A Skilled Worker visa is meant for skilled foreign workers to come to or stay and work in UK in a job deemed eligible. The job must be done with an employer who is approved.

The Skilled Worker Visa is a replacement for the Tier 2 (General) Work visa.

Some health workers as well as their families will get a free extension for their visas owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requirements for the visa

If you want to work in UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa, the following requirements have to be met:

  • You must get a minimum of 70 points to qualify.
  • You must be offered to be paid the general level of salary amounting to £25,600 or the rate applied as a standard for the particular job role, whichever is more.
  • The required points to qualify are tradeable. That means the applicant could be qualified for sponsorship even if their salary didn’t meet the given criteria if their job role was identified as an occupation with a labor shortage.
  • The criteria of skills for roles are being toned down to NVQ Level 3. This means that many more job roles from a range of sectors that’s wider would be up for sponsorship. These include junior-level/administrative roles.
  • An applicant must meet the language requirement in the English language.
Documents required to apply for the Skilled Worker visa
  • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number – your employer will give you this
  • A valid passport or other documents that shows your identity and nationality
  • Your job’s occupation code
  • Proof of your knowledge of the English language
  • Your job title and annual salary
  • The name of your employer and their sponsor license number – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship
Eligibility criteria for the visa

Type of work experience

Canadian experience in either NOC 0, A, or B


A rank of CLB 7 in the English/French language

Amount of work experience

A year’s continuous work experience within the
 last 10 years (combined experience from part-time and full-time or more than 1 job in your primary occupation)


Secondary education required and more points in selection criteria for post-secondary education

Job offer

Not mandatory with an added advantage of extra points for having a job offer that’s valid

Apart from these, the following criteria are also to be met:
  • Applicant must be over the age of 18 years
  • Produce a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (from an A-listed Employer by the Home Office including your name, salary, and job as well as a confirmation of the certificate’s legitimacy)
  • Pay the immigration skill charge paid by the sponsor
  • Get a proficiency level of at least CEFR Level B1 in the English Language (same as IELTS 4.0)
  • Prove that the applicant is financially stable can support oneself without having any reliance on public funds
  • Produce the certificate showing a clean criminal record (since 18 years of age in the country of residence)
  • Get a valid TB certificate (wherever applicable)
How do I apply for the visa?

If you want to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa to work in UK, follow the following steps.

  • Apply for the visa online. Use the form available on the website.
  • Complete the online form in English.
  • Pay the application fee as well.
  • Submit the supporting documentation required.
  • After filling the online application form, book an appointment and attend it at a VAC (Visa Application Center). Prove your identity and submit your biometrics.
  • Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge to get access to the UK’s healthcare system.

Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa not more than 3 months before you intend to start to work in UK. In case you are switching from another UK visa to the Skilled Worker Visa, then it’s necessary to apply before the expiry of your current visa.

Under the Skilled Worker route, it may be allowed for you to bring family members with you to the UK. If you want to bring family members, then they have to make a separate visa application to join you as a dependent in the UK.

What are the general requirements of the skilled worker visa?
  • An applicant must obtain at least 70 points.
  • The salary level, in general, will amount to £25,600. Payment to the applicant has to be at this rate, or the particular job’s standard rate, whichever is more.
  • The points for eligibility can be traded, due to which an applicant was chosen to occupation with a labor shortage with lesser than standard salary criteria could still qualify for sponsorship.
  • The skills requirements for roles are being toned down to Level 3 of NVQ, which makes many more roles from a wider range of sectors would be available for sponsorship (including administrative roles/ junior level).
  • An applicant must meet the requirement for the English language.
How are Skilled Worker and Tier 2 Visa routes different?

The Tier 2 and Skilled Worker routes are both long-term work routes. The new Skilled Worker visa came in the place of Tier 2 (General) visa. It’s the main points-based immigration route offered by the Home Office to skilled migrants from beyond the UK.

Nevertheless, there are some Tier 2 visa routes existing. The Sportsperson visa and the Minister of Religion visa are notable ones among them.

The remaining Tier 2 routes, compared to the Skilled Worker visa, are narrower when it comes to their purpose. It covers a wide range of occupations deemed eligible.

Two other long-term visa routes are the Intra-company visa and the Health & Care visa.

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