UK Skilled Worker Visa
The new UK Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) Visa. If you wish to enter and stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approver employer, you will need to apply for this permit.
If you or your family are from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein or Iceland:
If you started living in the UK before 1st January 20201, you may apply for the free EU Settlement Scheme. Otherwise, you will need to apply for a visa to work in the UK.
If you wish to seek legal advice, you can get in touch with our team of professional and reliable London Immigration Lawyers.
Who is eligible for a Skilled Worker visa
To qualify to work in the UK, you must:
- Have received and accepted a job offer from a UK employer
- Work for an employer that has been approved by the Home Office
- Hold a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with detailed information about your role
- Do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
- Be paid a minimum salary, which will vary based on your occupation
- Prove your knowledge of English
Skilled Worker visa eligible occupations
To apply for this permit, you must have received and accepted a job offer from a UK employer. The role must meet the following requirements:
- Be in the list of eligible jobs
- You must be paid the minimum salary or the “going rate” for that specific type of work – whichever is higher
- You must be working for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
- You must receive a copy of your occupation code from your employer
The minimum salary to be eligible for the Skilled Worker visa is £25,600 per year, unless the “going rate” for that role is higher than this.
Each occupation code has a different annual going rate, that you and your employer can check online.
Different salary requirements apply to those working in certain healthcare or education jobs, where the going rate is based on national pay scales.
Skilled Worker visa application fees
The application fees for a Skilled Worker visa range between £610 to £1,408.
When submitting your application, you will also be charged the following:
- £624 per year – healthcare surcharge
- Additional money (at least £1,270) is required to demonstrate that you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK. You may be exempt from this requirement if you have already lived in the UK for at least 12 months on a previous visa, or if your employer can prove that they can cover your cost during your first month in the UK.
You might be eligible for lower application fees if your job is on the shortage occupation list, or if you’re from one of the eligible countries which can benefit from a reduction of £55.
Applying for a working visa with your family
You can include the following family members in your application, provided that they qualify as your dependants:
- Your wife, husband, civil partner and unmarried partner
- Your children under the age of 18
- Your children over 18 if they are currently living in the UK with you, aren’t married and are still financially supported by you
If your family application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.
Applying to renew your Skilled Worker visa
Before your current working visa is due to expire, you can renew your Skilled Worker permit provided that:
- You have the same job as when you first entered the UK
- Your job is in the same occupation code as when you were first granted your permission
- You are still working for the employer who gave you your current certificate of sponsorship
If you want to change your job or employer, you must submit your new application, even if your current visa isn’t expired yet.
If you originally applied with your family, they must submit a separate application if they want to remain in the UK with you.
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Once approved, your Skilled Worker visa will be valid for up to 5 years. At the end of this period, you can apply for a renewal or, if you are eligible, you can settle in the UK on Indefinite Leave to Remain.
You can submit your application up to 3 months before the date you are due to start work in the UK. You can find this date in your CoS. However, it is always recommended to allow some extra time, since the Home Office may need additional documentation to confirm your identity and your circumstances.
The Skilled Worker visa application process takes between 3 to 8 weeks, depending if you applied from outside or within the UK.