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Appendix Skilled Worker: A Guide For Employers & Companies

The Appendix Skilled Worker route is how employers and companies can recruit people who have particular skills to work in a specific job in the UK.

Contact IAS today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or request a callback on our website for further advice about the Appendix Skilled Worker Visa route.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Work Visa

    Our team of immigration lawyers can provide the right support to ensure you secure a work visa for yourself or your employees.


    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    By working with IAS for your or your employee’s work visa, you make sure that you have an expert eye and hands on your case to boost your chances of success.

    We ensure you are applying for the most suitable work visa to boost your chances of success.

    We provide advice on the appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    You get a personalised approach from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer

    You work with you and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    What is the Appendix Skilled Worker Route?

    The Appendix Skilled Worker is a sponsored immigration route, where the applicant must first have a job offer from a UK licensed sponsor.

    There are key skill levels and minimum salary amount requirements for this visa route so it is essential for both UK sponsors, ie; the employer or company recruiting a foreign skilled migrant, as well as the visa applicant themselves, to understand all there is to know about the Appendix Skilled Worker pathway.

    As the Skilled Worker Visa requires a number of eligibility criteria for both employers and employees, you may wish to seek advice from an immigration specialist to ensure the application is processed quickly and correctly.

    When Does an Appendix Skilled Worker Apply to You as an Employer?

    The Skilled Worker Visa is for a skilled worker, with a suitable job offer in an eligible skilled occupation from a Home Office-approved sponsor (employer or company) in the UK and allows employers to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific job role.

    There are a number of strict rules that relate to what type of job offer this has to be and what salary must be paid to your employee, in addition to other validity requirements, suitability and eligibility requirements.

    If you are a UK employer that is recruiting a skilled worker from overseas, from both within and outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, you will need to have a valid Home Office-approved Sponsor Licence and ensure the licence and visa requirements are met in order to be able to sponsor the worker.

    What Are the Appendix Skilled Worker Visa Requirements?

    For any of your employees applying for UK entry clearance or permission to remain as a Skilled Worker within the UK, they have to apply online.

    Any applicant who is applying for permission to stay as a skilled worker needs to be already in the UK on the date that they apply and the applicant must not already have permission as either a visitor or short-term or child student, as a seasonal worker, or as the parent of a child student, or domestic worker in a private household.

    For a valid application, a form applying for entry clearance, or permission to stay as a Skilled Worker, applicant must meet all of the skilled worker entry requirements including being 18 or over at the time of application.

    The application fee for a Skilled Worker Visa can vary from £479 to £1235 depending on the duration of the visa that is wanted. This can be either 3 years or less, or more than 3 years.

    Total fees also depend on whether or not the job role is within a shortage occupation as listed under Appendix Shortage Occupation List. The applicant (not you as the employer) will be responsible for paying this fee, although you can agree to cover this cost if you prefer.

    Your employee (or yourself as the employer if you choose) may also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge. This is an annual charge of £624 to make sure the applicant can access the NHS in the UK.

    If applying from outside the UK, the applicant may be required to attend an overseas visa application centre so they can scan their fingerprints and take a photograph of their face.

    This can be done at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) if they are applying from within the UK.

    The applicant will also need to give a passport or other travel document which establishes their identity and nationality and must have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) that was issued to them by you as their UK sponsor.

    This has to be issued no more than 3 months before the date of their application. This should be an electronic certificate containing a unique reference number.

    An applicant applying for entry clearance or leave to remain who has received an award from either a government or an international scholarship agency in the 12 months before completing the application form, which covers fees and living costs for study in the UK, needs to have proof of written consent in the application from you as the government or international scholarship agency either.

    Applications for leave to remain in the UK can only be granted when the seasonal worker applicant is in the UK already on the date of making the application. In addition, the skilled worker applicant must not have been granted permission under any of the following visa routes:

    • Visitor Visa
    • Short-term student
    • Parent of a child student
    • Domestic worker in a private setting
    • Seasonal worker
    • Outside any of the Immigration Rules

    What Points are Needed for the Skilled Worker Route?

    Applicants need to meet further eligibility requirements to score a certain number of mandatory points requirements. A Skilled Worker Visa will only be granted to those who reach the relevant minimum 70 points threshold, that is made up of 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points for meeting the relevant eligibility criteria.

    Points for the Skilled Worker Visa are awarded as follows:

    20 mandatory points for sponsorship –  the worker must have an offer of a genuine job role within an eligible skilled occupation from you as the licensed UK sponsor that meets all the requirements under the National Minimum Wage and Working Time Regulations.

    The UKVI must be satisfied that the job role on offer is a genuine role. Additionally, the job must not be a hire of the applicant on to a third party, or contract work for a third party, who is not you (the sponsor).

    20 mandatory points for a job at the required skill level – This must be a job in an eligible occupation code that is listed either under Appendix Skilled Occupations or Appendix Shortage Occupation List.

    You, as the sponsor, need to choose an appropriate occupation code that accounts for the true nature of the role and its corresponding salary. The UKVI will decide whether the sponsor (you) has shown enough of a genuine need for the job role, if the applicant has the appropriate qualifications, skills and experience needed to be able to do the role, as well as your history of compliance with the immigration system, including paying your sponsored workers an appropriate amount.

    10 mandatory points for proving the necessary English language ability of at least level B1 (intermediate) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in reading, writing, speaking and listening, as detailed under the Appendix English Language.

    20 tradeable points. There are a number of different options for being awarded tradeable points. This includes a minimum salary or educational qualification option.

    An example of a reason for tradeable points awarded to an applicant include being given 20 points if their salary equals or exceeds £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour and the average going rate for the occupation code.

    The applicant could also be awarded 20 points for having a PhD in a subject that is relevant to the role, where their salary equals or exceeds £23,580 per year, £10.75 per hour and 90% of the average going rate.

    Understanding the appendix skilled worker route might be confusing; speak to our immigration team for help!

    What Are the Skilled Worker Visa Eligibility Requirements?


    Additional to the above criteria, the skilled worker may also be required to meet various other eligibility requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa. This could include, all the following requirements:

    Skilled Worker Visa financial requirement

    If the applicant is applying for entry clearance or leave to remain and has been in the UK for less than 12 months when they complete their application, they must have held funds of at least £1,270 for 28 days (which comes under Appendix Finance).

    Alternatively, you as the sponsor must clarify that you will maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of their first month of employment to an amount equivalent to this total sum.

    Criminal records certificate requirement

    If the applicant is applying for entry clearance from overseas and is being sponsored by you under a certain occupation code, such as a education or health role, they are required to create a criminal record certificate from the necessary authority in any country that they have been living in for 12 months or more over the age of 18 years old, whether continuously or in total, during the 10 year duration before applying for the Skilled Work Visa.

    Tuberculosis certificate requirement

    If the applicant is applying for entry clearance from overseas and they are from a listed country, they must prove that they have a valid medical certificate (as stated under Appendix T – tuberculosis screening) that confirms that they have been screened for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that tuberculosis has not been found present.

    ATAS requirement

    If there is an essential requirement for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate (under Appendix ATAS), the applicant needs to, then, produce a valid ATAS certificate.

    The ATAS requirement is needed when the job includes an element of PhD-level research in a relevant subject and you, as the sponsor, are also a licensed student sponsor.

    What Are the Skilled Worker Visa Suitability Requirements?

    Suitability requirements are essential to all the immigration rules and routes into the UK and must be met on top of the specific immigration rules, name validity requirements and eligibility requirements for the Skilled Worker route.

    Grounds that could deem the applicant unsuccessful could include if an applicant is the subject of any exclusion or deportation orders, the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas and have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more, or if the applicant has committed a criminal offence, or offences, that caused serious harm.

    More than one ground for refusal is allowed to apply. An example of this could be that the applicant is a recently convicted criminal and has served a long custodial sentence, and their presence in the UK would not be positive to the public good due to their conduct or character.

    The applicant must then not be in breach of any immigration laws in the UK if they go on to apply for leave to remain.

    The requirements are crucial to understand in order for a faster and higher chance of a successful application. Contact IAS today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 for further advice and support about any requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa.

    Can a Skilled Worker Visa Holder Bring Dependents?

    Through the Skilled Worker Visa route, the partner and any child(ren) are able to apply to join the main visa-holder or decide to stay in the UK as dependents if they are eligible for this.

    A dependant partner or child counts as any of the following:

    • a husband, wife, unmarried partner or civil partner
    • a child under the age of 18, this includes if they were born in the UK during the time of the main visa-holders stay
    • a child over the age of 18 if they are in the UK currently as the main visa-holder dependent.

    For the applicant to be eligible for this and be able to bring dependents, they will have to meet the validity requirements, the suitability requirements, and eligibility requirements that are set out under Appendix Skilled Worker.

    This includes a certain relationship and financial requirement (for partner and child applicants), age and care requirements (for child applicants), and proof of a criminal record certificate requirement.

    Familiarize yourself with the eligibility requirements for your employees’ Skilled Worker Visa in the UK. Contact our team for guidance.

    How Much Does a Skilled Worker Visa Cost?

    If the applicant applies to switch to a Skilled Worker Visa from within the UK, they will need to pay an application fee of £704 if applying for a duration of up to 3 years and £1,408 if they are applying for a duration of more than 3 years.

    You can, as the sponsor, offer to pay this amount for them, but this is entirely up to you.

    The price of the application depends on the type of job you are offering. If the job is on the shortage occupation then it costs less at £464 if they stay for up to 3 years and £928 if they stay for more than 3 years.

    There is also an additional sum of £624 per year for the healthcare surcharge and a biometric charge of £19.20.  It is up to you if you wish to pay on their behalf.

    Health and Care workers are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

    How Do I Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa?

    Your employee must submit their application themselves, however you can help them through the process if you wish.

    To apply for the Skilled Worker Visa, your employee will be required to submit an online application, together with their supporting documentation, and pay all the relevant fees.

    Applications can be submitted anywhere up to 3 months before the day of the worker’s expected employment start date in the UK, as is clearly stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

    Your employee will need to submit the online application within 3 months of being assigned their CoS by you. Each certificate comes with a unique reference number that they will need to then apply online so make sure this is kept safe.

    For the application, the employee will also be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to enrol their biometric information and to submit other documents in support of their visa.

    Can Students Switch to a Skilled Worker Visa?

    Student Visa holders are only allowed to switch onto the Skilled Worker route if one of the following conditions apply to them on the date of making their application:

    • they have finished their course of study
    • the course is full-time and degree-level or above with an education provider that has a track record of immigration compliance, and the job is not due to start before the course completion date
    • the applicant is a PhD student who is studying with an education provider with a track record of immigration compliance, and the job is not due to begin earlier than 24 months after their course started.

    What is the Processing Time for a Skilled Worker Visa?

    The Skilled Worker Visa can normally take up to 8 weeks if the applicant applying is from inside the UK, or up to 3 weeks if the application is submitted from outside the UK.

    It could be possible for the applicant to pay for a fast-tracked processing. This depends on where the application is being processed. The cost is an additional £500 and you will be provided with a decision within 5 working days.

    Receive guidance through our top advisory service in the UK. Contact our expert immigration lawyers for assistance today.

    How Long Does a Skilled Worker Visa Last?

    A Skilled Worker Visa is generally granted for a period of up to 5 years. After this, the Skilled Worker Visa holder would need to apply to extend the visa or after completing the 5 year residency requirement, they may become eligible to qualify for UK Indefinite Leave To Remain status.

    There is no set limit on the amount of times the Skilled Worker Visa can be extended for, but the worker must continue to meet the visa requirements each time.

    What if the Skilled Worker Visa is Denied?

    The applicant would usually receive a letter or an email explaining why the application has been refused and if they have the right to an Administrative Review or an Immigration Decision Appeal.

    When a Skilled Worker Visa is completely denied, the applicant will require a new CoS to reapply for the Skilled Worker Visa.

    As the sponsor, you will need to think if you wish to reissue another CoS and or simply decide that you no longer want to sponsor them in particular.

    How Can IAS Help You With The Skilled Worker Visa?

    You can save a lot of  time and money by contacting our specialised immigration lawyers. Understanding the UK immigration rules and laws can be difficult, and might result in delays or even a denial of your employee’s Skilled Worker Visa application. IAS has excellent immigration lawyers who can ensure your employee’s visa application contains everything it needs to maximise the chances of a successful application.

    Our team at IAS understands the importance of the application and that it might be essential to your employee who wants to work in the UK. We will work with you to make each step of the process easier for both you as the sponsor, and your employee.

    You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or by requesting a callback on our website.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    All EU nationals, except for Irish citizens, who come to work in the UK after 1 January 2021 require permission to work. This can be either valid status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a valid visa like the Skilled Worker Visa.


    If the start date has to change before the application is submitted, a sponsor note can be added to amend the date. However, if the applicant has already been granted entry clearance or permission to stay, the new start date can not be delayed by more than a 28 day duration

    A new CoS has to be assigned and the employee needs to make an alteration of their employment application and create a new visa application.

    This must happen if:

    • the applicant is changing sponsor (employer)
    • the applicant is remaining with the same sponsor but their job is altering to a different occupation code
    • the applicant leaves a job that’s on the shortage occupation list in favour for a job that is not on the list.

    The applicant is not allowed to begin their new job until they have received the outcome of their new application and obtained their new Skilled Worker Visa. The applicant can, however, continue to work in their current job until the new application is either approved or denied.


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