Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled Worker Visa

Under the new UK immigration system, the Tier 2 (General) category was replaced by the Skilled Worker route. The changes to the existing scheme are the removal of the arduous Resident Labour Market Test (although a genuine vacancy must still exist) and the suspension of the monthly limit on eligible applicants. As a result, employers should experience much faster processing times, saving as much as eight weeks in some cases.

The minimum skills threshold has also been reduced from NQF Level 6 (graduate level), to NQF Level 3 (A-level standard), meaning the category is now open to a broader number of occupations. To reflect the lower entry requirement, the minimum salary level has been reduced from £30,000 to £25,600 or the going rate for the job (as per the applicable Standard Occupational Classification), whichever is higher.

Applicants will still need to meet the English language requirement.

In order to qualify as a Skilled Worker, applicants must obtain a minimum of 70 points.

50 points will be earned from a job offer at the minimum skill level from a licenced sponsor (who will have the ability to issue the required Certificate of Sponsorship), with the applicant being able to show evidence of their English Language ability.

An additional 20 points may be obtained via a combination process, largely dependent on the salary rate offered, but also encompassing roles that are recognised as being a shortage occupation and those jobs requiring a relevant PhD-level qualification.

The New Points allocation is allocated can be seen below:

Characteristics Type* Points
Job offer by approved sponsor Mandatory    20
Job at appropriate skill level Mandatory    20
Speaks English at required level Mandatory    10
Salary of GBP 20,480 (minimum) – GBP 23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable    0
Salary of GBP 23,040 – GBP 25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable   10
Salary of GBP 25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable   20
Job in shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Tradeable   20
Qualification: PhD in subject relevant to the job Tradeable   10
Qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Tradeable   20


*You must meet all mandatory characteristics to qualify whereas other characteristics are tradeable to reach the 70 point threshold.