Skilled Worker Visa UK

Replacing the Tier 2 (General) visa, the Skilled Worker visa UK is now the primary immigration route for migrants from around the world who wish to come to the UK to work.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone
consultation on 020 3951 8832 or complete our enquiry form
to discuss your UK spouse visa.

Get In Touch

Step 1 of 2

What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. This permit allows eligible applicants to stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved sponsor/employer.

If you or your close family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and you started living in the UK before 1st January 2021, you can apply for the free EU Settlement Scheme. This means that you would not need to get a visa to work in the UK. Irish citizens do not need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme or a visa.

If you are a skilled worker and you want to enter the UK to do a specialized job, you can seek the help

Job eligibility

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, you should receive a job offer from a UK employer which must meet all the following requirements:

  • The job must be eligible for the visa, under the new Skilled Worker Visa route, your role must be skilled to at least RQF level 3 (roughly equivalent to A-levels).
  • You must be paid the minimum salary or “going rate” for the type of work you will be doing. The minimum salary is at least £25,600 per year.
  • Your employer must have been approved by the Home Office and hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • You must hold an occupation code. If you have already received a job offer, you must ask your employer for your code.

Also, you must be able to prove that you are being sponsored by the employer to undertake a vacancy that is genuine. If the Home Office believes the job is only created so you can apply for the Skilled Worker visa or it is a sham, your application will be refused.

Financial requirements

The general salary threshold under the Skilled Worker Visa route is £25,600 a year. This means that your salary must equal or exceed this number and 100% of the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher. The assessment will be based on guaranteed basic gross pay.

Workers falling into specific categories might be paid less than the above amount, provided that they score additional “tradable point” for other attributes, such as:

  • Holding a PhD qualification which is relevant to the job or in a relevant STEM subject
  • Accepting an offer for a job in the shortage occupation list
  • Applicants who are new entrants to the labour market
  • Applications for job listed as health or education occupations

As well as meeting the minimum salary threshold, you will also need to meet other financial requirements. You must have cash funds of at least £1,270 available to sustain yourself while in the UK. This money must be held in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days prior to your application.

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you need to be sponsored by a UK-based employer. Besides, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be aged 18 or over
  • You need a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the job you are going to do
  • Your job is a genuine vacancy
  • Your role is at an appropriate level
  • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds the general salary threshold and the “going rate” for your occupation
  • Your sponsor has paid the required Immigration Skills Charge
  • You can demonstrate your English proficiency (at least CEFR Level B1)
  • You can financially sustain yourself and your family without relying on public funds
  • You can provide a criminal record certificate
  • You can provide a valid TB certificate (if needed)

English language requirement

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must demonstrate your English proficiency. This must be at least at level B1 (intermediate). To satisfy this requirement, you can either:
  • Be a national of a majority English-speaking country
  • Have passed a Secure English Language Test
  • Have obtained a GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the UK
  • Have been awarded a degree taught in English
  • Have already met this requirement as a part of any previous application for entry clearance

How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa

The application process for a Skilled Worker visa is done online.

After filling out your application, you must prove your identity. You can either provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) at a visa application centre or scan your identity document using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.

You will also have to pay the application fees and submit the documents.

The above process can only be taken if you are outside the UK. If you are within the UK, you will have to apply to switch to a Skilled Worker visa from the visa you currently use to stay in the UK. Note that if you are on any of the visas below, you cannot switch:

  • Visitor visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Parent of a Child Student visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Domestic worker in a private household visa
  • Immigration bail
  • Permission to stay outside the immigration rules

If you are on any of the above visas, you will have to leave the UK first and apply from outside the UK.