The UK Skilled Worker Visa is the main UK immigration route for non-UK resident workers, with over 120,000 Skilled Worker Visas issued in 2021. In this blog, we’ll give you the basic facts about this popular route of entry to the UK, along with links to all the documentation you’ll need, as an applicant, an employer, or an immigration law caseworker.
Requirements for a UK Skilled Worker Visa
Applicants for the UK Skilled Worker Visa (formerly the Tier 2 visa) will have to satisfy the following requirements:
- A confirmed offer of employment from a Home Office-approved UK employer. The employer must have successfully applied for a sponsorship licence.
- The applicant will require a certificate of sponsorship from the employer, with detailed information about the role they’ve been offered in the UK.
- The job must be listed by the UK Government as an eligible occupation. In order to find out whether the potential job role is listed, you need to find the job, with its associated code, on this list. Then you’ll need to check for that code here, on the list of eligible occupations. The list is updated regularly, to reflect the changing needs of the UK labour market.
- The job must meet the salary requirements set by the UK Government . At the time of writing, the minimum salary expectation is £25,600.00 per annum, although a lower threshold is acceptable for some key roles. Further guidance on this matter can be found here.
- Applicants must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. As part of the application process, these skills will be tested.
The Home Office costs of the application process can be found here. If the application is successful, the UK Skilled Worker Visa will be valid for up to 5 years, after which an extension can be applied for. If the applicant changes jobs during their stay, they must contact the Home Office to update their visa.
All applications must be submitted at least 3 months before the employment start date. Applicants currently living outside the UK will receive the results of their application within three weeks, while those applicants already residing in the UK will need to wait 8 weeks to find out.
For immigration advisers seeking to assist a visa application, the full caseworker guidance for the UK Skilled Worker Visa is available here.
Intra Company Transfer Visa
In addition to the UK Skilled Worker Visa, non-UK residents can also apply for the Intra Company Transfer Visa (also known as the ICT Visa). These visas are used when a company relocates an employee from their role in another country to come and work in the UK.
Requirements for an Intra Company Transfer Visa
The ICT visa applicant must meet the same basic requirements as the Skilled Worker Visa applicants, specifically:
- They must be an existing employee of a Home Office approved employer.
- They must have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from their employer with information about the role offered in the UK
- They must be employed in a role listed as an eligible occupation (see details above)
- Their salary must be at least £41,500.00 to obtain an Intra-company Transfer visa or at least £23,000.00 for an Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa.
The rules regarding length of stay are different for ICT visas and are dependent on several different factors – find out more here.
The full caseworker guidance for the Intra Company Transfer Visa is available here – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983271/intra-company-guidance-v3.0.pdf
ADDITIONAL LINKS FOR EMPLOYERS
Employers guidance for sponsoring a UK Skilled Worker Visa
Employers guidance for sponsoring an ICT visa
If your business or organisation is considering applying for a sponsorship licence, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friends at Pacific Law, who are ready to help you navigate this complicated and arduous process.
You can view our immigration training dates on our website. Alternatively, if you would like to arrange private immigration training for your organisation or for yourself, please contact us by email or telephone.