The Skilled Worker visa is a type of UK Work visa that allows overseas skilled workers to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. Since 01 December 2020, the Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

Whether you want to apply, switch, or extend your skilled worker visa, our immigration solicitors in London can provide help with your work visa application.

To get legal advice and help with any type of UK Skilled Worker visa application, get in touch with our highly experienced UK immigration solicitor today.

Table of Contents

  1. What is the Skilled Worker Visa?
  2. Skilled Worker visa applications
  3. Eligibility for Skilled Worker Visa UK
  4. UK Skilled Worker visa requirements
  5. Skilled Worker visa minimum salary requirement from 4 April 2024
  6. UK Skilled Worker visa points calculator
  7. Skilled Worker eligible occupations
  8. Certificate of sponsorship requirement
  9. English language requirement for Skilled Worker visa
  10. Financial maintenance requirement
  11. Documents required for a Skilled Worker visa UK
  12. How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa?
  13. UK Skilled Worker visa extension
  14. Skilled Worker dependent visa UK
  15. UK Skilled Worker visa processing time 2024
  16. How much does a Skilled Worker visa cost?
  17. Skilled Worker visa solicitors in London
  18. Skilled Worker visa FAQs
  19. Need Legal Advice & Assistance?

What is the Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker visa, formerly known as “Tier 2 (General) Work visa” gives permission to overseas workers to work in the UK with an approved employer.

UK Skilled Worker visa is a long-term work visa and route to the settlement which means you can apply for ILR as a skilled worker after a qualifying period of five years.

Sponsor a Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker route is for employers to recruit highly skilled workers from around the world to work in the UK in a specific job. Employers will need a sponsorship licence from the Home Office to hire skilled employees from outside the UK.

Skilled Worker visa applications

As a specialist team of UK immigration solicitors in London, we deal with all types of Skilled Worker visa applications.

Eligibility for Skilled Worker Visa UK

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, the applicant must have a confirmed job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor (Employer). UK Skilled Worker visa is a points-based immigration category and to qualify for the work visa applicant should score a minimum of 70 points.

UK Skilled Worker visa requirements

New rules and eligibility requirements for the Skilled Worker visa category are set out in a new Appendix Skilled Worker. Under this work visa route, Skilled Worker visa applicants must score 70 points to be eligible.

This Skilled Worker visa eligibility criteria also applied to the EEA nationals recruited from outside the UK after 1 January 2021 and the applicants who are not eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The main eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • You must have an offer of a job by a Home Office approved sponsor;
  • You must do a job at an appropriate skill level;
  • You must be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do;
  • You must meet the financial maintenance requirements;
  • You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to confirm your job role and salary;
  • You must meet the English language requirement.

You must meet all other eligibility requirements depending on your personal circumstances.

Skilled Worker visa minimum salary requirement from 4 April 2024

According to the new UK immigration rules, the minimum salary requirement of a UK Skilled Worker visa is increased to £38,700 per year from 4 April 2024.

To be eligible for the UK Skilled Worker visa, you must earn at least £38,700 or the relevant 'going rate' for the role, whichever is higher. Note that Health and Care Worker applicants must meet a lower salary threshold of £29,000.

Contact our immigration solicitors on 0203 417 3700  or complete our online enquiry form for UK skilled worker visa eligibility assessment.

If you got your certificate of sponsorship before 4 April 2024

You can still apply for a Skilled Worker visa under old rules if you got your certificate of sponsorship before 4 April 2024.

There are lower salary requirements if either:

  • you got your certificate of sponsorship for this visa application before 4 April 2024
  • you got your certificate of sponsorship for your first Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa before 4 April 2024 and have continually held one or more Skilled Worker visas since then

You can be paid whichever is higher of £29,000 or the lower going rate for your occupation if you make an application to:

  • apply to this visa
  • extend your visa
  • update your visa
  • change ('switch') to this visa

UK Skilled Worker visa points calculator

You must gain at least 70 points to apply for a Skilled Worker visa. See the table below to calculate points under the UK's points-based immigration system.

Requirements Mandatory / Tradeable Points
Offer of a job by a Home Office approved sponsor Mandatory 20
Job at appropriate skill level Mandatory 20
Speaks English at the required level Mandatory 10
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 10
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 20
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Tradeable 20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job Tradeable 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Tradeable 20

Skilled Worker eligible occupations

The sponsor should identify the relevant SOC code for the job role to determine if the job is eligible for the Skilled Worker route. If you do not know your job’s occupation code, you can search for your job in the ONS occupation coding tool.

Certificate of sponsorship requirement

Before applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa, your UK sponsor must first issue them a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to confirm the information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK.

A certificate of Sponsorship is an electronic record, not a physical document. Each certificate has its own number which a Skilled Worker visa applicant can use to apply for a visa.

English language requirement for Skilled Worker visa

The Skilled Worker visa applicants must prove that they can read, write, speak, and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale to earn mandatory 10 points.

Financial maintenance requirement

To meet the Skilled Worker visa financial requirements, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account. The applicant will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row.

Documents required for a Skilled Worker visa UK

When you apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to provide the following documents in support of your work visa application:

  • Your valid current passport or other travel document confirming your id and nationality
  • Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number (ask your employer)
  • The name of the employer and their sponsorship licence number
  • Proof of knowledge of English
  • Your job title and annual salary
  • Your job’s occupation code

You may need to provide additional supporting documents depending on your circumstances.

Book an appointment with our work visa solicitor in London for your Skilled Worker visa eligibility assessment and to get a comprehensive UK Skilled Worker visa document checklist.

How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa online if you meet the eligibility requirements. If you need expert legal advice or guidance then you can contact our highly experienced immigration solicitors based in London

The steps for a UK Skilled Worker visa application are as follows:

  • Assess your eligibility for a Skilled Worker visa application (if not sure, our immigration solicitors can help);
  • Complete and submit the Skilled Worker visa application form online;
  • Pay the relevant Skilled Worker visa application fee;
  • Pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS);
  • Upload documents in support of a Skilled Worker visa application;
  • Book and attend a biometric appointment.

UK Skilled Worker visa extension

You can apply to extend your UK Skilled Worker visa if you meet the eligibility requirements as set out in Appendix Skilled Worker. After the completion of 5 years on a Skilled Worker visa, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

Skilled Worker dependent visa UK

Your partner and children can apply for Skilled Worker dependent visa to join you or to stay in the UK as your 'dependants' if they're eligible. If their dependent visa application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours.

Get more information about the Skilled worker dependent visa application.

UK Skilled Worker visa processing time 2024

In 2024, Skilled Worker visa applications from inside the UK are taking 11 weeks on average. Home Office UKVI is working hard to process Skilled Worker visa applications to get back to the 8-week service standard.

Usually, you receive a decision on your Skilled Worker visa application within 3 weeks if you’re applying from outside the UK.

Visa application using super priority service

You may be eligible to apply for a visa using the "Super Priority Service" to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay the "Super Priority Service" fee in addition to the visa application fee.

Visa application using priority service

You can choose the "Priority Service" when you apply for a visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay the "Priority Service" fee in addition to the visa application fee.

How much does a Skilled Worker visa cost?

The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your location and the type of service such as 'standard service', or 'priority service'.

Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.

Skilled Worker visa solicitors in London

Our expert team of UK immigration solicitors and lawyers will be able to assist you with any type of UK visa or immigration application.

Immigration solicitors at Wembley Solicitors will:

  • Provide detailed immigration advice.
  • Assess your circumstances and eligibility for a UK visa application.
  • Explain the entire UK visa application process.
  • Give you a completed checklist of documents according to the type of visa application and your circumstances.
  • Check all the supporting documents to ensure that they are sufficient and in the correct format.
  • Fill out the complete application form and prepare detailed representations/cover letter for the Home Office UKVI about the Immigration Rules.
  • Book an appointment for you to enrol your biometrics.
  • Upload all the supporting documents.
  • Liaise with the Home Office UKVI throughout the process until we receive the decision.
  • Keep you updated with every stage of your visa or immigration application.

Contact our immigration solicitors in Wembley, London on 020 3417 3700 or fill in the enquiry form for immediate legal advice & assistance with your UK visa application.

Skilled Worker visa FAQs

A skilled worker visa can last up to 5 years before you renew it. After 5 years, you may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).

You'll need to apply to extend or update your visa when a Skilled Worker visa expires or if you change jobs or employers.

You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa extension as many times as you like if you still meet the eligibility requirements as set out in Appendix Skilled Worker.

Yes, you can switch to different a job role with your current employer. You do not need to make a change of employment application if your new job has the same SOC code as your current job.

You can change your job or employer whilst on a Skilled Worker visa. You will need to submit a change of employment application. You can continue working in your current job while your new application is pending with the Home Office.

Yes, you are allowed to study in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa. There are no limitations to the number of hours spent studying as long as this does not interfere with your ability to do your job.

We provide expert advice, practical assistance, and professional representation to guide you through the application and decision-making process, from start to finish. 

We're authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), so you know you're in safe hands.

Contact our solicitor today to get legal advice and assistance with your UK immigration matters.

You can call us on 02034173700 or leave your details here for a callback request regarding your legal matter.

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