The Skilled Worker visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers coming to the UK to take up employment. In order to apply for this visa, applicants must have a job offer from a UK employer, who holds a valid Skilled Worker sponsorship licence. Holders of the Skilled Worker visa are permitted to bring their dependents to the UK on a Skilled Worker Dependent visa. Such migrants are eligible for permanent residence, Indefinite Leave to Remain, in 5 years and for citizenship after 6 years after initial entry to the United Kingdom.
The Skilled Worker visa is a point-based UK work visa, issued to highly skilled workers from outside the UK, who have a job offer from a UK employer for a skilled job or for a job which is listed on the Shortage Occupations List. To be eligible to apply for this visa, applicants must be issued with a certificate of sponsorship by their UK employer, who must hold a valid Skilled Worker sponsor licence.
In order to apply for the visa, the applicant has to be employed by a licenced sponsor who will perform the necessary checks to ensure that the applicant is properly equipped to do the job they’re hiring them for. Applicants will be assigned an electronic certificate of sponsorship, which will hold their personal details and information about the job they have been offered, such as the salary and the start and end date of the employment. The sponsor will also provide the applicant with a certificate of sponsorship reference number to add to their application.
Applicants can come to the UK with a Skilled Worker visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Worker visa:
In order to apply for this type of visa, an applicant will need to meet a number of requirements.
The applicant should have been offered a skilled job by an employer who is based in the UK and has a valid sponsor licence.
Further requirements include being offered an appropriate salary and having sufficient maintenance funds.
Our specialist and experienced advisors provide thorough advice on meeting the requirements and all the specified documentary evidence.
Successful applicants can:
- Work for their sponsor in the job described on their certificate of sponsorship
- Do a second job in certain circumstances
- Do voluntary work
- Study, as long as it does not interfere with the job they are sponsored for
- Travel abroad and return to the UK
- Bring family members as dependants
Successful applicants cannot:
- Own more than 10% of their sponsor’s shares (unless they are earning more than £159,600 a year)
- Receive public funds
- Apply for a second job until they have started working for their sponsor
Applicants can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day they are due to start work in the UK. This date will be listed on their certificate of sponsorship.
- Applicants should get a decision on their visa within 3 weeks when they apply from outside the UK.
- Priority Service may be available at some visa application centres for entry clearance applications which should result in a decision within 10 – 15 days.
- For applications submitted from within the UK by switching from a different visa category, the processing time is approximately 8 weeks with standard service