Everything You Need to Know About the Skilled Worker Visa in the UK

Are you looking to work in the UK and wondering about the visa requirements? Look no further – we’re here to guide you through the process of obtaining a Skilled Worker Visa, formerly known as the Tier 2 (General) Visa. In this comprehensive article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Skilled Worker Visa, from eligibility criteria to application process, in easy-to-understand language.

What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker Visa is a type of UK work visa that allows skilled workers from overseas to come to the UK to take up employment with a UK employer. This visa category is designed to fill skilled job vacancies in the UK that cannot be filled by the local workforce. If you have a job offer from a UK employer and meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must meet certain criteria:

  • Job Offer: You must have a job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid Sponsor Licence.
  • Skill Level: Your job must be at skill level RQF level 3 or above (equivalent to A-level qualifications).
  • English Language Proficiency: You must be able to speak, read, write, and understand English at the required level.
  • Salary Requirements: Your salary must meet the minimum salary threshold for your occupation or the ‘going rate’ for the job, whichever is higher.
  • Sponsorship: Your employer must be willing to sponsor your visa application and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Application Process

The application process for a Skilled Worker Visa involves several steps:

  • Job Offer and Sponsorship: Secure a job offer from a UK employer who is willing to sponsor your visa application and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
  • Gather Documents: Gather all required documents, including your passport, job offer letter, evidence of English language proficiency, and proof of funds (if required).
  • Complete Online Application: Complete the online visa application form, providing accurate information and uploading supporting documents.
  • Biometric Appointment: Attend a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to provide your fingerprints and photograph.
  • Pay Fees: Pay the visa application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee, if applicable.
  • Decision: Await a decision on your visa application. You may be required to attend an interview or provide additional information.
  • Travel to the UK: Once your visa is approved, you can travel to the UK and start working for your employer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I switch to a Skilled Worker Visa from another visa category?

  • Yes, in most cases, you can switch to a Skilled Worker Visa from another visa category if you meet the eligibility criteria.

How long can I stay in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa?

  • You can stay in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa for up to 5 years initially, with the option to extend your visa or apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) after 5 years.

Can my family members join me on a Skilled Worker Visa?

  • Yes, your spouse, civil partner, and children under 18 can join you in the UK as your dependents on a Skilled Worker Visa.

Can I bring my family members to the UK after I’ve already started working?

  • Yes, you can apply to bring your family members to the UK as dependents after you’ve started working, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and have sufficient funds to support them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Skilled Worker Visa is a valuable opportunity for skilled workers from overseas to work in the UK and contribute to the country’s economy. By understanding the eligibility criteria and following the application process, you can successfully obtain a Skilled Worker Visa and start your journey to working in the UK. If you have any further questions or need assistance with your visa application, it’s advisable to seek professional advice from an immigration solicitor or consultant.

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