The UK government has introduced a new tool to help foreign workers determine if they meet the conditions to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa according to the UK’s immigration points system. Here’s how it works.
What is the UK’s Skilled Worker visa and it’s requirements?
On 1 January 2021, the Tier 2 (General) visa category was replaced with the Skilled Worker visa. This visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to five years before you need to extend it, or apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
To apply for the Skilled Worker visa, applicants must obtain 70 points under the UK’s points-based system.
The mandatory requirements for the Skilled Worker visa are:
- A job offer by an approved sponsor (20 points)
- Your job is at an appropriate skill level (20 points)
- You speak English at the required level (10 points)
The remaining 20 points may be met by earning a salary at the “going rate” for your occupation, having a job on the shortage list, or by holding a PhD in a subject relevant to your job or in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) subject.
What is the UK Skilled Worker eligibility calculator tool?
This can be a bit confusing to navigate and calculate. The UK government has released a new Skilled Worker visa eligibility tool that enables you to check if you qualify for the Skilled Worker visa. You will need to have a confirmed job offer from a company that has a sponsorship licence before you may apply for this visa.
Ensuring the business has a sponsorship licence
You can also use this tool before you apply for a job to determine whether the company advertising an available position has a sponsorship licence. If they don’t have one, they will need to obtain a licence before you will be in a position to apply for a Skilled Worker visa.
If the company that has offered you the job does have a sponsorship licence then you’ve cleared the first hurdle.
Evaluating your job’s salary and eligibility requirements
The skilled occupations list does not only include jobs like medical professionals (who have a slightly different set of requirements for a Health and Care Worker visa), lawyers or engineers. There are hundreds of eligible occupations, including hair salon owners, librarians, personal trainers and landscape gardeners. Provided you have a job offer from a registered sponsor and you are earning at least the minimum required amount for your occupation, there is a good chance that you will meet the criteria for a Skilled Worker visa.
Not only does the job that you are offered need to be on the list of eligible occupations, but your proposed salary needs to meet the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the “going rate” for that occupation, whichever is highest. However, if you can show you are a new entrant into the job market (for example, a recent university graduate), the income requirements are lower.
How the Skilled Worker visa tool works
An example where the applicant is eligible for a Skilled Worker visa
Let’s take a look at how the Skilled Worker eligibility tool might work in practice, using the example of a landscape gardener (occupation code: 5113).
You have been offered a position with a London landscaping company and they are offering you a salary of £11 an hour (which works out to an annual salary of £25,740 based on 37.5 hours per week) and you meet the knowledge of English requirement.
You will be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa.
An example where the applicant is ineligible for a Skilled Worker visa
Let’s look at a Civil Engineer (occupation code: 2121). You have been offered a job at an engineering firm and are being offered an annual salary of £27,900 and you meet the knowledge of English requirement. While this is higher than the minimum general salary threshold of £25,600, it’s £100 below the “going rate” for civil engineers.
So, even though you meet all the other requirements, you will not be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker visa.
The UK government does make note that the results of this tool give an indication only. They do not guarantee the outcome if you apply for a Skilled Worker visa.
How we can help you work in the UK
In today’s global economy it’s essential to attract the best international talent to maintain a competitive advantage. We offer immigration assistance, advice and support to help you meet your resourcing needs. We also understand that visa applications can be complicated and we can help guide you through this process. All of our visa consultants are trained immigration and nationality professionals who stay up-to-date with constantly evolving rules and procedures.
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