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Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

The Skilled Worker Visa has now replaced the former Tier 2 (General) Visa.

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Requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa has now replaced the former Tier 2 (General) Visa. This new permit is open to all international individuals who have been offered a job in the UK and wish to enter the country.

To be eligible for this visa, you must be sponsored to do a specific job by a valid UK-based employer, who holds a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Besides, you must meet specific skill and salary requirements.

If you wish to get professional help, or if you want to explore your options to enter the UK as an international worker, you can get in touch with IAS’ immigration lawyers. Call us on 0333 305 3750 to speak with our team.

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 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)

Certificate of Sponsorship for international workers

Your CoS must be issued by your employer, that must have been authorized by the Home Office to employer international workforce.

The Certificate of Sponsorship must include the following information:

  • Your personal details
  • Details of your job and salary
  • The start date, which must be no more than 3 months after the date of your visa application
  • Confirmation that the CoS has not been issued for any precious application which has been withdrawn by the sponsor

Genuine Vacancy Requirement

To get your visa, you must demonstrate that you are being sponsored to undertake a genuine vacancy. Besides, you must prove that you are capable and qualifies to undertake the role for which the CoS has been assigned.

If the Home Office has reasonable grounds to believe that your job does not exist or has been created so that you can apply for a visa, then it may ask for additional documents. In certain circumstances, your application can be refused.

The Home Office also need to check that you have not entered into an arrangement with your employer whereby you will only fill a temporary position. In addition, you must demonstrate that you are only going to work for your sponsoring employer, meaning that you cannot provide any routine service to a third party who is not your sponsor.

Applying with your family

Your partner and children can apply to join you in the UK provided that they are eligible as your dependants. You can include the following members of your family in your application:

  • Your husband or wife, civil partner, or unmarried partner
  • Your children under 18
  • Your children over 18 if they are already staying in the UK as your dependants and are not married.

When submitting your application, you must provide evidence of your relationship.

Skill Level requirement

The job you are being sponsored for must be an eligible job at or above the minimum skill level set by the Home Office.

Under the new Skilled Worker Visa route, your role must be skilled to at least RQF level 3 (roughly equivalent to A-levels).

It must be noted that no formal qualification is required to satisfy this requirement. However, you must be able to demonstrate your skills level, which must be adequate for the role your are going to undertake.

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

Salary Threshold requirement

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

Financial requirement

Before you apply, 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.

You will be exempt from the financial requirement if you have a fully A-rated sponsor which is willing to meet all your maintenance costs to an amount of at least £1,270 and up to the end of the first month of your employment.

If you have already been granted leave to remain in the UK before your Skilled Worker Visa application, you might be exempt from meeting the financial requirement.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You can submit your application no more than three months after your CoS has been issued.

To get a Skilled Worker Visa you must first hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the role you are going to do. The certificate is issued by your employer, that must be authorized by the Home Office to sponsor international workers.

To be eligible for this permit, your sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors.

If the Home Office has rejected your application, you will receive a letter stating the reasons for the refusal.

You can seek professional help from one of IAS’ immigration lawyers. Together, we will review your circumstances, and identify whether you can apply for an appeal.

Before your Cos is issued, your sponsor needs to pay in full the required Immigration Skills Charge. This is a charge for each foreign worker that a sponsorship employer seeks to hire. This fee must be paid each time an employer holding a CoS assigns a new certificate to a migrant.