YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE UK SKILLED WORKER VISA

Here’s what you’ll find out about the new UK Skilled Worker visa:

  • who the Skilled Worker visa is for
  • how to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa
  • how much the Skilled Worker visa costs
  • how to apply for a Skilled Worker visa
  • how to get professional assistance preparing a successful Skilled Worker visa application

Before you get started, why not keep yourself up to date with the latest UK visa and travel developments by joining the Help with my visa! mailing list?

We’ll send you 2-4 emails per month with links to useful resources, interviews with visa and travel professionals and business updates so you can keep on top of your next UK visa application.

Just fill out the form opposite and we’ll add you to our list. 

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Before you get started, why not keep yourself up to date with the latest UK visa and travel developments by joining the Help with my visa! mailing list?

We’ll send you 2-4 emails per month with links to useful resources, interviews with visa and travel professionals and business updates so you can keep on top of your next UK visa application.

Just fill out the form below and we’ll add you to our list. 

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Who is the Skilled Worker visa for?

The Skilled Worker visa is part of the UK’s new Points-based System for immigration and replaces the Tier 2 General Work visa.

The Skilled Worker visa is for all visa nationals who want to come to the UK to do a skilled job.

Visa nationals are people who don’t hold either a British or Irish passport, or EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who haven’t applied for either Settled Status or Pre-settled Status to remain in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme.

After applications for the EU Settlement Scheme close on 30 June 2021, all non-UK or non-Irish nationals will need a UK Skilled Worker visa if they wish to come to the UK to take up skilled work.

How to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa

Under the new UK visa Point-based System, as a visa applicant you’ll need to score 70 points to qualify for a skilled worker visa. 50 of these points must come from the Mandatory Criteria, and 20 Points from one or a combination of both Tradeable Criteria.

Mandatory Criteria

All visa applications under the UK Points-based System will need to score 50 points from the Mandatory Criteria:

Visa applicants score 50 points by meeting all three Mandatory Criteria.

A full list of UK Skilled Worker visa eligible job roles is available on the UKVI website.

Tradeable Criteria

A further 20 points are available from one or both of the Tradeable Points categories:

Salary:

    • Must be greater than £20,480
    • 80% of relevant salary gives 0 points
    • 90% of relevant salary gives 10 points
    • 100% or more of relevant salary gives 20 points

Other:

‘Relevant salary’ means the higher of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for the job as specified in the Standard Occupational Code (SOC). The SOC is being updated to include more jobs and going rates and we expect the document to be continually updated as time goes on and ‘going rates’ change.

You can see how the Points-based System works in practise with two worked examples in this post.

How much does the Skilled Worker visa cost?

There are two main costs for the UK Skilled Worker visa: visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge. You may also incur other costs such as visa application centre fees, fast-track processing fees, immigration advice fees and other disbursements (e.g. translation costs).

Typically, your UK-based employer will cover the cost of your visa for yourself and your family, and they may also cover the Immigration Health Surcharge and immigration advice fees. It’s best to ask – they can only say ‘no’ and it could save you thousands of pounds.

If you’re applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

    • £610 per person for up to 3 years
    • £1,220 per person for more than 3 years

If you’re applying for a Skilled Worker visa inside the UK to extend, switch or update your visa, the fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

    • £704 per person for up to 3 years
    • £1,408 per person for more than 3 years

You and your family will pay a lower application fee if your job is on the shortage occupation list, where the fee for each person applying is:

    • £464 per person for up to 3 years
    • £928 per person for more than 3 years

The fee is the same whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.

Your application fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you’re from one of the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.

If your job is on the shortage occupation list, you’ll get this reduction as well as paying a lower fee.

This reduction only applies to your visa application. Your partner and children will still need to pay the full application.

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge for each year of your stay – this is usually £624 per year or part thereof, but there are a lot of variations so it’s best to check.

How to apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa

The UK Skilled Worker visa application process is similar regardless of whether you’re applying from outside or inside the UK.

You’ll first need to make sure you have 70 points to qualify for the Skilled Worker visa, including all 50 points from the Mandatory section.

Applications for the Skilled Worker visa are made online via the UKVI website.

Here’s you’ll complete an online visa application form, which is rather a series of questions, as opposed to an actual form.

The questions you’re asked will change based on your answers to previous questions, so the ‘application form’ is different for each person.

You’ll get the chance to review all your answers at the end, and you can go back and make changes if needed.

You’ll also make an online payment for your visa fees, the Immigration Health Surcharge and any fast-track services you’ve selected. Payments can be made by credit or debit card.

Before you electronically submit your application form, make sure you double check everything as after it’s submitted, you cannot make any more changes.

You’ll now need to schedule an appointment at a visa application centre. We cover the process you’ll follow in these two posts, for people applying for a UK visa from inside the UK and from outside the UK.

What do professional immigration lawyers say about the Skilled Worker visa?

We spoke to Ian Robinson, a Partner at global immigration law firm Fragomen, about wha the Skilled Worker visa means for overseas talent looking to come to the UK. You can hear what he had to say on the Help with my visa! Podcast.

How to get professional assistance preparing a successful Skilled Worker visa application

If you’re a visa applicant you can use Help with my visa! to appoint a professional immigration advisor to guide you through the entire visa application process. They’ll fill out your visa application form, tell you exactly how to prepare your supporting documents and answer all of your questions.

And if you’re just like to be sure you qualify for a UK Skilled Worker visa under the new Points-based System, you can book a visa consultation to find out.

To find out more about the professional services offered by the immigration advisors listed on Help with my visa! you can click the relevant button below. This will take you to a list of services that you can review and compare to find the right one for you. You can then book an initial consultation with the immigration advisor directly on Help with my visa! within just 3 minutes.

And remember, when you book your appointment through Help with my visa! you get our 100% money-back guarantee if your visa is refused. This offer isn’t available anywhere, including direct. T&Cs apply.

Find an immigration adviser

Get professional assistance preparing your UK Skilled Worker visa application under the new Points-based System

Book a visa consultation

Want to better understand your visa options? Book a visa consultation with a professional immigration adviser to discuss your needs
1 Comment
  1. […] In this episode of the Help with my visa! Podcast we talk to Ian Robinson about recent changes to the UK’s visa and immigration system, including the new Points-based System and Skilled Worker visa. […]

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