Skilled Worker Visa
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Skilled Worker Visa
You would be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa if you have secured skilled employment in the UK. Before applying for the visa, you should have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship from an organisation that has a sponsor licence.
New post-Brexit rules say that resident labour market test is no longer required. Nevertheless, when applying for a sponsor licence the employer will need to clarify how they identified their prospective employee (if they have one) and provide some evidence of this, e.g., screenshots of their adverts, letter from the recruitment agency, etc.
Information to be provided with your application:
- Certificate of Sponsorship;
- proof of financial maintenance in the UK;
- proof of English Language level;
- Criminal Record Certificate from the countries you lived more than 12 months;
- Tuberculosis Test Certificate (for certain countries only).
- Family Members (‘dependants’): You can apply to bring your family members with you as dependants on your application, subject to meeting requirements. This includes being able to prove that they can be financially supported.
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SKILLED WORKER MAINTENANCE FUNDS FOR VISA
You must have evidence of the minimum funds required to cover the living and accommodation funds for both you and your dependents. This fund must be in saved money showing £945 for personal and £630 for dependents. The only people who are exempted are those whose accommodation and living cost have been undertaken by their sponsoring employer. In such circumstance, official documents from your sponsoring employer have to be submitted as a proof. You also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge in the UK as part of your application.
Note that: Holders of skilled worker visa have the right to submit applications for their dependents to join them in Britain. These dependents include unmarried partner, married partner, and kids who will be granted the same duration of leave like a skilled worker. Besides, they have the right to get employment without any form of restriction in the United Kingdom.
SKILLED WORKERS – DURATION OF STAY
For the skilled worker there is no restriction how many times they can apply for extension if their employer is ready to continue hiring them. Applicants who were previously under Tier 4 and have the wish to switch to skilled worker route and whose sponsoring employer is willing to pay the lower “New Entrant” rate can only get it paid for the initial three years on the job. After that, the rate for higher “Experienced Worker” has to be paid. Therefore, applicants under these conditions may only be granted three-year-visa to begin with but it is possible to extend it later after paying the higher rate.
Skilled Worker ILR qualifying period
Skilled worker visa holders can be eligible to submit applications for ILR after they have lived in Britain continuously for five years.
Your ILR application qualifying period starts immediately your entrance clearance or leave to remain is approved. Only the recent five years will be taken into considerations for individuals who have exceeded five years in Britain.
Before applying for ILR, applicants who delayed to come into the UK after their visa approval date may be required to complete their qualifying period by applying for an extension.
Switching To Skilled Worker Visa
You can switch to this category from inside the UK, then the application should be made before your visa expires.
However, you cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:
- on a visit visa;
- on a short-term student visa;
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa;
- on a seasonal worker visa;
- on a domestic worker in a private household visa;
- on immigration bail;
- because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
You must leave the UK and apply from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.
You’ll usually need to be paid at least £25,600 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for your job is higher than this.
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When you can be paid less
You might still be able to apply for a Skilled Worker visa if your job is eligible but your salary is less than £25,600 or your job’s usual ‘going rate’.
You can be paid between 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for your job if your salary is at least £20,480 per year and you meet one of the following criteria:
- your job is in a shortage occupation
- you’re under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training
- you have a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) PhD level qualification that’s relevant to your job (if you have a relevant PhD level qualification in any other subject your salary must be at least £23,040)
- you have a postdoctoral position in science or higher education
Taking on additional work
You can do additional paid work on this visa as long as you’re still doing the job you’re being sponsored for. You can also do unpaid voluntary work.
You can work up to 20 hours a week in a job that’s either:
- in the same occupation code and at the same level as your main job
- in a shortage occupation
Approved UK employers
You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Approved employers are also known as sponsors, because they are sponsoring you to come to or stay in the UK.
You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain following a period of 5 years (the ‘qualifying period’) continuous leave in this route.
You cannot have had more than 180 days’ absence from the United Kingdom during any consecutive 12-month period within the 5-year period. If any of your absences are in connection with employment you will need to provide a letter from the relevant employer detailing the purpose and period of absences, including periods of annual leave.
In addition, you will still be required by your current Sponsor in the role recorded on your Certificate of Sponsorship for the foreseeable future and show evidence of your earnings.
You must meet knowledge of the English language and life in the UK requirement before you can be granted.
One major grounds for ILR application refusal is non-compliance with the absence, but discretion can be applied to the qualifying period in some circumstances like when the absent rule results in extremely harsh consequences.
English Language Requirement for ILR Applicants
UK skilled worker visa holders must meet the English language requirement while submitting their applications for ILR and recommendations from UKVI guidance maintain that proof of one of the following must be submitted:
- Listening and speaking qualifications in English should be at B1 level or higher than that of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
- Degree qualification (if any) should be English based.
As an applicant, you shouldn’t be found guilty of immigration offences including any history of overstay in Britain.
Documents Required for ILR under the Skilled Worker Route
- Your present sponsor’s confirmation letter, with your job details well stated and confirming that your employment is well secured for the foreseeable future;
- Documented evidence of absence with reasons during the qualifying period;
- Your present sponsors confirmation of your gross yearly earnings;
- Documented evidence of your income to meet the minimum threshold;
- Personal bank statements and payslips.