The Skilled Worker visa, which has replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa, is the main UK immigration route for non-UK resident workers. Whether you are an employer looking to hire a skilled worker from overseas or are an individual applying for a sponsorship visa, it will be important to understand the Skilled Worker visa eligibility and application requirements to avoid issues or delays with the Home Office.
The general requirements for the Skilled Worker visa in the UK:
You must have a valid job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor licence. The job offer should meet the required skill level, and the employer must issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
The position you’re offered must meet the skill level of RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework) Level 3 or above. It typically includes jobs that require specific qualifications or extensive work experience.
To be eligible for the skilled worker visa, you need to score a total of 70 points. Mandatory points are awarded for having a valid job offer from an approved sponsor and meeting the skill and salary requirements. Additional points can be earned based on factors like having a higher salary, working in a shortage occupation, or having a relevant PhD.
You need to meet the minimum salary threshold or the ‘going rate’ for the specific occupation, whichever is higher. The specific amount may vary depending on the occupation, but it generally needs to be at least £26,200 per year. However, there are some exceptions and lower thresholds for certain occupations or for recent graduates.
You must show you meet the financial requirement and have sufficient funds to support yourself as you will not have access to public funds such as benefits. The rules state applicants must have at least £1,270 in their bank account when applying. This amount must have been available for at least 28 consecutive days, with day 28 being within 31 days of making the visa application. The applicant will need to provide evidence of their savings unless they have been in the UK for 12 months with lawful status or if their sponsor agrees to meet their costs of up to £1,270 during their first month in the UK. The sponsor should confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will meet the financial requirement under ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on your certificate. This is under ‘Additional data’. Additional funds will be needed if dependants are applying.
English Language Proficiency
You must demonstrate your proficiency in the English language by meeting the required standards. This can usually be done by passing an approved English language test or by having an academic qualification taught in English.
Health and Character Requirements
You will be required to undergo a tuberculosis (TB) test if you are from a listed country. Additionally, you must not have any criminal convictions that would make you ineligible for entry into the UK.
If you are interested in making an application for a skilled worker or just want to find out a bit more about the process, contact us, and we will be happy to discuss it with you.