The UK Skilled Worker visa allows a skilled worker to come to or stay in the UK for taking up an eligible job for an approved employer.
The new points-based Skilled Worker visa for the UK has replaced the Tier 2 [General] work visa.
Anyone that the employers hire from outside the UK – with the exemption of Ireland – will be required to apply for due permission for the same in advance.
In order to qualify for the UK Skilled Worker visa, an individual must work for a UK employer that had been approved by the Home Office.
As on April 9, 2021, there were a total of 34,049 UK employers mentioned on the Register of Sponsors licensed under the Worker and Temporary Worker routes. This is a comprehensive list of organizations that are licensed to sponsor workers on the Temporary Worker [formerly Tier 5] and Worker [formerly Tier 2] immigration routes.
In addition to their job being on the list of eligible occupations, a candidate must also have a “certificate of sponsorship” from their UK employer containing information regarding the role that they had been offered in the UK.
Moreover, they must also be paid a minimum salary in keeping with the type of work to be done by them in the UK.
The minimum salary threshold that is to be met by a candidate will be according to their job.
The salary requirement as per the type of work to be done in the UK will be whichever is highest out of the 3 options that are £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour, or the “going rate” for the type of work that the individual will be doing.
The 4-digit occupation code of the job will be needed for checking eligibility.
Do keep in mind that the job description of your future job in the UK should be an exact match. For example, while cooks are not eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, chefs are eligible.
Generally, an individual must be paid either a minimum of £10.10 per hour or £25,600 per year. The higher amount of these 2 would be applicable. If, however, the going rate for that job in the UK is higher, the candidate must be paid at least the going rate.
Those working in certain healthcare or education jobs will have different salary thresholds applicable, in keeping with the national pay scales set by the appropriate independent body, such as the National Health Service [NHS].
Under the new points-based system of the UK, a skilled worker – regardless of where they are coming to the UK from – would be required to score a minimum of 70 points to be eligible to apply.
Now, 3 factors to be assessed are mandatory and must be met. A job offer by an approved UK sponsor is worth 20 points. A job at an appropriate skill level is worth another 20 points. Speaking English at the required level will fetch 10 points.
These are the mandatory requirements that have to be fulfilled necessarily. A range of other factors – salary, job in a shortage occupation, PhD in a related subject – are the other factors that will be taken into consideration.
Nevertheless, these are ‘tradeable’ factors that can be adjusted against each other.
Generally, if a complete and Decision Ready Application is submitted by an individual from outside the UK, a decision on their visa application can be expected within 3 weeks.
With a UK Skilled Worker visa, an individual can work [in an eligible job] and study in the UK. They can also bring their eligible dependents – partner and children – with them to the UK.
An individual that is in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa might be able to apply for permanent settlement in the UK, provided they have lived in the UK for 5 years and also meet the other eligibility requirements as well. This is also referred to as an “indefinite leave to remain”.
Skilled workers employed in the public sector healthcare – such as nurses or doctors, or those working in adult care – might be eligible for applying for the Health and Care Worker visa instead which is comparatively cheaper to apply to.
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