The Skilled Worker route has been designed to help UK employers fill a UK vacancy where they have been unable to source a local worker. It is for foreign nationals include the EU, EEA and Swiss nationals from 1stJanuary 2021.
To meet the eligibility criteria Applicants must show that they satisfy the following requirements:
Through the requirements above, the Applicant must gain a total of 70 points. Applicant will be able to “trade” certain characteristics such as their qualifications, against a lower salary for example.
Offer of Job by Approved Sponsor Requirement (20 Points – Not tradeable)
As part of the requirements, an Applicant must have a job offer from a UK employer. This is evidenced through a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do, issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job in question. The Sponsor must be listed as A-rated on the Home Office’s register of licensed sponsors for initial applications.
The Certificate of Sponsorship must not have been issued more than 3 months before the date of the Skilled Worker application and will need to include certain mandatory information.
Appropriate Skill Level Requirement (20 Points – Not tradeable)
Applicants applying under the Skilled Worker Category must be offered a role with a skill level of being equivalent to A level (RQF 3).
This means that the skills and duties related to the role are at this level, not that the candidate who fills the vacancy necessarily needs to hold A levels.
The Home Office sets out eligible jobs, along with their skills levels, in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules. Each eligible job has an occupation code. The Applicant be sponsored for a job in an eligible occupation code listed in the Appendix.
English Language Requirement (20 Points – Not tradeable)
An Applicant will need demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to at least level B1 (intermediate).
The English language requirement will be satisfied if the Applicant:
Salary Requirements (10 or 20 points depending on salary amount – Tradeable)
Employers sponsoring an Applicant as a Skilled Worker must pay a salary which equals or exceeds both the general salary threshold (currently £25,600 a year) and the “going rate” for the occupation, which is higher.
The “going rate” for the occupation will beset out the relevant occupation code found on the Home Office website.
Shortage Occupations and Qualifications (10 or 20 points – Tradeable)
Where the salary for a role is lower than the requirements, it may be possible for the candidate to trade characteristics, such as their qualifications, to make up the 70 points required. For example, if the role is on the Shortage Occupation List, or if the individuals holds a PhD level qualification or a STEM PhD.
Genuine Vacancy Requirement
The Home Office will carry out an assessment as to whether the Applicant is being sponsored to undertake a genuine vacancy and can carry out the role for which the Certificate of Sponsorship has been assigned. Employers may be required to provide additional information or evidence to prove the role meets the above requirements. The Home Office may consider a vacancy to be not genuine if:
They will also want to be satisfied that the Applicant will not be hired by a third party who is not the sponsor to fill a temporary or permanent position or for contract work to undertake an ongoing routine role or to provide an ongoing routine service for any nature of length.
If there are reasonable grounds to believe that the job the Applicant is being sponsored to do does not exist, is a sham or has been created mainly so that they can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa the application will be refused.
Applicant’s will usually need to demonstrate that they have held cash funds of at least £1,270 for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your application. An exemption to this requirement will apply if the Applicant has an “A-rated Sponsor” willing to meet their maintenance costs. This will need to be confirmed in their Certificate of Sponsorship.
If an Applicant has been in the UK for 12 months at the date of their application (for example if they are switching into the category) they will not be required to meet this requirement.
DURATION OF VISA
If your initial application is successful, you will be granted leave to enter for a maximum of 5 years. If you are granted less than 5 years, you will need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer. After 5 years in the UK, Skilled Workers can apply for settlement, also known as indefinite leave to remain.
SETTLEMENT AS A SKILLED WORKER
To apply for Settlement under this category, an Applicant will need to demonstrate the following:
HOW WE CAN HELP
The exact requirements and documents required for each application will vary depending on each applicant’s circumstances.
Our experienced lawyers can help applicants, family members or dependants to:
We will assist by:
DESCARTES SOLICITORS is recognised as one of the leading multi-practice firms in the UK. Our specialist immigration team will advise, prepare and submit high-quality visa applications for applicants and their dependent family members. Contact our lawyers on 0208 995 3556/0844 556 9901 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LINK TO UKVI GUIDANCE