offer and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:
  • Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
  • 10 points for a relevant PhD or 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject
  • 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage
How many points are required to eligible for skilled worker visa?

The Skilled Worker visa is based on a points system; so, you can use the various points criteria to your advantage to get the required number of points to apply for this visa. You need 70 points to qualify for this visa.

While it is mandatory to have a job offer from an approved sponsor, if you have a job at the appropriate skill level and have English language skills at the appropriate level you will score 50 points.

You can gain the remaining 20 points if you are hired for a job where you are paid at least £25,600 a year.

You can gain these extra points if you have better qualifications

  • 10 points if you have a relevant PhD
  • 20 points if you have a PhD in science, technology, engineering or math
  • 20 points if you have a job offer in a skill shortage occupation
How do I know if I have the required points to eligible as I will score some points for the salary package that I will be getting for my job in the U.K?

Under the UK skilled worked visa, the minimum salary requirement is 25,600 pounds and an applicant who has a job offer from a sponsored employer with this salary can secure 20 points directly, 10 points from NARIC/ IELTS, 20 points from the Offer of the job by an approved sponsor, 20 points SOC code for the designation.

To get the required points based on salary, the applicant has to meet the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.

Applicants are allowed to use the points for their qualifications against a lower salary package to get the required points for the Skilled Worker Visa. If the job offer has a salary which is less than the minimum salary requirement of £ 20,480, an applicant will still be qualified if they have:

  • a job offer in a specific shortage occupation
  • a PhD relevant to the job
  • a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job
If I have more points is it easy to get a visa?

The maximum points you can score is 70 points, scoring more than 70 points will not give you special privileges. This is how the 70 points will be distributed based on your qualifications:

  • 70 points is the required score to be eligible for a visa
  • A job offer and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:
  • Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
  • 10 points for a relevant PhD or 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject
  • 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage
After the UK employer issues Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) are there chances of rejection of the Skilled Worker visa?

Yes, there are chances that your visa application can be rejected in spite of getting a certificate of sponsorship but you can always reapply for the visa.

How much salary can I expect if I apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

Your salary will be based on your years of experience, here is the average salary based on years of experience:

01- 05 years – 24000 pounds (Variation based on profile and industry)

05 – 10 years –30800 pounds (Variation based on profile and industry)

10- 15 years – 40000 pounds (Variation based on profile and industry)

Will the UK economy go down because of Brexit?

Brexit is likely to reduce immigration from European Economic Area (EEA) countries to the UK, and poses challenges for British higher education, academic research and security.

Do children of Tier 2 visa holders in the UK get access to free education?

Yes, children of Tier 2 visa holders get access to free education in the UK.

Is the minimum salary package advantageous or disadvantageous for applicants?

Yes, it is advantageous because the applicant can ask the employer to pay the minimum salary to process his  visa. The employer will have to pay a minimum salary of 25,600 pounds or the ‘going rate’ for the position, whichever is higher.

How many years need to be on work permit to get PR?

Permanent residency in the UK is also known as the Indefinite Leave to Remain, it is an immigration status granted to a person without the Right of Abode.

A person who has permanent resident status can live and work indefinitely in the UK. He will no longer have immigration restrictions to work or do business in the UK and no time limits on his stay.

You can apply for permanent residency if you have lived in the UK for a certain number of years, lawfully or otherwise.

You have to be in the UK on a work permit for five years before applying for permanent residency.

How many years of stay on a PR visa is required to apply for UK citizenship?

You will have to stay for a minimum of five years in the UK on a PR visa to apply for citizenship.

After I gain UK citizenship do I have work rights in EU?

No, you will have to apply for a work permit to work in most EU countries even if you have UK citizenship.

What is the difference between new rules and old rules on Tier 2 work permit?

Here is a table describing the main differences:

Old Rules

New Rules

Min Salary 30000

Min Salary 25600

EU Citizens were eligible to work in UK

EU citizens also need sponsorship from the employers

No fast track visas

Fast track entry to the Healthcare professionals

After getting UK citizenship can I get work rights in other countries like Australia and Canada?

No, you will have to apply for a work permit to work in these countries.

In 5 years how many days I can stay outside UK to be eligible for ILR?

If you have lived in the UK continuously for five years and have spent less than 180 consecutive days outside of the UK each year during this period, you will be eligible for ILR.

Can I sponsor my parent's dependent PR after getting UK citizenship?

Yes, you can sponsor your parent’s PR visa, once you become a British citizen or are settled permanently in the UK and is not on the work permit.

Can I check online on how many allocations a particular employer has?

No, it is not possible to check this online.

How do I know is COS is genuine? Do I have the option to check before lodging my visa application?

You can click on this link https://uktiersponsors.co.uk/ to check if the COS is genuine.

How much will the Tier 2 visa cost and how long it will take to process?

It will take a minimum of 3 weeks to get the visa decision from the time you file your application. The cost of the visa is 610 Pounds per applicant for a 3-year visa and 1220 Pounds per applicant for a 5-year visa.

Can dependents work full time?

Yes, dependent children over 16 years of age can work on a full-time job in the UK.

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