The Skilled Worker visa is a point-based UK work visa, issued to highly skilled workers from outside the UK, who have a job offer from a UK employer for a skilled job or for a job which is listed on the Shortage Occupations List. To be eligible to apply for this visa, applicants must be issued with a certificate of sponsorship by their UK employer, who must hold a valid Skilled Worker sponsor licence.
In order to apply for the visa, the applicant has to be employed by a licenced sponsor who will perform the necessary checks to ensure that the applicant is properly equipped to do the job they’re hiring them for. Applicants will be assigned an electronic certificate of sponsorship, which will hold their personal details and information about the job they have been offered, such as the salary and the start and end date of the employment. The sponsor will also provide the applicant with a certificate of sponsorship reference number to add to their application.
Applicants can come to the UK with a Skilled Worker visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on their certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.
Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Worker visa:
In order to apply for this type of visa, an applicant will need to meet a number of requirements.
The applicant should have been offered a skilled job by an employer who is based in the UK and has a valid sponsor licence.
Further requirements include being offered an appropriate salary and having sufficient maintenance funds.
Our specialist and experienced advisors provide thorough advice on meeting the requirements and all the specified documentary evidence.
Successful applicants can:
- Work for their sponsor in the job described on their certificate of sponsorship;
- Do a second job in certain circumstances;
- Do voluntary work;
- Study, as long as it does not interfere with the job they are sponsored for;
- Travel abroad and return to the UK;
- Bring family members as dependants.
Successful applicants cannot:
- Own more than 10% of their sponsor’s shares (unless they are earning more than £159,600 a year);
- Receive public funds;
- Apply for a second job until they have started working for their sponsor.
Applicants can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day they are due to start work in the UK. This date will be listed on their certificate of sponsorship.
- Applicants should get a decision on their visa within 3 weeks when they apply from outside the UK;
- Priority Service may be available at some visa application centres for entry clearance applications which should result in a decision within 10 – 15 days;
- For applications submitted from within the UK by switching from a different visa category, the processing time is approximately 8 weeks with standard service.
Yes, it is possible to switch to the SkilledWorker Visa from another UK visa.
You will need to receive sponsorship or job offer from an approved company to be eligible to switch to the Skilled Worker Visa, just as you would with a standard Skilled Visa application.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re already in the UK, you could switch from one of the following visas:
- Start-up visa
- Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
- Visitor Visa, (if applicant came to the UK to get funding with a supporting letter from an endorsement body)
As long as you applied for the Skilled Worker Visa before your current visa expired, you will be able to stay in the UK until a decision has been reached.
Certain family members can join you when you travel to the UK on an Innovator Visa. Your family members will be classed as dependents of you.
The following people will be classed as dependents:
- A partner
- A child under 18
- A child over 18 if currently in UK as a dependent
If you have dependents, you must have £630 in savings per dependent, in addition to the £945 you need to support yourself.
You need to prove you have the required money in your bank account (or the dependants bank account) for at least 90 days before you apply for the Innovator Visa.
It is also possible for a person living in the UK to switch their visa to stay with you as a dependant. In these circumstances, the dependant must apply as a dependant partner or a dependant child.
The specific documents which need to be included in the Skilled Worker Visa application depends on your particular circumstances.
Still, the following documents will always need to be included in your portfolio of evidence:
- Current passport or other valid travel identification
- Proof of B2 English language test pass (if applicable)
- Bank statements showing that you have at least £945 in savings in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply
- Evidence of your investment funds
- Your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a country where the test has to be taken
Any documents which are not in English or Welsh must be translated by an accredited translator.
It is imperative that you provide all necessary documents in your application, and that they adhere to the strict Home Office standards. Failure to do so will result in an automatic rejection.
If you are applying for the Skilled Worker Visa from outside of the UK, you can expect to receive a decision from the Home Office within three weeks. Applications made from inside the UK can take up to eight weeks. Also, dependant applications will be processed within eight weeks.
The application could take longer to process if the Home Office has any concerns about your application. For instance, you could be asked to have certain supporting documents verified.
If your application is approved, you can stay in the UK for three years.
At the end of the three years you will be able to extend your visa if you still meet the eligibility requirements and are still running a business in the UK, or want to start a new one.
If your business has already been endorsed in your original Innovator Visa application, you do not need to have £50,000 in investment funds to renew your Innovator Visa.
Also, you will need to include any dependants who are on your current Innovator visa in the Innovator Visa extension application.
The cost of a UK Skilled Worker Visa depends on where you apply from and your specific situation.
|Who?||Standard Application||Extend or Switch|
|You (from Turkey or Macedonia)||£966||£1,222|
|Dependents||£1,021 per person||£1,277 per person|