What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa

If you have clicked on this article, you are probably wondering, what is the difference between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa?

Well, in this article, we will outline the key facts that you need to know, so you don’t get confused about these terms.

Let’s start off with this: the Skilled Worker Visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) Work Visa.

So, the Skilled Worker Visa is the immigration route for foreign workers to come and work in the UK. We will explain the visa in more detail below.

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To learn more about Skilled Worker Visas, click here to read our helpful articles on:

What is the difference between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa?

The new Skilled Worker Visa route aims to provide a streamlined, simplified sponsorship process, with quicker end-to-end visa processing times.

So, what is the difference between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa?

The key changes include:

  • No cap: The cap that previously applied to Tier 2 (General) Visas has been suspended, meaning there is now no limit on the number of skilled workers who can come to the UK.
  • No RLMT: Employers are no longer required to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) under the new rules.
  • Lower thresholds: The minimum skill threshold has been lowered from RQF6 (degree level) to RQF3 (A level) and the minimum salary has been lowered to £20,480.
  • No cooling-off period: Intra- Company Transferees can switch to the Skilled Worker Visa Route from within the UK.
What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa
What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa

What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker Visa is a legal document which enables an overseas individual to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.

This visa is the main immigration route into the UK for non-UK workers.

You must have a job offer before you apply for a skilled worker visa.

You apply online – click here to view the guidance and fill in the application form.

You will hear back with a decision within 3 weeks if you are applying from outside of the UK, and within 8 weeks if you are inside the UK. You may be able to pay to receive a faster decision.

Your visa is only valid for the time you stay in the same role with your sponsoring employer. The visa can last up to 5 years.

As long as you still meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to extend your Skilled Worker Visa as many times as you like.

After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (which is known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.)

What are the requirements to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa?

To successfully apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must:

  • work for a UK employer that the Home Office has approved.
  • have a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK.
  • do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations.
  • be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do.
  • meet the minimum English language requirements.

Before you apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must have a confirmed job offer from an employer in the UK.

There is also a salary requirement to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Your job will usually have to pay you at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour (whichever is higher.)

If the going rate for your job is higher than both of these, you will usually need to be paid at least the going rate.

Each occupation has its annual going rate. Click here to view the going rate for jobs.

How do I know if my job qualifies for a Skilled Worker Visa?

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, your job role must belong in the List of Eligible Occupations, which you can view here. This list is sorted into ‘Occupation Codes’.

To find out whether your job is eligible, you should look up your job’s occupation code using the ONS Occupation Coding Tool.

For example, if you are a pharmacy manager, then type this job title into the Coding Tool, and this will generate the occupation code 2213.

On the list of eligible jobs for the Skilled Worker Visa, the occupation code 2213 is accepted as ‘skilled work’.

If you can’t find your job title on the Coding Tool, then type in the most similar job title, and choose the job description that best matches the work you will be doing.

But be aware that some similar jobs have different occupation codes. For instance, chefs and cooks have different occupation codes: chefs count as ‘skilled work’, but ‘cooks’ do not.

What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa
What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa

How much does it cost to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa?

When applying for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must pay for:

  • The application fee, which ranges from £625 to £1,423 depending on your circumstances.
  • The healthcare surcharge – this is usually £624 per year.

You must also have enough money to support yourself when you arrive in the UK. This is usually at least £1,270 (unless you are exempt).

If your job is on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List, your application fee will be lower.

If you are bringing your partner and children with you to the UK as your dependents, then they will also need money to support themselves.

Can I bring my partner and children with me to the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, you can apply to bring your partner and children as your dependants, if they are eligible. They must apply separately.

You will need to provide evidence of your relationship to your dependents when you apply. (E.g. a marriage certificate, or birth certificate for your child.)

Your dependent family members must have enough money to support themselves while they are in the UK. You will need to prove that you have:

  • £285 for your partner
  • £315 for one child
  • £200 for each additional child

Click here to view the full guidance on bringing dependants to the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa.

Can my Skilled Worker Visa application be rejected?

Your visa application may be rejected if:

  • Your application or supporting documents are incorrect, insufficient, or in the wrong format.
  • Your application is misleading or fraudulent.
  • You have not met the minimum salary requirements.
  • You have not used the correct ‘going rate’ for your job.
  • Your job does not count as ‘skilled work’.
  • You do not meet the financial requirements.
  • You do not meet the English language requirements.
  • If The Home Office does not believe you have the skills required to carry out the job.
  • You have previously broken immigration rules.
  • The Home Office suspects you are not a genuine applicant.
  • The Home Office has made an error in processing your application.

Your rejection letter will outline the reason(s) for not being granted the visa and inform you of your next steps.

What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa
What Is the Difference Between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa

Where can I get help on my Skilled Worker Visa application?

Are you a non-British individual, who is hoping to work in a skilled job in the UK? Do you need help with your Skilled Worker Visa application?

Well, our team at Synergy Immigration Solutions can help you.

The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s ever-evolving immigration laws and the issues that can arise during the application process.

That is why we house all the support services you need for immigration applications, under one roof. This means one cost only, for complete support on your visa application.

We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications. We have years of experiences of helping individuals successfully submit applications across all visa categories.

We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you the time, effort, workload, and stress.

We will offer clear advice, answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our guidance to suit your needs and ensure that your application has the best chance of success.

We process all applications in an efficient and timely manner and keep our clients well-informed throughout the process.

It is vital that the correct supporting documents are in place, to ensure the application is approved.

We would always recommend that you appoint a specialist such as Synergy Immigration Solutions to manage this process for you.

Click here to contact Synergy Immigration Solutions and submit your query.

About Synergy Immigration Solutions

We are a UK immigration agency, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). We are proud members of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

To find out more about Synergy Immigration Solutions and our visa services, visit our website here.

To contact us, call us on 020 315 05359, email  info@synergy-immigration.com or fill in our online contact form here.

Read articles on our blog here, to find the answers to frequently asked questions about topics such as the UK skills gap, Right To Work Checks, and Spouse Visas.

Click here to learn more about Skilled Worker Visas.

We hope this article has provided the answer to the question ‘what is the difference between Tier 2 and Skilled Worker Visa?’

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