The New Skilled Worker Uk Visa Application Guide
A skilled worker visa is a point-based system route that allows workers to come into the UK to live legally and work with a licenced sponsor. The skilled worker visa, however, currently replaces the Tier 2 (General) work visa which came into effect on 1st December 2020. To be qualified for this visa your UK employer must have been approved by the Home office and are expected to meet the eligibility requirements attached to this visa route. In this article, we will discuss how you can obtain a skilled worker visa and requirements needed and processing times and fees.
Sponsoring A Skilled Worker In The UK
When sponsoring a Skilled Worker, there are 2 types of licences needed, the "Temporary Worker" Licence and the "Worker" Licence. The licence needed will depend on if the workers take the job roles are 'Workers' (People with long term job offers) or Temporary Workers. These two licences are further explained below;
- Temporary Worker Licence allows you as an employer to employ workers on a temporary basis for a period of 6 months to 2 years. These temporary may include;
- Government Authorised Exchange Worker - work experience (1 year), research projects or training, for example, practical medical or scientific training (2 years) to enable a short-term exchange of knowledge
- International Agreement Worker - where the worker is coming to do a job which is covered by international law, for example, employees of overseas governments
- Seasonal Worker - for those coming to the UK for up to 6 months to do farm work
- Creative or Sporting Worker - to work as a high-level sportsperson (for a 1-year period), entertainer or artist (2 years period)
- Charity Worker - for unpaid workers at a charity (up to 1 year)
- Religious Worker - for those working in a religious order or organisation (2 years)
- Worker Licence: This licence allows you to employ workers on a long-term basis and perhaps permanently. The Worker Licence categories include;
- Skilled Worker - the role must meet the job suitability requirements
- Minister of Religion - for people coming to work for a religious organisation
- Sportsperson - for elite sportspeople and coaches who will be based in the UK
- Intra-company visas - this includes Intra-company Transfer and Intra-company Graduate Trainee, for multinational companies which need to transfer established employees or graduate trainees to the UK
How To Get A Skilled Worker Visa
The starting point to applying for a Skilled Worker visa is to obtain an offer of sponsorship from a company that currently holds a Skilled Worker Licence (all previous Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders had their Licence upgraded to the SW Licence). The prospective work must be within the definition of a highly skilled role. This must be agreed upon by the employer.
You must be paid at or above a certain salary depending on your role. This will be €25,600 or the one on the Code attached to your job role, whichever is higher. This is unless you are exempted from this higher salary. You are exempted if you;
- Work in a Shortage Occupation role- you would need to be paid at least 80% of the appropriate salary.
- You are under the age of 26 - you would need to be paid at least 70% of the higher rate and is at least €20,480
- You are a student - you would need to be paid at least 70% of the higher rate and is at least €20,480
- You have a science, technology, engineering or Maths PhD (STEM) - level qualification and the role you are taking is irrelevant to your qualification - you would need to be paid at least 80% of the higher rate and is at least €20,480
- Non-STEM qualifications at PhD level - you would need to be paid at least 90% of the higher rate and is at least €23,040
- For PhD exemptions, you would need to be sponsored in one of these UK based Roles
All other applicants must meet the criteria in this link in regards to salary criteria.
Skilled Workers English Language Requirements
You would need to show evidence of your English Language by-
- Being a national of a majority English speaking country
- Having a B1 certificate from an approved provider
- Having GCSE or A-Level in English
- Having a Degree or higher (or the equivalent) taught in English
Maintenance Fee Requirements
Finally, you would need to meet the Maintenance requirements which is set as follows-
€1270 for yourself; with additional funds required in the following instances:
€285 for your partner (if applicable)
€315 for your first child (if applicable)
€200 for each other child (if applicable)
These funds must be held for 28 consecutive days in the 31 days leading up to your Skilled Worker application unless your sponsor agrees to certify these funds.
Processing Times And Costs
You can apply for the visa up to 3 months from the start date set out in your Certificate of Sponsorship.
Decisions can take up to-
3 weeks if you are applying outside the UK
8 weeks if you are applying inside the UK
If you're applying from outside the UK, the standard fee depends on whether you'll be in the UK for-
up to 3 years - €610 per person
more than 3 years - €1,220 per person
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 - €704 per person
more than 3 years - €1,408 per person
Before you apply for this visa you must ensure you have a confirmed job offer, must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from your employer, meet the English language requirements and your job role must be on the list of eligible occupations. Once your application is granted, you will be issued up to 5 years on the Skilled Workers visa, whereafter you can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. During this period, you are permitted to change employment but will need to go through the above process once more. For assistance on getting a Skilled Worker Visa and other immigration matters, you can contact our Immigration Lawyers for consultation, enquiries and assistance.
- How Can I Access The Skill Level Requirement For Skilled Workers?
- How to Avoid a Skilled Worker Visa Refusal
- Eligibility Criteria for UK Tier 2/Skilled Worker Visa Extension Under The Same Employer
- What is the Application Process for a Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Change of Employer?
- When Can a Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Dependent Apply for ILR?