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Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled Worker Visa

This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. There are no changes to visa conditions for existing Tier 2 visa holders however, at point of extension/change of employment they will be issued a Skilled Worker visa (if applicable).

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. Where eligible, the Hub Adviser dealing with your appointment will refer you to International Staff Support who will assist in obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS is an electronic record, not a physical document. It will have a reference number, which you’ll need for your visa application.

  • TRADEABLE POINTS

    Every applicant must score at least 70 points to be eligible for the skilled worker route:

    • Offer of a job by an approved sponsor, e.g. Queen’s University (20 points)
    • Job at an appropriate skill level, i.e. RQF level 3 and above (20 points)
    • Knowledge of the English language at level B1 (10 points)
    • Meeting the minimum salary requirements, i.e. £25,600 per year or the going rate for your occupation code (20 points)

    50 of these points must come from meeting the mandatory criteria. For salary, it will be possible to trade points if you are paid below the salary threshold provided the salary does not fall below the minimum of £20,480.

    You can be paid between 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for your job if you meet one of the following criteria:

    • you’re a “new entrant”, i.e. you’re under 26, studying or a recent UK graduate, in professional training, or offered a PhD level position with an higher education institution (e.g. Queen’s University) and your visa duration will not exceed 4 years
    • your job is in a shortage occupation
    • you have a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) PhD level qualification that’s relevant to your job
    • you have a PhD level qualification in any other subject that’s relevant to your job

    MANADATORY REQUIREMENTS (50 points)POINTS AWARDED
    Offer of a job by an approved sponsor 20
    A Job at an appropriate skill level 20
    Knowledge of the English language at level B1 10

    TRADEABLE POINTS (20 points)POINTS AWARDED
    Meeting the minimum salary requirements (at least £25,600 or going rate, whichever is higher) 20
    Holding a relevant PhD to job + At least 90% of going rate above £23,040 20
    Holding relevant STEM PhD to job + At least 80% of going rate above £20,480 20
    Job on shortage occupation list + At least 80% of going rate above £20,480 20
    New entrant + At least 70% of going rate above £20,480 20

    NOTE: If your PhD was awarded in another country than the UK you will require a NARIC certificate (PhD verification) to claim tradeable points.

  • KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH

    You will usually need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply, unless you did this in a previous successful visa application or you’re a national of one of the following countries:

    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • the Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Malta
    • New Zealand
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • USA

    You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. You can do this by either:

    • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.
    • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English.
    • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English - if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply for confirmation through UK NARIC that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD.

    Country Where Degree Was AwardedEvidence Required
    UK The degree certificate, a transcript or letter confirming the qualification has been awarded
    Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America Where the degree was taught in one of the majority English speaking countries, it will be assumed by UKVI to have been taught in English. You must however obtain a NARIC certificate to verify the degree is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD:
    https://www.naric.org.uk/visasandnationality

    Please note that Canada is not on this list because some of their degrees are not taught in English.

    You do not need to use the PhD verification service unless to qualify for tradeable points.
    Rest of the World If the degree was awarded in any other country, you must obtain a NARIC certificate to verify both that the degree was taught in English and is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD: http://www.naric.org.uk/visasandnationality

    You do not need to use the PhD verification service unless to qualify for tradeable points.

  • DEPENDANTS

    Your partner and children can apply to join you or to stay in the UK as your dependants if they’re eligible. If their application is successful, their visa will end on the same date as yours. A dependant partner or child is any of the following:

    • your husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried partner
    • your child under 18 - including if they were born in the UK during your stay
    • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as your dependant

    You’ll need to provide evidence of your relationship when you apply.

    A dependant can apply at the same time as the main applicant to enter the UK. Alternatively, they can wait until you have entered the UK and started work before they apply. Each family member will need to complete a separate application and pay the visa fee.

  • IMMIGRATION HEALTH SURCHARGE

    As part of your Skilled Worker visa application you will need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge' or IHS) as part of your immigration application in order to access the National Health Service (NHS) throughout your stay in the UK. When making your immigration application online, you pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment.