Skilled Worker visa

What is the Skilled Worker visa?

The Skilled Worker visa allows overseas migrants who have been offered a skilled job to come to the UK for employment purposes. Individuals are eligible for this visa if they are from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland and if their employer holds a valid Sponsorship Licence from the Home Office, which will allow them to assign to the migrant a Certificate of Sponsorship reference number.

Individuals can apply to come to the UK under this visa route for a period of 5 years which can be later on extended, or you may also be eligible for permanent settlement.

Whilst in the UK, an applicant may perform supplementary work of up to 20 hours per week if it is in the same profession as the employment that the visa was obtained for and on the same level of qualifications/skills/expertise, or if the profession is on the shortage occupation list found in Immigration Rules Appendix K. However, applicants are not allowed to apply for a second job until they have started working for their first sponsor. It is also possible to do voluntary work and study.

If granted, applicants can bring their spouse and children with them to the UK according to the PBS Dependant Policy Guidance. Applicants are also allowed to travel outside the UK and return. However, they are not allowed to own more than 10% of the sponsor’s share except if they earn more than £159,600 a year. They are denied recourse to public funds in the UK.

The main requirements

In order for an applicant to acquire the Skilled Worker visa, certain requirements must be met. In addition to the employer being a Sponsorship Licence holder, the role that a migrant worker is supposed to be filling must be a genuine vacancy.

Applicants must possess the suitable skills and experience for the role and be paid an appropriate salary. They must prove their knowledge of the English language by having at least a level B1 in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) in speaking, writing, reading and listening or alternatively, have an academic qualification which was taught in English and is recognised by the UK NARIC. 

The applicant must be educated to at least up to RQF level 3 which is A level equivalent. The minimum salary threshold is £25,600 or the SOC Code minimum salary, depending on which one is higher. However, lower income is accepted if the role is at Ph.D. level or it is on the Shortage Application list. If the applicant is a new entrant, the salary expectation will be lowered by 30% of experienced workers’ salary.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they have sufficient personal savings and are able to maintain themselves upon arrival to the UK. They must have a minimum of £945 of savings three months prior to applying if the sponsor has not certified maintenance.

How can NA Law Solicitors help with a Skilled Worker visa application?

At NA Law Solicitors, we will ensure that your application is prepared according to the highest standards and with the necessary attention to detail in order avoid refusal from the Home Office, which reviews Skilled Worker visa application thoroughly. We will assist you in every step of your application and give guidance with a successful outcome in mind. We can also help with the Sponsorship Licence application process, sponsor duties, applying for a COS application, the genuine vacancy test and the Skilled Worker sponsorship licence application renewal process. Please get in touch for an initial assessment.

Frequently asked questions