The Skilled Worker visa is designed to enable skilled workers to come to the UK in order to fill a gap in the UK labour market. Skilled Worker replaced Tier 2 (General) on 1 December 2020.
Skilled Worker visa: Main requirements
In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that:
- they have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an organisation based in the UK that holds a sponsor licence;
- the role represents a genuine vacancy;
- they possess the suitable skills and experience for the role;
- the role is at the relevant skill level (RQF level 3 or above) and they will be paid an appropriate salary for the role;
- they meet the required level of English language (currently B1 of the CEFR);
- they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves (if maintenance is not certified by the sponsor);
- they have a TB certificate, if required;
- they have a criminal record certificate, if required; and
- they do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
Length and conditions of stay in the UK
There is no restriction on the length of stay in the UK under this route. However, visas will be granted in accordance with the work start and end data entered onto the CoS by the sponsor.
During their stay in the UK, applicants must work for the sponsor in the role described on the CoS. They can also perform supplementary work in accordance with the rules and study, providing this does not interfere with their main sponsored work.
There is no longer a restriction on the number of shares an applicant can hold in the sponsoring company.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
An application for Indefinite Leave to Remain can be made once an applicant has held a Skilled Worker visa (plus time spent under Tier 2 (General) for a period of at least five years. In order to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain an applicant must demonstrate that:
- they have spent a continuous period of five years in the UK and during this time have not breached any UK immigration laws;
- they meet the requirements in relation to absences;
- they have sufficient knowledge of English language and have passed a Life in the UK test; and
- they are paid the appropriate salary for the role and this meets the minimum salary required for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Skilled Worker visa applications: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise an application for a Skilled Worker visa. If it does not consider that the role represents a genuine vacancy or if it considers that any of the other requirements have not been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that the application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing work visa applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
If you require legal assistance or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact us.