Those applying for a role in the UK that is classified as a shortage occupation benefit from a reduced minimum salary requirement when making an application under the Skilled Worker route.
Skilled Worker route – tradeable points
Applicants under the Skilled Worker route require 50 mandatory points to be eligible for permission to enter or stay in the UK. Points are obtained by meeting the sponsorship, skill level and English language requirements for this route.
A further 20 tradeable points are awarded for meeting the salary requirement. The minimum salary an applicant must be paid for their role will differ depending on a number of factors, including their qualifications and the nature of the role. There are six Options (A – F) through which the salary requirement can be met.
The standard position under Option A is that an applicant’s salary will need to equal or exceed all of the following:
- £25,600 per year;
- £10.10 per hour; and
- the going rate for the occupation code.
However, applicants applying for a job in a shortage occupation can be awarded 20 points for meeting the conditions of Option D, under which the salary must equal to or exceed all of the following:
- £20,480 per year;
- £10.10 per hour; and
- 80% of the going rate for the occupation code.
Who qualifies under Option D?
An applicant must be sponsored for a job under an eligible occupation code listed in Appendix Shortage Occupation List. This list is updated from time to time and it may therefore be worth considering whether the job falls within a shortage occupation where the applicant cannot benefit from other tradeable points under Option B, Option C or Option E.
At present, certain jobs in the field of science such as chemical and biological scientists or those in Engineering can benefit from the lower minimum salary under this category, as well as number of occupation codes relating to the technology sector such as programmers and software development professionals or web designers.
Where an applicant is unable to meet the requirements of Option C to meet the salary requirements under tradeable points, this option may provide a suitable alternative.
What if the job is no longer in a shortage occupation?
As Appendix Shortage Occupation List is updated regularly, an applicant may have worked in a job that was classified as a shortage occupation in a previous application, but no longer is at the time of a new application.
Where an applicant’s job was removed from Appendix Shortage Occupation List on or before the date a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is assigned, they can still benefit from points under this option where all the following conditions are met:
- the applicant’s most recent permission was as a Skilled Worker (or as a Tier 2 (General) migrant under the previous Rules);
- the applicant was sponsored to work in a shortage occupation under the Immigration Rules in force at the time of the most recent permission; and
- the applicant continues to work in the same role and for the same sponsor as in their most recent permission under the Skilled Worker route.
We would recommend saving a copy of the Shortage Occupation List on the date the CoS was assigned, so that it can be relied on in any future application for an extension or settlement under the Skilled Worker route.
How our immigration solicitors can help
We are experienced in advising both employers and individuals in relation to the minimum salary requirement and should you require any further information about this or any other aspect of sponsorship, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.