Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker route is for employers to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific job. A Skilled Worker must have a job offer in an eligible skilled occupation from a Home Office-approved sponsor.

How do I qualify?

You can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa if you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK. All EEA and Swiss Nationals, with the exception of Irish Citizens, now require a visa to live and work in the UK unless they qualify for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

You would need a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor in the UK, the list of which can be found on the website.

You’ll usually need to be paid at least £25,600 per year or the ‘appropriate rate’ for the job you’re offered – whichever is higher. 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 mathematics (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

You must meet the English Language Requirement by passing an approved English language test with at least a CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening or you must have a degree or academic qualification that was taught or researched in English and your qualification is recognised by Ecctics as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher. You’ll need to send a certificate from Ecctics confirming this when you apply. You will not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Malta; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America.

You may also need to take a tuberculosis test if you currently reside in a listed country.

You need to evidence that you have £1,270.00 in your personal bank account for 28 consecutive days prior to the date of submission or your sponsor must sign an undertaking confirming that they will cover your maintenance costs.

If you are coming to work in the education, health, or social care sectors, you must provide a criminal record certificate as part of your application for any countries you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring certain family members with you

You cannot:

  • get public funds
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor
  • change jobs or employer unless you apply to update your visa
  • You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:
    • on a visit visa
    • on a short-term student visa
    • on a Parent of a Child Student visa
    • on a seasonal worker visa
    • on a domestic worker in a private household visa
    • on immigration bail
    • because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

How long can I stay?

You can apply for indefinite leave to remain, i.e. settlement under the Skilled Worker Visa category once you have reached 5 years’ continuous leave in the United Kingdom under this route. You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12 months of the qualifying period prior to making an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You must have Indefinite Leave to Remain for at least 12 months before making an application for British Citizenship by naturalisation unless you are married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen in which case you can apply for citizenship as soon as you are granted settlement.

The breakdown of fees for the Skilled Worker Visa is as follows:

How much does it cost?

Visa Application Fee

  • Up to 3 years = £625.00
  • Up to 3 years (shortage occupation) = £479.00
  • More than 3 years = £1,235.00
  • More than 3 years (shortage occupation) = £943.00

If you’re applying from inside the UK to extend, switch, or update your visa, the standard fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

  • up to 3 years – £719
  • more than 3 years – £1,423

Immigration Health Surcharge – £624 per annum for the duration of the visa.

Priority Service Receipt (optional) – £220.00 (UK Visas and Immigration (‘UKVI’) aim to process priority visa applications in 5 business days).

Dependant Family Members

Family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife, or partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

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

You – or your partner or child – will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of you or them applying for this visa.

You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor and a certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will give each of your dependants the required funds to apply for the visa.

How do I apply?

You will need to apply online on the website.

You can only apply for initial entry clearance from your country of residency, and standard processing time is 15-business days for a Skilled Worker Visa. Your passport will be retained by UKVI during this time. We do not recommend booking any travel to the UK until you are in receipt of a valid visa.

Should you wish to discuss the above, please contact Muldoon Britton for a quote.