The Skilled Worker Visa is the main pathway for immigrants looking to work in the UK, it allows the country to accept hundreds of thousands of newcomers every year based on their expertise. This visa replaced the Tier 2 Visa scheme in 2020.
Professionals and skilled workers who want to work in the UK permanently, Applicants can apply with their spouse/partner and dependent children.
How Long Can You Stay?
Up to 5 years. After this period you can apply for permanent residency.
After you have submitted your online application, proved your identity and provided the relevant documents, 90% of applicants are processed within 3 weeks.
£610 to £1220
In order to qualify for this visa you must meet several minimum requirements.
- Work for an employer that has been approved for a sponsor license.
- Have a valid certificate of sponsorship related to the role.
- Job must be on the Shortage Occupations List.
- Salary must meet the minimum threshold for the role.
- Speak, read, write and understand English to a minimum standard.
First thing to check is your job matches an occupation on the Skilled Worker Occupations List. If your occupation is not listed here unfortunately you don’t qualify for the visa this year, but occupations are added and removed annually. But don’t lose hope! There are several other visas you may qualify for.
Lastly, Your offer of employment must be from an approved UK employer or sponsor.
The UK Government holds a register of approved companies, check if your employer is on here and which visa they qualify for. We suggest using CTRL + F to search as it’s currently more than 2000 pages long!
You must prove that you can speak, read, write and understand English. To do this, you must pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT).
Firstly, if you are a citizen of any of the below nations you are exempt from SELT.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Students are also exempt if you achieved a bachelors degree or higher in an English taught course.
The International English Language Test (IELTS) is designed to help you work, study or migrate to the UK.
Your ability to listen, read, write and speak in English will be assessed during the test. IELTS is graded on a scale of 1-9.
You will be required to achieve at least 7.0 overall for the Skilled Worker Visa and in each category, Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge Assessment English.
We suggest using TakeIELTS.net to practice with mock tests before you attempt IELTS.
You must have sufficient funds when applying for the Skilled Worker Visa, the total minimum costs will vary depending on your circumstances.
When applying within the UK such as to extend your current Skilled Worker Visa or to switch from a Student Visa. You will pay £704 for up to 3 years or £1408 for more than 3 years.
When applying from outside the UK the fee will be £610 or £1220 respectively.
Although, if you are applying for a job on the shortage occupations list the fee is lower. £464 or £928.
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) entitles you to use the NHS if you become unwell or have an accident while in the UK.
You have to pay the IHS even if you do not use the NHS or even if you have your own private health insurance, the cost is £624 per year.
If you are applying for a 2-year visa you will have to pay £624 each year, Therefore you will have to pay a total of £1248.
You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK, a bank statement will suffice.
The financial requirement is that you show you have enough money for your living costs for yourself and dependants while you move to the UK.
You do not need to show funds it you have been living in the UK for 12 months or more with permission on the date of application.
You must bring relevant documentation that will require some preparation before arriving in the UK. Although, This will vary depending on your occupation, nationality and length of stay.
- Certificate of Sponsorship
- Proof of your knowledge of English
- A valid passport for the entirety of the visa
- Occupation and Salary
- Bank statement proving sufficient funds
- Name of employer and license number
Criminal Record Certificate
If you are applying for certain jobs mostly in the public sector such as healthcare, welfare and education sectors. You will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which, since the age of 18, you have been present for 12 months or more in the 10 years before the date of your application.
For most applicants you must prove your identity by booking an appointment at a Visa Application Centre in your current country. The appointment will include collecting your fingerprints, facial photograph and signature. The UK government website has a list of addresses for each eligible country.
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