People of all nationalities (except Irish and British) who have been offered a qualifying skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor are eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa. The path can lead to settlement, and candidates’ dependent children and partners can join them.
To obtain a Skilled Worker Visa, you must be sponsored by a company licenced by the Home Office to execute a specific job that meets certain skill and salary standards. Separate guidelines has been provided for UK firms contemplating pursuing a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.
The amount of people who can enter the UK through the Skilled Worker route is unlimited.
The primary immigration path for people from all countries (except British and Irish) who seek to work in the UK is The Skilled Worker Visa, under the new points-based immigration system. The Skilled Worker Visa superseded the Tier 2 (General) visa on December 1, 2020.
Skilled Worker Route Requirements
As a Skilled Worker Route applicant, you must show that you have been offered verifiable employment from a Home Office Licensed Sponsor, that the job offer is at the relevant skill level, and that you can verify you meet the required English language standard. Your job offer must also meet the required wage requirement.
Provided you are unable to reach the income criterion, you may still be considered for a Skilled Worker Visa if you have the following qualifications:
- An employment offer for a job listed on the shortage occupation list;
- A PhD which is relevant to your potential role; or
- A PhD in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
A valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a business with a valid Sponsor License is required.
There is no temporal limit on how long Skilled Workers can stay in the UK. The cooling-off phase has been eliminated as well.
Making a Skilled Worker Visa Application
Individuals can apply for a Skilled Worker visa up to three months before the start date of employment specified on their Certificate of Sponsorship.
The application process will differ depending on whether you are applying from abroad, extending your current permit to remain in the UK from inside the UK, or changing from another route within the UK to the Skilled Worker Route.
Overseas Application for a Skilled Worker Visa
If you are registering for a Skilled Worker Visa from overseas, you must complete an online application form.
Applying for permission to stay as a Skilled Worker from inside the UK
Assume you are applying from within the UK for permission to reside in the UK as a Skilled Worker. In that situation, you can submit an application to either prolong or switch into the Skilled Worker category.
Individuals can apply for a permit to stay on the Skilled Worker Route in-country if they are in the UK with valid leave and do not fall into any of the following categories:
- Short-term student;
- Parent of a child student;
- Domestic worker in a private household;
- Seasonal worker;
- On immigration bail; or
- Outside the immigration rules
Skilled Worker Visa Application Fee
The application price for a Skilled Worker Visa ranges from £610 to £1,048 based on several factors. Requested length of stay, the role you have been promised, and whether you are applying from within or outside the UK will all have an impact. If your position is on the shortfall occupation list, the price will be reduced.
It is also worth noting that if you are from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey, your application fee for a Skilled Worker Visa will be reduced by £55.00.
The Immigration Health Surcharge of £624.00 per applicant per year will be added. This must be paid in one lump sum up ahead. For example, if you apply for a 3-year visa with your dependent partner or spuse, the fee is £624.00 per person every year, for a total of £3,744.00.
If you qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa as a health and care worker, you will save money on application costs and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
EU Citizens and Skilled Worker Visas
If you are an EU citizen and entered the UK before December 31, 2020, you should be eligible to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme. An application under such a system is free, and there are no employment limits.
If you are an EU citizen who is not qualified for the EU Settlement Scheme, you can register for a Skilled Worker Visa beginning December 1, 2020. If you are accepted, your visa will be valid for travel into the United Kingdom beginning January 1, 2021.
Do you need an Immigration Solicitor?
The One World have a wealth of experience when it comes to assisting overseas companies set up and employ staff here in the UK.
Their business consultancy services are second to none and their team of experts can assist you with everything from ensuring you have the correct visas in place to registering your company with Companies House, registering with HMRC, and even finding you a commercial space from which to run your business.