UK SKILLED WORKER VISA
The UK Skilled Worker visa was introduced to bring in highly skilled overseas workers into the UK labor market and subsequently take up permanent residence in the UK.
With this visa, skilled workers from other countries can be selected based on the shortage occupation list and they will be eligible to get an offer letter without the labor market test and stay in the UK for up to 5 years.
BENEFITS OF THE VISA:
- Visa holders can bring dependents on the visa
- Spouse is allowed to work on the visa
- No cap on the number of people who can move to the UK on the visa
- Minimum salary requirement has been reduced to £25600 from threshold of £30000
- Fast Track Visas will be provided for healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses
- You must have a score of 70 points to qualify in the defined parameters like specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions.
- You need to have a Minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with 2 years of skilled work experience from the eligible occupations list
- You must have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
- The job offer must be at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)
- You must meet the English Language requirement at B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- You should also meet the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.
The following documents will be required at the time of applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa:
- The applicant’s Certificate of Sponsorship [CoS] reference number
- Proof of knowledge of the English language
- A valid passport [or other documents that establishes the applicant’s nationality and identity]
- Job title
- Annual salary
- Occupation code of the job
- Name of the employer
- The sponsor licence number of the employer
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
In order to apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the employer who has offered you a job. The employer must have a sponsor licence and have been issued with a CoS. The CoS and visa conditions are as follows:
- Your Skilled Worker visa application will be made no more than 3 months after the CoS is issued, and you will start work no more than 3 months after your visa application is made.
- The job in question meets the minimum skill level requirement, which should be checked in the Skilled Workers going rate. This means it must usually be Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) level 3 or above, or RQF level 4 or above if it is on the shortage occupations list, or it is in certain creative fields such as dance, theatre and opera, and television and film.
There are two types of Certificate of Sponsorship: Defined and Undefined. Those prospective employees based outside the UK will need a Defined certificate of sponsorship.
- Defined Certificates of Sponsorship are for prospective employees who are based abroad, and planning to work in the UK. The exception is for partners of Tier 4 visa holders who wish to switch to a Skilled Worker visa. These applicants doneed a Defined certificate of sponsorship.
- Undefined Certificates of Sponsorship are for prospective employees who are already in the UK (except dependent family members of Tier 4 visa holders).
Skilled Worker Visa Appropriate Salary
Skilled Worker visa applicants must have a job offer which pays an appropriate salary. The appropriate salary varies depending on the going rate for the job and whether the applicant is considered to be a new entrant, or on the Shortage Occupation List or comes under the experienced worker category or comes under some other type of worker under the points system. Those who come under “new entrant” can be paid at the rate of £20,480 per annum or 70 per cent of the going rate, whichever is higher.
Most will need to be paid at the experienced worker rate of a least £25,600, or the appropriate rate based on the SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) code for the job in the Going Rates for skilled workers, whichever is higher. Lower rates than the Going Rate can be paid in some circumstances depending on scoring on the points system. Health care workers, for example come under the NHS pay scale.
Applicants come under the new entrant salary rate if all of the following conditions apply:
- Aged 25 or under, or has recently been on a degree level course or higher in the UK and is switching from a student visa to a Skilled Worker visa (no age restrictions).
- The combined total for periods of stays under Skilled Worker visa as a new entrant should not be more than 4 years. For example if you have been in the UK already on a Tier 2 General visa for one year (under any salary rate) then you can apply for an additional three years stay under the Skilled Worker visa category new entrant rate.
Skilled Worker visa applicants must come under one of the following to meet the English Language requirements:
- Are a citizen of a majority English speaking country (see table below)
- Hold a degree which is equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree or higher, which was taught or researched in English (UK NARIC evaluation required if not taught in a majority English speaking Country)
- Have passed an UKVI recognized English language test with at least a B1 score Council of Europe’s common European framework for language and learning.
- Have previously met the English Language requirement during a grant of leave in the UK
- Qualify under transitional arrangements (this is rare)
Majority English Language Speaking Countries outside UK to meet Skilled Worker visa English language requirements.
Antigua and Barbuda
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
St Kitts and Nevis
The United States of America
Approved English Language Tests for Skilled Worker visa at B1 or above include:
You must have reached the required level in all areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. MUST BE AN UKVI VERSION OF THE TEST
Integrated Skills in English (level B1, B2, C1, or C2)
Passes in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
Graded Examinations in Spoken English (level B1)
IELTS for UKVI (level B1)
4.0 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
IELTS for UKVI (level B2)
5.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
IELTS for UKVI (level C1)
7.0 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking
IELTS for UKVI (level C2)
8.5 in reading, writing, listening, and speaking