Introduction to Skilled Worker Visa
The Skilled Worker Visa for UK scheme has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. The Skilled Worker Visa Route will be open from 1 January 2021 to all EU and Non-EU nationals who wish to work in the UK. In this article, we will explore the Skilled Work Visa, eligibility, criteria, and Procedure.
Under the new Point based system of Immigration law, the applicants who wish to work in the UK can apply for Skilled Worker Visa for UK, whether they are from the European Union or rest of the world, have to secure 70 points in order to apply under this category.
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What is Included?
- Introduction to Skilled Worker Visa
- Salary Points
- The Eligibility
- Salary Threshold
- Shortage of Occupancy List
- English Language Proficiency
- Length of Stay
- Permanent Stay
- Family Members
- Prohibited Activities
These points are allocated as follows;
|Characteristics. (Must-Have Points)||Points|
|Offer of a job by an approved sponsor||20|
|Job at an appropriate skill level||20|
|English Language Skills B1 or Above||10|
|Total Available (Must have points)||50|
|Salary less than £23,040||0|
|Salary of at least £23,040 (90% Going Rate)||10|
|Salary of at least £25,600 (At least Going Rate of Profession)||20|
|Salary of at least £20,480 (Professions on Shortage of Occupancy List)||20|
For Skilled Worker Visa for UK, The skilled worker must secure 70 points from Table A and B, jointly however, there is trade-off available to some skilled worker who cannot secure points from Table B.
|Education qualification: PhD & Relevant to Job||10|
|Education qualification: PhD in STEM & Relevant to Job||20|
|Job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the MAC)||20|
|The applicant is a new entrant to the labour market (as designated by the MAC||20|
To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa for UK, the applicant’s employer, who will also be the Sponsor of the Skilled worker Visa for UK, must have a license from the Home Office as an Approved Employer and must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the prospective Skilled Worker Visa for UK. This proves to be the biggest hurdle for low-skilled workers as many employers, involved in low-skilled, are unsure and unable to fulfill the conditions, and requirements of the license and secure the Sponsorship license. The exact eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The Skilled Worker must work for the Home Office approved UK employer
- Must have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’(CoS) from the employer
- The job offered is on the list of eligible occupations
- And meets the salary threshold
It is further important to note that the Home Office approved employer can sponsor a skilled worker for Skilled Worker Visa for UK for only those jobs which are on the eligible occupations list. The full details of all eligible Occupations can be found here. If the job is not on the eligible occupations list then the employer will not be able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. The Eligible Occupation list is further divided into a Shortage of Occupation list and Shortage of Occupation List for Health Care.
The minimum salary threshold is £25,600 or going rate whichever is higher which means that the applicant must be paid at least £25,600 per year or if the going rate for the profession is higher, he must be paid that amount.
For example, John as a Civil Engineer has received a job offer which pays him £28,000 per annum, however, the going rate for Civil Engineers is £33,000 per annum, then, in this case, John must get a job that pays a minimum of £33,000 otherwise his application will be refused. However, it is also worth noting that if the Job offered is in the Shortage of Occupancy list then the salary threshold is lowered to £20,480. The Civil Engineering is on the Shortage of Occupancy list, John will have not a problem fulfilling the salary criteria which only requires a lower income threshold.
Shortage of Occupancy List
For Skilled Worker Visa for UK, It is important to note that the salary threshold is further reduced to £20, 480 where the job offer is on the shortage occupancy’s list, for example, nurses, doctors, Engineers, IT-related jobs etc
English Language Proficiency
For Skilled Worker Visa for UK, The Skilled worker must be able to speak, read, write, and understand the English Language. The minimum level required is B1. Further details on the English Language requirement can be found here.
Length of Stay
Under this category, the Skilled Worker can live in the UK for 5 Years. The worker is further allowed to renew his visa in this category as many times as he wishes to provided, he fulfils the requirements.
After 5 years of stay in the UK, the Skilled Worker can apply for permanent residence referred to as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), provided he fulfills the requirements for ILR.
The family members, for example, partners, and children can join the Skilled Worker and they can also apply for ILR after 5 years stay in the UK.
- work in an eligible job
- study if the skilled worker wishes to
- bring his/her partner and children as your ‘dependents’ 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
The skilled worker is not allowed to apply for any Social Security Benefits, public funds, and State Pension. The skilled worker is further prohibited from change jobs or employers. If the worker wishes to change his job or employer, then he has to apply to the Home Office to update his Skilled Worker Visa for UK.