Those looking for a visa to work in the UK who have been offered a skilled job may be eligible to apply for what is called a Skilled Worker Visa. The Skilled Worker Visa is a route under the Points Based System which allows workers to undertake skilled employment in the UK. It offers those who work in leading sectors and industries the opportunity to live and work in the UK and can be an eventual path towards Indefinite Leave To Remain.

Applying for a Skilled Worker Visa

As with all visas, you must meet certain requirements in order to have your application accepted, skilled workers are workers in competitive fields that benefit the UK and its economy. Your workplace must vouch for you through sponsorship and your role must be a ‘genuine vacancy’. To meet the requirements, you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Have been offered a qualifying skilled job in the UK
  • Ensure the company has a valid sponsor licence
  • Have the suitable experience and skills for the position
  • Be offered a minimum and ‘appropriate’ salary
  • Have the required level of English (CEFR level B1)
  • Have £1,270 in your bank account for 28 days before you apply, unless your Sponsor can certify maintenance
  • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a licensed sponsor company before you can apply. The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.
  • Provide a criminal record certificate, if required
  • Provide a valid TB certificate, if required

You can come to the UK with a Skilled Worker Visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter. Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

The Skilled Worker Visa route also applies to dependant family members, so they can come with you to the UK on this visa.

The earliest you can apply is up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with a Work Visa application, please contact QC Immigration today.

Skilled jobs

In order to be eligible for this type of visa, you must have an offer of employment from what can be considered a skilled job. There are a variety of requirements a role must meet in order to be considered a skilled job, but the general requirements tend to be based on your salary and whether you have an approved UK employer.

The typical salary requirement for a skilled job is either £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing – whichever option is highest.

There are situations where you may eligible even if you are paid less if your job is in shortage in the UK. You can find more details on the Home Office website.

You must also be employed by an employer from the UK that has been approved by the Home Office, they must have a valid sponsorship licence and are willing to sponsor you. Additionally, you must be working in an eligible job area which can depend on the 4-digit occupation code that describes the nature of your work. For assistance with this don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of lawyers.

How QC Immigration can help

With differing salary and income requirements as well as a grey area surrounding what is and isn’t an applicable skilled job, it is highly advised to work alongside lawyers such as QC Immigration to build a strong case and ensure a successful Skilled Worker Visa application.

An example of this being apparent through chefs and cooks. Chefs are eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, while cooks are not despite similar job titles and descriptions.

If you think you are eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa you can email us at or you could book a consultation with our skilled lawyers who will help you build your case.

For something as potentially life-changing as residence in the UK, it is advisable to consult with a team of experts who will assist you put forth your best case in order to give you as great a chance as possible.

At QC Immigration our team of experienced professionals who have specialised in immigration law have worked with hundreds of individual cases with unique requirements and factors. We are equipped with the knowledge and the resources to build your best possible application for a Skilled Worker Visa.


How much does a Skilled Worker Visa cost?

The standard fee for a skilled worker visa ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on individual circumstances. You will also need to pay the healthcare surcharge (usually £624/year). If your job is on the shortage occupation list, you may pay a lower application fee.

Can I bring my family with me to the UK?

Yes, your family members (partner or children under 18) can join you as your dependants.

How long does the process take?

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to commence employment. Once the application is submitted, the Home Office will usually reach a decision within 3 weeks (if outside in the UK) or 8 weeks (if inside the UK). We can advise you on the available Priority Services to fast-track the application.

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

The Skilled Worker Visa may be issued for the time given on your Certificate of Sponsorship, up to 5 years.

Can I extend a Skilled Worker Visa?

You can apply to extend your Skilled Worker Visa if you meet the necessary eligibility criteria. After the initial 5 years you may also be eligible to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain under other routes.

Can I change jobs under a Skilled Worker Visa?

Your visa will only be valid for the job sponsored by the employer as part of your original application. If you find a new role, you will need to update your Skilled Worker Visa.

What are the eligible occupations?

The Home Office has published a list of eligible occupations which are eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa, available here. However, to ensure that your proposed job qualifies under the Skilled Worker Visa, please consult with an Immigration lawyer.


What do our users say

Thank you very much for your contribution and good job you have done for me and my family. Today, I feel that thanking you is not enough. You will remain in our hearts and we will always have this deepest and sincere regard for you, as you have always shown your kindness and your work have been appreciated by the whole family.

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Qiyin is an extremely diligent and thorough immigration lawyer. She took the time to fully understand my case and application for the highly skilled migrant program. She was very careful to consider both the short and longer term issues related to my application and provided very balanced and frank advice. My highly skilled migrant visa was successfully renewed thanks to her advice and help. I highly recommend her.

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Partner (Fiancée) Settlement Visa – Brazilian

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Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

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