What Qualifies as Skilled Work for a Skilled Worker Visa?
Are you a UK employer who is looking to recruit foreign workers to fill roles in your business? Well, hiring workers on a Skilled Worker Visa might be the route for you.
A Skilled Worker Visa is a legal document which allows a non-British individual to come to the UK to work in an eligible job with an approved employer.
There is a set of eligibility cthatia which the individual must toorder to successfully apply for a Skilled Worker Visa.
In this article, we will outline exactly what qualifies as Skilled Work for a Skilled Worker Visa, while providing the answers to frequently asked questions about the visa.
Read more content about Skilled Worker Visas and recruiting foreign workers
To learn more about sponsoring foreign workers, click here to read our helpful articles on:
- Skilled Worker Visa
- What Is a Skilled Worker Visa?
- UK Skills Gap is Crippling the Economy: Here Are The Best Ways for Employers To Recruit Foreign Workers
- UK Skills Gap: Skills Shortage Will Cost the Country
- How Much Does It Cost a Company to Sponsor a Visa UK?
- What Documents Do You Need for Sponsorship?
- Everything you need to know about the Sponsor Licence Application
- How long does it take for a company to get a Sponsorship Licence?
- Sponsor Licence for the Hospitality Sector
- Sponsor Licence for the Care Sector
What is a Skilled Worker Visa?
Formerly called the tier 2 (General) work visa, this visa is now called the Skilled Worker Visa instead.
A Skilled Worker Visa enables qualifying individuals from overseas 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.
Can you extend a Skilled Worker Visa?
Yes, 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 for a Skilled Worker Visa?
To qualify 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’ll 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.
What qualifies as skilled work for a Skilled Worker Visa?
So, what qualifies as skilled work for a Skilled Worker Visa?
The UK Government has created a list of eligible jobs, which would qualify an individual to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. These jobs cover a variety of industries, for instance, healthcare, sciences, engineering, business, technology, finance, IT, human resources, teaching, arts, and many more.
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 university researcher who works in the sciences, then type this job title into the Coding Tool, and this will generate the occupation code 2119.
On the list of eligible jobs for the Skilled Worker Visa, the occupation code 2119 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 Supporting Documents do I need to provide for a Skilled Worker Visa?
When you apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you will be asked to submit supporting evidence, including:
- a valid passport or documents to prove your identity and nationality.
- your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number – this should be on your Certificate of Sponsorship, which your employer must provide you with.
- proof of your knowledge of English.
- your job title and annual salary.
- your job’s occupation code.
- the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on your Certificate of Sponsorship.
- Any other documents that the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) asks for.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also be asked to provide any of these supporting documents:
- Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself in the UK (e.g. bank statement which shows you have at least £1,270).
- proof of your relationship with your partner and children if they are applying with you (e.g. marriage certificate, or child’s birth certificate.)
- Tuberculosis test results.
- A criminal record certificate.
- A valid ATAS certificate.
- Your UK PhD certificate or your unique Ecctis reference number.
- Certified translation of your documents if they are not in English or Welsh.
- A blank page in your passport for your visa.
How much does a Skilled Worker Visa cost?
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
Where can I get help on my Skilled Worker Visa UK application?
The immigration professionals at Synergy Immigration Solutions understand the complexity of the UK’s 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, for complete support on your visa application.
We enjoy working with individuals who need assistance with their visa applications- whether it is a worker visa, sponsorship visa, student visa or visitor visa.
- We will liaise with the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on your behalf- saving you time, effort, workload, and stress.
- We will answer your questions and address any concerns. We are proud to offer a bespoke personalised service, tailoring our advice 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.
Rest assured, you are in good hands if you leave your visa application to us.
The correct documentation must be 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.
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.
Click here to learn more about Skilled Worker Visas.
We hope this article has provided the answer to the question ‘what qualifies as Skilled Work for a Skilled Worker Visa?’