Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa is a UK immigration route that enables employers to hire highly skilled and experienced workers from outside the UK to fill senior or specialist roles that cannot be filled by the domestic workforce. It is part of the UK's points-based immigration system that was introduced in 2021.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa, applicants must meet certain requirements, including having a job offer from a UK employer that is willing to sponsor their visa application. The employer must hold a valid sponsor licence and provide evidence that the role cannot be filled by a UK resident worker.
Applicants must also demonstrate that they meet the relevant skill and salary threshold, which vary depending on the specific occupation and the skill level of the role. The minimum salary threshold is £25,600 per year, although some roles may have a higher threshold.
Applicants must score enough points under the UK's points-based system to qualify for the visa. Points are awarded based on factors such as the applicant's job offer, their skill level, their salary, and their ability to speak English.
Why this route?
One of the benefits of the Senior or Specialist Worker visa is that it allows individuals to work in the UK for a specific employer in a specific role. However, unlike the Global Talent visa, it does not provide individuals with the flexibility to switch jobs without needing to apply for a new visa.
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa also allows individuals to bring their dependents with them to the UK, including spouses, partners, and children under the age of 18. Dependents can work or study in the UK without needing to apply for a separate visa.
To apply for a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, applicants need to pay a fee, which varies depending on the length of the visa and whether they are applying from inside or outside the UK. There is also an immigration health surcharge, which provides access to the UK's National Health Service (NHS).
If granted, the Senior or Specialist Worker visa is initially valid for up to five years. After five years, visa holders can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which allows them to settle permanently in the UK.
The Senior or Specialist Worker visa provides a way for UK employers to access highly skilled and experienced workers from outside the UK to fill key roles. It recognizes the value that these individuals can bring to the UK economy and allows them to settle in the UK after a period of time. However, it does not provide the same level of flexibility as the Global Talent visa, and applicants must meet specific requirements related to their job offer and salary.