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Skilled Worker visa

What is a Skilled Worker visa?

A Skilled Worker visa allows individuals to enter the UK if they have an offer of employment from an organisation on the list of registered sponsors

What are the requirements?

An applicant for a Skilled Worker visa must have:

  • An offer of employment from an employer who has been approved by the Home Office to recruit migrant workers
  • A Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer confirming information about the role they have been offered
  • An offer of employment for a position that is on the list of eligible occupations
  • Confirmation they will be paid at least the minimum salary for the position they have been offered. The minimum salary depends on the type of work the applicant will do.
  • Enough savings to maintain themselves in the UK.
  • Knowledge of the English language. Applications must prove they can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level BR on the CEFR scale. This can be proved by passing a Secure English Language Test from an approved provider, having a GCSE or higher (or the Scottish equivalent) or having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English (including those taught abroad). There are exceptions to this requirement.

As part of the application, the applicant will need to state the occupation code [ https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-skilled-occupations]

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.

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 use the priority service.

How long can a successful applicant stay in the UK? 

A successful applicant’s visa can be granted for up to 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

Contact our expert business immigration lawyers at Davenport Solicitors

If you need help to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, call us now on 02079036888 or request a call back at a time convenient for you. You can also drop us an e-mail at contact@davenportsolicitors.com. We aim to reply within 24 hours.

Call us now on

+44 020 7903 6888

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