TIER 2 (GENERAL) SKILLED WORKER VISA

The Skilled Worker visa category is for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals including Swiss nationals (arriving from 1 January 2021) and non-EEA nationals who are sponsored to do a specific skilled job for a sponsor.

The Skilled Worker visa allows UK companies to fill existing labour shortages that cannot be filled by the UK or settled person. A skilled worker visa must not displace a suitable settled worker. .

The Skilled Worker visa route replaces the Tier 2 (General) visa. The fundamentals of the visa requirements largely remain the same, and there are some potentially beneficial changes which will make the system more favourable for businesses and employees. .

The new system does not allow a potential skilled worker to work for anyone. They must have a job offer from a licensed sponsor, and this offer should meet minimum skill and salary thresholds. .

The Skilled Worker route has more flexibility. It allows people with different qualifications, salaries and skills to obtain visas. In order to meet the requirement of a skilled worker, an applicant must score 50 points consisting of ‘Mandatory’ (for their sponsorship, job and English language skills) and 20 points’ Tradeable’ points (for salary and other attributes). In addition to 70 points, some applicants must also satisfy non-points requirements regarding tuberculosis testing, available funds and criminal records certificates. .

Mandatory points – 50 points.



Mandatory Points – 50 Points required
Offer of a job by an approved sponsor (Sponsorship)20 Points
Job at an appropriate skill level set at RQF3 (equivalent to A level)20 Points
English language skills at level B1 (intermediate)10 Points

Tradeable Points – 20 points.



An applicant under Skilled Worker visa category will need to score 20 points relating to their salary offered to make a total of 70 points. There are various ways to earn these final 20 points, which is why they are referred to as “tradeable”. .

Tradeable points for each option listed below– 20 Points required
AThe applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £25,600 and the ‘going rate’ for the job’s SOC code20 Points
BThe applicant has a PHD in a subject relevant to the job and their salary equals or exceeds both £23,040 and 90% of the going rate for the SOC code20 Points
CThe applicant has a PHD in STEM subject relevant to the job and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,480 and 80% of the going rate for the SOC code20 Points
DThe job is in a shortage occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 80% of the going rate for SOC code20 Points
EThe applicant is a new entrant to the labour market and their salary equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and 70% of the going rate for SOC code20 Points
FThe job is in a listed health or education occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both £20,480 per year and the going rate for SOC code20 Points

Financial requirement (previously known as maintenance)



Applicants under Skilled Worker visa category who is applying for entry clearance, or has been in the UK for less than 12 months on the date of application must have held funds equalling £1,270 for 28 days as at the date of application. .

If the applicant applying for permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of the application, then they do not have to meet this requirement. .

The financial requirement can also be met if the A-rated sponsor certify that they will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment, to an amount of at least £1,270. .

ConditionsFunds Required
Entry Clearance Application£1,270 for 28 days
Applicant living in the UK for Less than 12 months£1,270 for 28 days
Permission to stay in the UK & has been in the UK for more than 12 monthsExempted
Sponsor certifying financial requirementN/A

Visa Entitlements



The Sponsored Worker under the Skilled Worker visa category is issued for an initial maximum period of five (5) years, with unlimited extensions. Skilled Worker visa applicants will have free access to public schools, and the National Health Service. Eligible dependents under Skilled Worker visa may also be able to work or study without any restrictions.

Upon successfully holding a Skilled Worker visa for a total of five (5) years, applicants may be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). .

FAQ

Most students can stay in the UK for around four months after their course finishes. During this period, you can work full-time in a temporary job until your student visa expires.

You can also consider making the switch into Tier 2 General visa at any time between your course ending and your visa finishing.

Tier 2 (General) is part of the UKBA Points Based System and is a visa for those that have a graduate level job offer from a UK company. This type of visa can lead to obtaining settlement in the UK.

Yes, provided you have successfully completed a course in the UK that was at least equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply to switch before your student visa expires.

Yes, your employer must pay you a salary that is appropriate for the job you are doing (a minimum of £20,000). However, it may be higher depending on the job.

The company must be registered with the UKBA (the company will be known as a ‘sponsor’) or willing to become registered.

 

Yes, but if you switch from Tier 4 (student visa) you will not be subject to the limit. If you are applying from outside the UK you will probably be subject to the limit which is currently set at 20,700 for 2012/13.

You need 70 points:

– 50 points for a job offer at the correct skill level that pays the correct salary;

– 10 points to score for English language requirements 10 points to score for maintenance.

Please, check if you have enough points.

You need to show that you have had £900 available to you for 90 days – or your Tier 2 sponsor (employer) may be able to make a guarantee on your behalf.

If you are switching from Tier 4 you will most likely be awarded points automatically as long as your degree was at least equivalent to a Bachelor’s.

 

Yes. You would need to show that you have had an additional £600 per dependant available to you for 90 days. This is to show that you will not claim public funds to maintain yourself or your dependants.

Yes, provided you get a job offer from another employer who is registered with UKBA as a company sponsor and you meet the point’s requirements. You will need to make a new application if you go to work for another employer.

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