Skilled Worker visa FAQs

What is a Skilled Worker visa?

A Skilled Worker visa allows suitably qualified overseas nationals to enter or stay in the UK to perform an eligible job with an approved employer. The employer must be approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to sponsor overseas nationals. The sponsor will assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the overseas national. This will be used to support their visa application. The Skilled Worker visa replaced the 2 Tier ‘General’ visa category.

Who can apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

To be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa the applicant must:

  • Work for an employer approved by UK Visa and Immigration.
  • Be issued a Certificate of Sponsorship from the sponsor. The Certificate of Sponsorship should outline information about the role, salary and place of work.
  • Perform an eligible occupation.
  • Earn a minimum salary threshold depending on the type of work, the date that the Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned and the Immigration Rules.

How long does it take to get a decision on a Skilled Worker visa application?

Once an applicant has applied online and provided all the supporting documents, they will usually get an outcome within:

  • 3 weeks if outside of the UK.
  • 8 weeks if inside the UK.

For a premium, it is possible to request a faster decision.

How much does a Skilled Worker visa application cost?

There are several costs to factor in:

  • The application fee – the standard fee ranges from £719 to £1,639 depending on the applicants’ circumstances.
  • The immigration healthcare surcharge – this is usually £1,035 per year.
  • The applicant must have enough finances to support themselves once they arrive in the UK. They will usually need to have at least £1,270 available and more for each dependant (unless exempt).

We have up to date articles surrounding application fees and costs on our website.

How long can a Skilled Worker visa holder stay in the UK?

An overseas national can remain in the UK for as long as the sponsors requires their services. The initial visa can be issued for up to 5 years. Normally, visas are issued for 3 years and then extended.

Skilled workers can update their visa, change jobs or sponsors. This may require a new Certificate of Sponsorship and application to UK Immigration and Visas depending on the situation.

Can a Skilled Worker visa be extended?

Skilled Worker visa holders can apply to extend their visa as many times as needed and as long as their services are required by the sponsor.

After the skilled worker visa holder has worked and resided in the country for 5 years, they may apply for indefinite leave to remain, otherwise known as ‘settlement’.

What can you do under a Skilled Worker visa?

What can be done:What cannot be done:
Travel overseas and re enter the UK.Apply for state benefits or public funds. There are a few exceptions to this such as statutory maternity pay.
Study.Apply for a state pension.
Sponsor partners and dependant children to join or accompany them to the UK.Change jobs unless UKVI are notified or a new Certificate of Sponsorship is issued. This depends on the new job role.
Undertake voluntary work.Change sponsors unless a new Certificate of Sponsorship is issued.
Work an eligible job.Sponsor family members other than partners and dependant children over the age of 18 unless the child entered the UK as a minor.
Work unlimited overtime hours.
Work in another job up to 20 hours per week if the job is of a similar occupation.
Apply for indefinite leave to remain once they have have lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the immigration requirements in full.
Things you can and cannot do in the UK.

The Skilled Worker visa is a very flexible option that offers a route to indefinite leave to remain provided that the person adheres to the conditions of the immigration requirements.

Written by Mya Alghali

How we can help you

Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration assistance to individuals and businesses.

If you have questions or concerns or you would like straightforward immigration advice, or help with applying for a visa or Sponsor License, feel free to contact us.

Our processes are tried and tested and have proven successful. Yet, we know that each person’s circumstances and business needs are different and requires that individual touch when presenting the matter to UKVI.

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