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Skilled Worker Visas | Work in the UK | Applying for Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled worker visas

The Skilled Worker Visas is the route that has replaced Tier 2 General Visa but the concept as well as most of the requirements is still similar. The Skilled Worker Visa is an application for both EEA nationals and non-EEA nationals.

Requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa

The visa requirements are broken down into 3 parts:

Validity requirements

The Skilled Worker Visa requires you to meet the validity requirements. There criteria’s for the application to be met, which includes lodging a valid Skilled Worker Visa application. The application would be rejected if the requirements of the validity are not met.

Suitability requirements

You must meet the suitability requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa, which means you must not fall for general grounds of refusal. This includes previous visa refusals, overstaying, and breach of conditions as some of the issues that could affect your Skilled Worker Visa.

Eligibility requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa

The application as a Skilled Worker Visa requires you to meet the eligibility requirements.

  1. You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa. The CoS is supplied by the employer.

  2. You must be 18 years of age over to apply under the Skilled Worker Visa. Those under 18 years of age at the date of application will be refused.

  3. At the date of application, you must meet the required salary, points for sponsorship (mandatory), points for a job at the appropriate skill level and points for the English language requirement, as specified by the Appendix.

Employer’s Sponsor Licence

The Home Office endorses employers to become part of the Skilled Worker Visa sponsorship and must hold a valid sponsor licence. If you are an employer, you can find more information on this by clicking here: https://icslegal.com/sponsorship-licence.php

The Sponsor Licence allows the Home Office to manage both employers and employees, who are being sponsored under the Skilled Worker Visa route. When a work permit document is issued by the employer, which is also referred as the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), there are checks and requirements from the employer which must be completed. 

Where the employer loses their sponsor licence based on compliance issues or any other failures including genuine employment test, you may lose your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), and your Skilled Worker Visa could be refused or rejected depending on the stage of the visa process.

Genuine Vacancy under Skilled Worker Visa

The Home Office will check all applications made under the Skilled Worker Visa, to ensure they are all genuine vacancies. This is checked at both employers and when the applicant lodges their application under the Skilled Worker Visa.

Checks are made before and after a of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued to an applicant for their application as a Skilled Worker Visa, which includes checking if the necessary checks have been done to the job code to salary as well as whether the applicant have the necessary qualifications and skills to do the employment in question.

Further checks are done on the applicant, which can take part in various forms including interviews, to check the details of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and ensure the applicant is able to do the job as specified by the employer.

Where there are issues raised by the Home Office on the genuine vacancy test, this could impact the employer’s sponsor licence or the refusal of the applicant’s application as a Skilled Worker Visa. Whilst decisions can be challenged, the genuine vacancy test failure makes the application complex unless there is clear case working errors made.

Working for third parties as a Skilled Worker

The Home Office is aware of those acting as recruitment agencies or supplying staffs to other organisations or businesses.

A sponsor also referred as an employer can only employ someone that the employer will have full responsibility of their duties and work. Where work is being contracted out is not permitted and can risk both the sponsor licence and also the application as a Skilled Worker to be refused.

Tradeable points under the Skilled Worker Visa

The requirements of the tradeable points must be met in addition to the 50 mandatory points. These requirements are met by one of the following, which will score the additional 20 points:

1.    Salary.

2.    Salary and relevant PhD qualification.

3.    Salary and relevant STEM PhD qualification.

4.    Salary and a job in a shortage occupation.

5.    Salary and applicant is a new entrant.

6.    Salary and a job in a listed health or education occupation.

Assessing salaries under the Skilled Worker Visa

The Immigration Rules sets out the salary requirements for each employment. The employer, who holds a sponsor licence, must ensure they choose the correct job code. Failure to do so could result in their sponsor licence being revoked or suspended as the employer must be competent to use the sponsor management system.

When the employer completes the Certificate of Sponsorship, the salary must contain the guaranteed basic gross pay. No other pay and benefits must be included when assessing salary. The Home Office have set out transitional arrangements for those switching from Tier 2 General Visa to the Skilled Worker Visa.

Meeting the financial requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa

As a Skilled Worker, there are requirements to be met, also referred as maintenance on the Tier 2 General Visa. There are automatic requirements as a Skilled Worker that you can meet if you have been in the UK for 12 months under this category.

If you have not been, then you will need to meet the financial requirements. Your sponsor can certify the maintenance or you will need to show the funds in your account for a period of 28 days. The financial requirements of the dependants are separate and needs to be met, based on the circumstances of the Skilled Worker.

Criminal Records Certificate

The Skilled Worker Visa requires an applicant to meet the good character requirements. Not all jobs requires the criminal records certificate.

Get in touch with our Expert Immigration Lawyers for our guidance related to the skilled worker visas and how we can help enterprises relocate valued human resources. 


Refusal of your Skilled Worker Visa

If your application for the Skilled Worker Visa is refused, the Home Office must serve you a notice of decision, which will contain the reasons for the refusal.

Taking legal advice on the Skilled Worker Visa

You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on the Skilled Worker Visa requirements by sending us an email on info@icslegal.com or you can call us on 0207 237 3388. We also have a free visa assessment form that you can complete.

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