What is Skilled Worker Visa?

Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

What are the eligible criteria for obtaining a skilled worker visa to the UK?

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do

The specific eligibility depends on your job.

You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa.

How does the point-based system work for skilled worker visa in the UK?

Under the points-based immigration system, with the exception of Irish citizens, anyone coming to the UK for work must meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points. Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.

This system provides flexible arrangements for UK employers to recruit skilled workers from around the world through a number of different immigration routes.

A total of 70 points is needed to be able to apply to work in the UK




Offer of job by approved sponsor



Job at appropriate skill level



Speaks English at required level



Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)



Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)



Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)



Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee



Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job



Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job



What are the English language proficiency requirements for a skilled worker visa in the UK?

You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply, unless you did this in a previous successful visa application.

You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began when you were under 18
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English – if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) for confirmation that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

What is the shortage occupation list and how does it affect skilled worker visa application?

The shortage occupation list is detailed in Appendix Skilled Occupations of the UK Immigration Rules. It comprises those roles deemed by the UK Government to be in short supply within the UK resident labour market, with such roles afforded more relaxed eligibility criteria for sponsored work visa applications.

It is also a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK.

If your job is on the shortage occupation list, you can:

  • be paid 80% of the job’s usual going rate
  • pay a lower fee for your visa

If your job is not on the shortage occupation list, you will not be eligible to apply for skilled worker visa.

What is the minimum salary requirements for skilled worker visa applicants to the UK?

Your skilled worker role must meet the applicable minimum salary threshold. This is the higher of either:

  • the general salary threshold of £25,600, or
  • the specific salary requirement for their occupation, known as the ‘going rate’

All applicants will be able to trade characteristics, such as their qualifications, against a lower salary to get the required number of points. If the job offer is less than the minimum salary requirement, but no less than £20,480, an applicant may still be eligible if they have:

  • a job offer in a specific shortage occupation
  • a PhD relevant to the job
  • a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job

There are different salary rules for workers in certain health or education jobs, and for ’new entrants’ at the start of their careers.

For further information on the ‘going rate’ for specific occupations and further exemptions, see Skilled Worker visa: going rates for eligible occupation codes.

What are the options for family members (partner and children) of skilled workers who wants to join them in the UK?

Your partner and children can also apply to join you or stay in the UK as your ‘dependent’s’ if they’re eligible. They’ll need to complete separate applications.

If your partner or child’s application is successful, their visa will usually end on the same date as yours. If a child’s parents have visas with different expiry dates, the child’s visa will end on the earlier date.

At KASH LEGAL SERVICES, we understand complexities of UK immigration process and committed guiding through every step. We work tirelessly to ensure your immigration experience is as smooth and stress free as possible. To arrange free consultation please feel free to call on 01144000340 or Email info@kashlegalservices.co.uk or visit our website www.kashlegalservices.co.uk.

The information presented in this article is intended solely for providing general knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. It should not be considered as legal advice.

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