- Skilled Worker visa eligibility
- Job eligibility
- Skilled Worker visa application fees
- Applying with your family
- How to extend your Skilled Worker visa
- If you hold a Tier 2 Visa
- Switching from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 Visa
- Changing your employment as a Tier 2 Visa holder
- UK Tier 2 Visa application fees
- The Tier 2 Visa cooling off period
- Tier 2 Visa conditions of stay
- Undertaking supplementary employment
- How can I get help from IAS
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Skilled Migrant Worker?
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 of IAS immigration lawyers. Call us on 0333 305 3750 to speak with our team.
Skilled Worker visa eligibility
To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:
- Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office as qualified sponsor
- Hold a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer, with all the details about your role
- Have been offered a job which is on the list of eligible occupations
- Be paid a minimum salary, which depends on the type of work you are going to do in the UK.
- Confirm the job offer before you submit your visa application.
- Be able to prove adequate English proficiency.
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
- 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.
Skilled Worker visa application fees
The Skilled Worker visa application fees range from £610 to £1,408, depending on your circumstances.
When applying for your visa, you also need to take the following expenses into account:
- Healthcare surcharge – £624 per year
- You must have at least £1,270 available to demonstrate that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK. You might be exempt if you have already been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months, or if the employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK.
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.
How to extend your Skilled Worker visa
Your Skilled Worker visa is due to expire after a certain number of years, depending on your circumstances. You can apply to extend your permit if you meet the following requirements:
- You have the same job as when you were first granted your visa
- Your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given permission to enter the UK
- You are still working for the same employer who sponsored your current application.
Your family can apply for a visa extension, but they will need to submit a separate application.
If you hold a Tier 2 Visa
If you got CoS before 24th November 2016
If you have already applied to extend your visa before 24 May 2023, your minimum salary requirement is fixed at a lower rate. This means that you need to be paid at least £20,800 per year.
If you got your CoS on or after 24th November 2016
If you apply to extend your visa before 1st December 2026, you need to meet the new salary requirements. Your salary may also include allowances, if they are guaranteed for the length of your stay.
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You can submit your UK visa application up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date can be found in your certificate of sponsorship.
Depending on your circumstances, the Home Office may need extra time to review your documents and prove your identity. For this reason, you should always allow extra time and submit your application in time.
It usually takes about 3 weeks to receive a decision from the Home Office if you are outside the UK. If you are already living in this country, you may need to wait up to 8 weeks.
As a Skilled Worker visa holder, you can:
- Work and study in the UK
- Bring your family (your partner and your children) if they are eligible for a dependant visa
- Do voluntary work or take on additional work (in certain circumstances)
- Apply to settle in the UK after 5 years of lawful residence in this country.
What you cannot do:
- Change job or employer, unless you submit an updated visa application
- Apply for public funds, benefits, or the State Pension
You need to be paid at least £25,600 per year, unless the “going rate” for your job is higher. Depending on your occupation code, your role might have an annual going rate, which you and your employer can check online.
Different salary rules apply for those working in healthcare or education jobs.