UK Skilled Worker visa

UK Skilled Worker visa

 A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. (This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.)

➤ You must be 18 or over when you apply

 You can apply outside and inside for UK Skilled Worker visa

➤ Your job must be eligible for this visa

➤ You must pay the application fee - the standard fee ranges from £625 to £1,423 depending on your circumstances

➤ You must pay pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 per year

➤ You must support yourself when you arrive in the UK - you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)

➤ You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay - this is usually £624 per year

➤ You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.

➤ You don't need to proof if you've been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270

➤ You must work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

➤ To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

 You must have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK

 You must do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations

 You must be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do

➤ You must have the minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options: £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing

➤ If you work in healthcare or education, there are different salary rules if you work in some healthcare or education jobs, where the going rate is based on national pay scales.

  You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa.

➤ You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

➤ You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of English when you apply.

➤ You may be eligible for another type of visa to work in the UK.

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

➤ You can include your partner and children in your application to stay in the UK if they are eligible.

 If you’re under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training you can be paid 70% of your job’s usual going rate if one of the following applies:

➤ If you have a PhD level qualification that’s relevant to your job is eligible for a PhD salary discount, you can be paid 80% or 90% of the job’s usual going rate, depending on which subject you are qualified in.

 If you have a postdoctoral position in science or higher education you can be paid 70% of your job’s usual going rate if you’ll be working in a postdoctoral position in certain science or higher education roles.

➤ You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Australia , the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, USA

➤ If you’re a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or vet, you do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you’ve already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body.

➤ If you’re a vet, you may need to prove that you passed an English Language assessment with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. 

➤ You’ll need to provide a criminal record certificate.

➤ If you want to change your job or employer, you must apply to update your visa.

➤ You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

➤ After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.

➤ You must have tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where you have to take the test

➤ You’ll need to provide a criminal record certificate.

How long it takes

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents.

You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You’ll find out if you need one when you start your application.

Getting a decision

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within:

3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK

8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

You may be able to pay to get a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you’re outside the UK or inside the UK.

What you can and cannot do

With a Skilled Worker visa you can:

work in an eligible job


bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible

take on additional work in certain circumstances

do voluntary work

travel abroad and return to the UK

apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements

You cannot:

apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension

change jobs or employer unless you apply to update your visa

If your application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with a Skilled Worker visa.