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Skilled Worker visa

The Skilled Worker Visa is open to individuals of all nationalities (except British and Irish) who have an offer of an eligible skilled job in the UK from a Home Office-approved sponsor.  The route can lead to permanent settlement in the UK and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

In order to secure a Skilled Worker Visa you will need to be sponsored to do a specific job, which meets certain skill and salary requirements, by an employer that has been licensed by the Home Office.

There is no cap on the number of people who can enter the UK on the Skilled Worker route.

Requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do issued by their sponsor;
  • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
  • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
  • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation;
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if required; and
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.

As part of the application, the applicant will need to state the occupation code, listed here The job description used to recruit the individual must match the description of the occupation code.

It is recommended that legal advice is sought when determining the salary and occupation code of a position as if this information is incorrect, the application may be refused. Our business immigration lawyers are on hand to help.  Contact us here for assistance.

How long does it take to obtain a Skilled Worker visa?

An applicant can submit their application up to 3 months before the date they are due to commence work, as per the date on their certificate of sponsorship. The Home Office aim to make a decision within:

  • 3 weeks for applications made outside the UK
  • 8 weeks for applications made inside the UK.

If an applicant requires a faster decision, they may be able to pay to use the priority service.

A successful applicant’s visa can be granted for 3 – 5 years. A new application will need to be made to extend the visa or if the applicant changes jobs or employer. Once an applicant has been in the UK for 5 years, they may be eligible to apply to permanently settle in the UK by making an ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain‘ application.

What can a successful applicant do in the UK?

A successful applicant can:

  • Work in an eligible job
  • Study
  • Bring their partner and children with them as their ‘dependants’, if they are eligible
  • In certain circumstances, take on additional work
  • Do voluntary work
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK

A successful applicant cannot

  • Apply for most benefits, or the State Pension
  • Change jobs or employer unless they apply to update their visa

How much are the Home Office fees?

An applicant, and each of their dependants will need to:

  • Pay the application fee. The standard fee ranges from £610 – £1,408 depending on the applicant’s circumstances
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of their stay, this is usually £624 per year

Need help with your Skilled Worked Visa application? Contact our expert business immigration lawyers at Davenport Solicitors here.

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