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Everything You Need to Know About the New UK Skilled Worker Visa

What Is The UK Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker visa is the main UK visa route for skilled workers with eligible job offers coming to the UK to take up employment. This route can lead to settlement (ILR) and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

The Skilled Worker visa replaced the Tier 2 General visa in December 2020. Unlike its predecessor, the Skilled Worker visa does not put restrictions on share ownership, making it easier for business owners to come to the UK. 

In order to apply for the Skilled Worker visa, candidates must have proof of an official job offer from an approved UK employer and a certificate of sponsorship from their employer with a valid sponsor licence.

UK-based organizations that want to employ overseas workers on a Skilled Worker visa must have a valid sponsor licence. This means that only reputable businesses are willing to partake in the program. Businesses often engage in the program when they are looking to hire skilled professionals who they cannot find in the UK.  

This is a unique opportunity for professionals to build their careers in the UK. Not only are there a variety of job options across many different sectors, but also the opportunity to own a share of a business and shape its future.

Learn more about other UK visa options.  

Investment Requirements 

Applicants must invest in the business they plan to join in the UK - the specific investment amount is determined based on the business venture.

Duration of Stay 

Skilled Worker candidates can initially apply for a 5-year visa. However, the visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as you continue to meet all the requirements. 

28 days before the five-year period ends, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain, provided that you meet the residency requirements and intend to continue with your employment. Another alternative is simply requesting to extend the Skilled Worker visa indefinitely.

Salary Requirements 

The minimum salary requirement is £25,600 per year, or the going rate, whichever is higher.

English Language Requirements

There are two ways to meet the UK Skilled Worker visa English language requirements:

  1. Passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  If you have an IELTS English language test certificate, then it must mention UKVI in the certificate. All tests must be the UKVI version.
  2. Having successfully met the English language requirements in a previous UK visa application.
The UK Skilled Worker Visa

Business Ownership Restrictions

There are no restrictions on shareholding. New business owners have the option of starting a business in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa category with a UK resident, and then having the UK company sponsor them for entry to the UK.

General Requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa

  • Age 18 or over
  • Valid Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Eligible job through a Home-Office approved employer 
  • Sponsor must pay the Immigration Skills Charge
  • Job is at an appropriate skill level
  • Competence in the English language at a minimum level of CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0)
  • Salary of at least £25,600 a year
  • Enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Valid TB certificate

How We Can Help You Successfully Navigate The Innovator Visa?

In order to qualify for settlement under a Skilled Worker visa, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK
  • You have not been outside the UK for more than 180 days per year during the 5-year continuous period
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test (unless aged 65 or over)
  • Your sponsor is Home Office approved
  • Your sponsor still requires you to work for them for the foreseeable future
  • You will be paid for the foreseeable future

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Skilled Worker Visa Family Members

Skilled workers can bring their immediate family members (partner and children) to the UK and apply to settle in the UK after 5 years of continuous lawful residence.

If you would like to learn further details about the UK Skilled Worker visa or get assistance with the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us or book a free consultation today!


The visa application must be created in the country where you currently reside. This does not have to be your country of origin, but can be any country in which you are living/working/studying. 

You will need to score a total of 70 points for a Skilled Worker visa under the new Points Based Immigration System for the UK from 01 January 2021.

Most candidates get a response within 8 weeks of their application date.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is mandatory for all non-EEA nationals who are issued a visa of more than 6 months in length. It is an additional charge not included in the visa fees and must be paid up-front at the time of the visa application. Payment of will ensure that you have full access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent UK resident. The surcharge will cost an additional £624 per person for every year that your visa is valid. Children under 18 pay a reduced fee of £470.


Vicky Katsarova, CEO

“My world travels and my own immigration experiences have given me a deep understanding and clear insight into each of our clients’ specific requirements, aspirations and concerns. It is this intense personal association with client expectations and needs that helps to set our company and our service apart.”

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If you are interested in learning more about the UK Skilled Worker Visa, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’re happy to answer any questions and help you determine if the Skilled Worker Visa is right for you. 

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