Immigration, UK

Complete Guide to UK Skilled Worker Visa

Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Visa Journal

If you plan to work in the UK, you need different types of visas to make this possible. Your work, qualifications, and duration of stay are some things that will determine the visa to get. One type of visa to get is the UK skilled worker visa.

Home Office reports that 122,512 work-related visa applications were successful in the year ending March 2021. This guide should help you navigate the application process from start to finish.

Who is Eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa?

The UK skilled worker visa eligibility requires you to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Approved UK Employer – The employer you will work for should be approved by the Home Office. An approved employer is your sponsor since they sponsor you to stay in the UK. If The employer is not approved, you can ask them to apply for the sponsor license if they are eligible.
  • Certificate of Sponsorship – Your employer will issue you with a ‘certificate of sponsorship.’ It will have details relating to the role you will be taking in the UK. It is an electronic record with the reference number you will need for your application. When you get the certificate of sponsorship, you should apply for the visa within three months.
  • Eligible Occupation – An eligible occupation is a key to getting a UK skilled worker visa. Get the 4-digit occupation code from your employer if you already have a job offer.
  • Base Salary – The job offer you get from your employer should pay you at least the base salary. The salary varies and depends on the kind of work you will be doing. The base salary in the UK is usually £10.10 per hour or £25,600 per year.
  • English Knowledge – Out of all UK skilled worker visa requirements, this is very important. It is a must that you can speak, read, understand and write in English. You will have to prove your English knowledge before applying. Proving your knowledge of English is not a must if you’ve demonstrated your knowledge of English language in a previous application.

How to Apply for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

The UK skilled worker visa application can only happen online. There are unique steps to follow take when making your application. The steps are different if you apply while you are in the UK. Additional requirements apply when switching from another visa or changing your job.

You should meet the requirements mentioned above if you are outside the UK. Your passport or identity document must also be valid. You should pay the UK skilled worker visa costs and cover the required fee.

You may have to provide your bank statements to show you can get by yourself in the UK. If your employer supports you, the bank statement may not be necessary.

If you are in the UK and are extending your visa, you should:

  • Be working for the same employer who gave you the certificate of sponsorship.
  • Have the same job that got you permission to enter the UK.
  • Your job has to be in the same occupation code.

If you are inside the UK with a different visa, you can also switch to a skilled worker visa.  You must meet all the eligibility requirements discussed above to change. You should have all the UK skilled worker visa documents to be successful.

How Long Does the Processing Take?       

On average, it should take about three weeks to get the decision on your visa application if you are outside the UK. If you are within the UK, give it up to 8 weeks. You can speed up the process with the priority service that will get you a decision within 1 and 5 days. The amount you pay depends on whether you are in or outside the UK and how fast you want the visa.

You may need extra time if you need an appointment. The appointment is essential to prove your identity and provide more documents.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Fee

There is fee associated to apply for the UK skilled worker visa. Additional charges may apply depending on your circumstances. You will know the exact amount to pay when making the application, but in general, this is what:

  1. To pay the application fee, that should be between £610 and £1,408.
  2. Pay the healthcare surcharge amounting to £624 per year.

Besides the above visa fee listed above, you will have to:

  • Prove you have enough savings for upkeep when you arrive in the UK. This averages to about £1,270.

How Long before the Visa Expires

After you get the UK Skilled worker visa, it will be valid for five years before you can add extra years to it. You can extend or update the visa if you change your job or employer.

Check out the official UK government website for more information to get started with the UK Skilled worker visa application.


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