The Skilled Worker visa applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements and score a minimum of 70 points in total to be able to apply to work in the UK.
The application process and requirements for the Skilled Worker visa may change over time, so applicants should always consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or advisor for the latest information and eligibility requirements.
Table of Contents
- What are the Skilled Worker visa requirements?
- Skilled worker visa points calculator
- What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) requirement?
- What is the genuine vacancy requirement?
- What is the immigration skills charge requirement?
- What is an appropriate skill level requirement?
- What is the minimum salary requirement?
- What is the financial requirement?
- What is the English language requirement?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What are the Skilled Worker visa requirements?
To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa in the UK, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Job offer: The applicant must have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor license. The job offer must meet the skill level requirement and be on the list of eligible occupations for skilled work.
- Certificate of sponsorship: The employer must provide a certificate of sponsorship, which confirms that the applicant has a genuine job offer.
- Salary requirement: The applicant must be paid at least the minimum salary threshold for the job they are offered, which varies depending on the occupation and skill level.
- Skill level: The job must be at RQF level 3 or above, which generally requires at least A-levels or equivalent qualifications. Some skilled jobs require higher qualifications.
- English language: The applicant must meet English language requirements, either by passing an approved English language test, or by holding a degree taught in English, or by being a national of a majority English-speaking country.
- Financial requirement: The applicant must show that they can support themselves in the UK without relying on public funds.
- Criminal record: The applicant must not have any criminal convictions or a history of unacceptable behaviour.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Skilled worker visa points calculator
To calculate Skilled Worker visa points, an individual needs to meet certain eligibility criteria and score a minimum of 70 points in total. Here is how the points are calculated:
- Job offer from a licensed sponsor: 20 points The individual must have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor license.
- Job at an appropriate skill level: 20 points The individual must have a job that is at the required skill level (RQF level 3 or above), as specified in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code.
- English language proficiency: 10 points The individual must provide evidence of their English language proficiency. This can be done by taking an approved English language test or by meeting one of the exemptions.
- Salary: 0-20 points The individual can score points based on their salary. If their salary is at or above both the general salary threshold and the going rate for the job, they can score the maximum 20 points. If their salary is lower, they will score points based on the actual salary offered.
- Shortage occupation: 0-20 points If the individual's job is on the shortage occupation list, they can score an additional 20 points.
To calculate the total points, the individual should add up the points they score for each criterion. They must score at least 70 points in total to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa.
What is the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) requirement?
In order to obtain a Skilled Worker Visa, you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do. Your Certificate of Sponsorship will need to have been issued by an employer that is authorized by the Home Office to sponsor the job in question under the Skilled Worker route.
Your sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors unless you were last granted permission as a Skilled Worker and are applying to continue working for the same sponsor as in your last permission.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Skilled Worker application.
Your Certificate of Sponsorship must include certain mandatory information, including:
- details of your name, job, and salary;
- a start date which is no more than 3 months after the date your Skilled Worker visa application;
- confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office;
What is the genuine vacancy requirement?
In order to be granted a Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy the Home Office that you are being sponsored to undertake a genuine vacancy and are capable of undertaking the role for which your Certificate of Sponsorship has been assigned.
If there are reasonable grounds to believe that the job you are being sponsored to do does not exist, is a sham, or has been created mainly so that you can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa then your application will be refused.
The Home Office will also want to be satisfied that you have not entered into an arrangement whereby you will fill a temporary or permanent position or undertake contract work that involves undertaking an ongoing routine role or providing an ongoing routine service to a third party who is not your sponsor.
What is the immigration skills charge requirement?
Your sponsor must also have paid in full any required Immigration Skills Charge. The Immigration Skills Charge is a charge for each foreign worker that a sponsoring employer seeks to employ. The Immigration Skills Charge must be paid each time a sponsoring employer assigns a Certificate of Sponsorship to a migrant.
What is an appropriate skill level requirement?
In order to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, the job you are being sponsored for must be an eligible job at or above a minimum skill level. Under the Skilled Worker Visa route, the role you are looking to fill must be skilled to at least RQF level 3, which is roughly equivalent to A-levels. You do not need to hold a formal qualification in order to satisfy the skills level requirement. It is the skill level of the job that you will be doing that will determine whether the threshold is met.
The Home Office sets out eligible jobs, along with their skill levels, in an Appendix to the Immigration Rules. Each eligible job has an occupation code. You must be sponsored for a job in an eligible occupation code listed in the Appendix. Your sponsor must choose an appropriate occupation code. If the Home Office has reasonable grounds to believe that your sponsor has not chosen the most appropriate occupation code then your application for a Skilled Worker Visa will be refused.
In assessing whether your sponsor has chosen the most appropriate occupation code, the Home Office will consider factors such as whether they have shown a genuine need for the job as described, whether you have the appropriate skills, qualifications, and experience needed to do the job as described and the sponsor’s history of compliance with the immigration system.
What is the minimum salary requirement?
The Skilled Worker visa has a minimum salary requirement that an employer must pay to sponsor a migrant worker. The minimum salary requirement varies depending on the job the individual is applying for and their skill level.
The current annual general salary threshold for a Skilled Worker visa is £26,200 per year or £10.75 per hour, whichever is higher.
Each occupation code has its own annual going rate. Check the going rate for your job in the going rates table.
What is the financial requirement?
The financial maintenance requirement is an important eligibility criterion for the Skilled Worker visa, which requires that an individual must be able to support themselves while living in the UK.
The applicant must have enough money to cover their living costs, including accommodation, food, and other expenses, without relying on public funds.
You'll usually need to have at least £1,270 for a period of 28 days if they are applying from outside the UK, or £945 for a period of 90 days if they are applying from inside the UK.
What is the English language requirement?
The English language requirement for a Skilled Worker visa is an important eligibility criterion that an individual must meet in order to be granted a visa.
To meet the English language requirement, an individual must:
- Pass an approved English language test: The individual must take an approved English language test and achieve at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The approved tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, or the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.
- Have a degree taught in English: If the individual has completed a degree-level course that was taught in English, they may be exempt from the English language test requirement.
- Be a national of a majority English-speaking country: If an individual is a citizen of a country where English is the majority language, they will automatically meet the English language requirement.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about Skilled Worker visa:
To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you must have a confirmed job offer in a UK company that holds a sponsorship licence. You must meet all the eligibility requirements depending on your circumstances.
You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) (known as 'Settlement'), once you have completed 5 continuous years in the UK as a Skilled Worker.
You must apply online for a UK Skilled Worker visa. You need to upload all the supporting documents, attend biometric appointment and pay the correct visa application & IHS fees.