Immigration to the UK
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Law services in the UK

A Skilled Worker visa

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.
Eligibility

Your job

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • work for a UK employer that's been approved by the Home Office
  • have a 'certificate of sponsorship' from your employer with information about the role you've been offered in the UK
  • do a job that's on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do
The specific eligibility depends on your job.

You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa.


Knowledge of English

You must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. You'll usually need to prove your knowledge of English when you apply.

If you're not eligible for a Skilled Worker visa

You may be eligible for another type of visa to work in the UK.

How long you can stay

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You'll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

If you want to stay longer in the UK

You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain'). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you're eligible.


With a Skilled Worker visa you can:

  • work in an eligible job
  • study
  • bring your partner and children with you as your 'dependants', if they're eligible
  • take on additional work in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain') if you've lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements
You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
  • change jobs or employer unless you apply to update your visa

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa:

  • your job is eligible for this visa
  • you'll be working for a UK employer that's been approved by the Home Office
  • you'll be paid at least the minimum salary for the type of work you'll be doing
The minimum salary for the type of work you'll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:

  • £25,600 per year
  • £10.10 per hour
  • the 'going rate' for the type of work you'll be doing

Approved UK employers

You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Approved employers are also known as sponsors, because they are sponsoring you to come to or stay in the UK.

If your employer is not currently approved, they can apply for a sponsor licence if they're eligible.

They'll need to pay a fee - £536 for small businesses and charities or £1,476 for medium and large organisations. It usually takes around 8 weeks to process a licence application.




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