Guidance on Skilled Worker visas

The Home office have recently issued guidance pertaining to Skilled Worker visas.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 6 April 2021)

What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker visa grants you the opportunity to enter / stay in the UK for the purposes of doing an eligible job with an approved employer. Additionally, a Skilled Worker visa replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

Am I eligible for a Skilled Worker visa?

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, there are requirements which must be met. These include:

  • working for a UK employer accredited by the Home Office
  • waving a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ form your employer that contains information regarding your role offered in the UK
  • doing a job on the eligible occupations list
  • being paid a minimum salary – this will be dependent on the role

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

Before an extension is required, a visa can last up to 5 years. If your visa expires, you change jobs or employer, you will need to make an application for an extension or an update. In Addition, if you wish to stay in the UK longer than the initial 5-year term, an application can be made to extend as many times as you like as long you still meet the eligibility requirements.

Please note that after 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’. Essentially a permanent settlement in the UK, this grants you the right to live, work and study in the UK and apply for benefits, if you’re eligible.

How do I apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

Applications are done online and are dependent on factors such as:

  • if you’re applying from outside the UK
  • if you’re already in the UK and making an extension to your current visa
  • if you’re already in the UK and making a switch from a different visa

How long does it take to get a decision for my Skilled Worker visa?

Applications can be made up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. Part of the application process requires you to prove your identity and provide the necessary documents. Also, you may need an appointment to do this so please allow extra time if so.

Regarding getting a decision, once the above has been completed, decisions are usually granted within:

  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK
  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information provided by Bolton’s leading Immigration Solicitors on Skilled Worker Visas including but not limited to:

  • eligible occupations
  • going rates for eligible occupations
  • shortage occupations for health and education
  • shortage occupations
  • eligible salaries if you’re under 26, studying, training or in a postdoctoral role

send an email to to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

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