Embarking on a new career journey and moving your life to the UK can be an exciting prospect, yet it also brings about a lot of worry, stress and anxiety in many people. The UK Skilled Worker Visa offers a pathway for skilled individuals to live and work in the UK and is the most common type of UK visa for those wanting to move to the UK and work. Let’s learn more about the UK Skilled Worker visa, answering some of the questions we are asked most frequently.
How to Get a UK Skilled Worker Visa
Eligibility: To qualify, you need a job offer from a UK employer approved by the Home Office, a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), and a role on the list of eligible occupations. Remember, the salary offered must meet the minimum threshold, which varies depending on your job. The base salary for the visa is currently £26,200, but many minimum salaries for specific roles are higher; the highest amount must be met.
For example, Occupation code 1122 Production managers and directors in construction have a typical minimum salary of £35,700 per annum, so it is higher than the base Skilled Worker visa of £26,200. Therefore, if your role was matched to code 1122, your salary would need to be the higher of the two, i.e. £35,700.
English Proficiency: You’ll need to demonstrate your ability to speak, read, write, and understand English, usually by passing an approved English test at level B1 or above.
UK Skilled Worker Visa Processing Time
The wait can be like anticipating a new adventure. If you’re applying from outside the UK, it typically takes about 3 weeks. Inside the UK? Then it’s usually around 8 weeks. Remember that these times can vary, and faster processing options may be available for an extra fee.
Skilled Worker Visa UK Cost
Here’s a breakdown of the costs involved:
Home Office Fees
- Application Fee: This varies depending on the visa length, if you are applying from inside or outside the UK and whether your job is on the Shortage Occupation List. It typically ranges from £719 for up to 3 years for non-shortage occupations to £1,420 for up to 5 years. You can get the latest fees on the government website. Roles on the Shortage Occupation List are £551 for up to 3 years and £1,084 for up to 5 years.
- Healthcare Surcharge: For applications submitted online from 6 February 2024, you’ll be paying the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) of £1,035 per year.
- Maintenance Funds: You should also have at least £1,270 in savings to support yourself unless your employer can cover this for the first month. Unless your sponsor/employer certifies they will cover this on your CoS.
UK Immigration Adviser/Lawyer Fees
A regulated immigration consultancy typically charges between £1,000 and £2,500 to provide legal assistance to support Skilled Worker visa applications.
At Immtell, our typical professional fee is £1,500 plus VAT, but it can vary depending on personal circumstances.
To remind you, these costs are for the applicant only (i.e. the sponsored worker). If you’re bringing dependents, there will be additional fees.
UK Skilled Worker Visa Application Form
The journey begins with filling out your application form online. You’ll enter details about yourself and your sponsorship and provide various supporting documents. It’s like telling your story to the UK immigration officials. Access the correct forms from the links below.
UK Skilled Worker Visa Documents
Gathering your documents is a crucial step. You’ll need:
- Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) reference number or copy
- Proof of your English language skills/or passport confirming you are a national of a predominantly English-speaking country and, therefore, automatically meet the requirement.
- A valid passport
- Details about your job and salary
- Information about your employer
Make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate to avoid any hiccups in your application process.
Skilled Worker Visa UK Dependent
If you’re planning to bring your family along, each dependent will need to apply separately. They’ll need to meet certain requirements and pay associated fees, including the healthcare surcharge. Your partner or spouse will be able to work for any employer, except as a sportsperson or coach. Your children can study in the UK.
How Much is a Skilled Worker Dependent Visa UK
The cost for dependents mirrors that of the main applicant, with the addition of the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge for each dependent, a lower amount of £776 per year applies to children under 18,
UK Immigration Adviser/Lawyer Fees
A regulated immigration consultancy typically charges between £300 and £1,000 per dependant to provide legal assistance to dependants applying for visas at the same time as the Skilled Worker visa applicant.
At Immtell, our typical professional fee is £500 plus VAT, which can vary depending on personal circumstances.
Skilled Worker Visa UK English Test
Demonstrating your English proficiency is key. You’ll typically need to pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. The level required is B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Skilled Worker Visa UK IELTS Score
For the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test, the required score is usually 4.0 or above in each of the four components (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).
Skilled Worker Visa UK Shortage Occupation List
The Shortage Occupation List is like a directory of roles where the UK is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. If your job is on this list, the application fee is lower, and you might not need to meet the minimum salary threshold. It’s always a good idea to check the latest list on the official UK government website or seek professional guidance.
Embarking on the UK Skilled Worker Visa process is like preparing for a new chapter in your professional life. Stay informed about the latest requirements and procedures, as these can change. We hope this guide has been helpful, and if we can be of any further help, please get in touch with us.