Skilled Workers Visa
What is a Skilled Worker Visa?
The Skilled Worker route (previously Tier 2 General visa) is for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals (arriving from 1 January 2021) and non-EEA nationals who are sponsored to do a specific skilled job for a Home Office licensed sponsor. Dependent partners and children can apply on this route, as set out in the dependant’s family members guidance. The route leads to indefinite leave to remain settlement in the UK.
Your application will be assessed under the Home Office Points Based System (PBS) and allows entry on a long term basis to fill a skilled genuine job vacancy. The Home Office has included many occupations codes to have lowed skilled occupations allowing you to apply
What are the requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa?
The Home Office must be satisfied you meet the following eligibility criteria
- You do not fall for refusal under Suitability grounds
- You must not be in breach of the Immigration rules
- You are aged 18 or over
- You have a valid passport to prove your identity
- Your job offer is a genuine vacancy – Occupation needs to be on the Skilled Worker eligible occupation list
- You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued from approved Home Office Sponsor in the UK – which is A-rated
- Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
- You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0) to satisfy the English language requirement
- 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;
- You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
- You have provided a valid TB certificate – for entry clearance applications
- Criminal Records Certificate – for entry clearance applications
What is a CoS?
This is known as a Certificate of Sponsorship. You will need this document in order for your application to be valid. It is paramount part of your application and your Sponsor must be on the list of approved Sponsors in order to sponsor you.
Each CoS must contain the following information about the applicant:
- Your personal details
- Your name
- Job title
- A start date of your employment with them no more than 3 months after the date of your Skilled Worker visa application
- English ability – B1 Level unless exemption applies
The Certificate of Sponsorship must be issued not more than 3 months before the date of your UK Skilled Worker visa application
Do I need certain qualifications to apply or a skill level?
The minimum required level is RQF level 3 to fill the skilled job role. You do not need to hold a formal qualification, although if you have qualification this will help to meet the test that it is a genuine vacancy that is being offered or previous experience and that you have for the job you have applied for. .
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Salary Rate to be paid
Under Appendix of the Immigration Rules, the Home Office has set out the Occupation codes together with the required level of salary set for that particular skilled job and the going rate. The Home Office requires the applicant to meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa:
- Your job is eligible for this visa
- You be working for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office in order to start work
- You be paid at least the minimum salary for the type of working you be doing – known as the ‘going rate’.
The minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:
- £25,600 per year
- £10.10 per hour
- the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing
The general salary threshold under the Skilled Worker route is £25,600 a year or exceeds this amount and pays the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.
Can I be paid less?
You might still be able to apply for a Skilled Worker visa if your job is eligible if your salary is less than £25,600 or your job’s usual ‘going rate’. You must still be paid at least £10.10 per hour.
You can be paid between 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for your job if your salary is at least £20,480 per year and you meet one of the following criteria:
- Your job is in a shortage occupation
- You’re under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training
- You have a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) PhD level qualification that’s relevant to your job (if you have a relevant PhD level qualification in any other subject your salary must be at least £23,040)
- You have a postdoctoral position in science or higher education
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Do I need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge?All applicant (s) need to pay the UK NHS Surcharge, which is a separate fee from the Skilled Worker visa application fee. A separate fee is applicable for each dependant
What if my code is on the Shortage Occupation List?The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations for which there are not enough resident workers to fill vacancies. If your job is on the list, you can be paid 80% of the job’s usual going rate to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa. The annual salaries for these jobs are based on a 39-hour working week. They must be pro-rated for other working patterns, based on the weekly working hours stated by your employer. If you have a job offer for a job on the shortage occupation list, the salary threshold is likely to be reduced for the requirement to be met.
Financial requirements and the 28 days rule?
You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK.
You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa, unless you are exempt as you:
- you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months
- your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270, they will have a ‘A rated’ sponsor
Can I apply for my dependants?
Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your ‘dependants’ if they’re eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.
Your partner and children must have a certain amount of money available to support themselves while they’re in the UK.
You – or your partner or child – will need:
- £285 for your partner
- £315 for one child
- £200 for each additional child
How can we help?
Our Friendly Team of Immigration Solicitors in London are here to help you with your application for a Skilled Worker Visa to the Home Office. We are here to help you every step of the way.
Once instructed, please feel assured we will include the following:
- Taking detailed instructions from you and advising you about the relevant immigration laws and procedures in your application for a Skilled Worker visa to the Home Office;
- Assessing and checking your documents and evidence to ensure that your application fulfils the relevant requirements
- Advising you if any documents are missing or additional documents are required to support and strengthen your application for a Skilled Worker visa.
- Completing of your entire application process and any information to process your application for a Skilled Worker visa.
- Preparing a representation letter to the Home Office as to why you qualify for a Skilled Worker visa
Our Top Skilled Worker Visa FAQ’S
When you apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to have enough money to: pay the application fee – the standard fee ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on your circumstances. You will also need to pay towards the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge rate of £624.00 per year per applicant.
As the longest you can sponsor a worker for is 5 years, please see link of the costs for employer (s) applying for a sponsorship licence.
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within: 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK. 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK
The Immigration Skills Charge is a fee payable by an employer when they sponsor a migrant under the skilled worker visa route. The ISC must be paid when the sponsor issues the Certificate of Sponsorship. Failure to pay the ISC will result in the worker’s visa application being refused
The Certificate of Sponsorship is a mandatory requirement for skilled worker visa applicants to make their visa application. The cost of assigning each Certificate of Sponsorship is £199. This cost will apply each time you recruit a sponsored worker.
- Check your business is eligible
- Choose the type of licence you want to apply for – this will depend on what type of worker you want to sponsor.
- Decide who will manage sponsorship within your business
- Apply online and pay the fee.
Any certificate of sponsorship is valid for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue. Once a Certificate of Sponsorship is issued, a sponsor is held fully responsible for the actions of the employee.
In order to apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa or Intra-Company Transfer visa, you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer with a sponsor licence. Your prospective employer must request and if granted assign your CoS via their online Sponsor Management System account
For Further Information or to talk to us, Contact us to discuss your Skilled Worker visa application to the UK. Kindly contact one of Immigration Solicitors in London on 0203 7324736 or complete the contact form or email us. Thank you