UK Skilled Worker Visa
The UK Skilled Worker Visa category is for individuals who have an eligible skilled job offer from a Home Office-approved sponsor.
Awards and Accreditations
The route can lead to permanent residence in the United Kingdom. Eligible applicants can be accompanied by their spouses/partners and dependent children.
There is no cap on the number of people who can enter the UK on the Skilled Worker route.
Requirements for a UK Skilled Worker Visa
In general, to qualify for a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do,
- Your job offer is a genuine vacancy,
- Your sponsor has paid the required Immigration Skills Charge,
- Your job is at an appropriate skill level,
- You meet the English language requirements,
- You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation,
- You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds, and
- You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required.
The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your individual circumstances, occupation, qualifications, and citizenship. You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement
In order to obtain a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do. In most cases the sponsoring employer must be an A-rated sponsor.
Genuine Vacancy Requirement
To be granted a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you are being sponsored to undertake a genuine vacancy and have the necessary skills, qualifications and experience for the job.
If UK Visas & Immigration believe that your employer has not made a good faith effort to hire or train British Citizens or settled workers or that the vacancy has been created for the purposes of assisting you to gain entry into the UK, then your application will be refused.
Appropriate Skill Level Requirement
The Home Office sets out eligible jobs for the UK Skilled Worker Visa category, along with their skill and qualification levels. Each eligible job has a 4-digit occupation code.
Your employer must choose an appropriate occupation code. Your application may be refused if the Home Office has reason to believe that your employer has not selected the correct occupation code.
In assessing whether your employer has chosen the most appropriate occupation code, the Home Office will consider factors such as whether they have shown a genuine need for the position, whether you have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience needed to do the job and your employer’s history of compliance with UK immigration law.
Salary Threshold Requirement
Employers seeking to recruit under the UK Skilled Worker Visa category must pay their skilled workers a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation, whichever is higher.
The general salary threshold under the Skilled Worker route is £25,600 gross per year. Therefore, in most cases an applicant for a Skilled Worker Visa must be paid a gross salary which equals or exceeds £25,600 a year and 100% of the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.
Certain skilled workers may be paid less than the general threshold or the going rate. These situations include where an applicant with a PhD qualification which is relevant to the proposed position in the UK or where the position is on the shortage occupation list.
Duration of a UK Skilled Worker Visa
A UK Skilled Worker Visa may be granted for a maximum of 5 years.
Permanent Residence for UK Skilled Worker Visa Holders
To qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain as a Skilled Worker, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that you have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK and have not left the UK for more than 180 days during each year of the 5-year continuous period.
Additionally, your employer must still be an approved sponsor and require you to work for them for the foreseeable future. You must continue to be paid the general salary threshold or the going rate requirement, whichever is higher.
How we can help
Our UK immigration lawyers can ensure that you and your employer meet the requirements of the UK immigration rules before applying for a UK Skilled Worker Visa. For further information please schedule a consultation.