The UK recently introduced a new Skilled Worker visa to help make it easier for skilled professionals to work in the UK. This new visa will replace the Tier 2 visa and promises to make it much simpler for those seeking to come to the UK to work. In this blog post, we will provide all the information you need to know about the new Skilled Worker visa, from the eligibility requirements to the application process. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the UK Skilled Worker visa.

What is a skilled worker visa

A Skilled Worker visa is a type of visa that allows people to work in the UK, usually for an employer who has offered them a job. The visa is designed to attract highly-skilled individuals from around the world, and it’s an important tool for businesses looking to bring in staff with the right skills to help their business succeed.

The UK government has introduced a new points-based immigration system in 2021, which replaces the Tier 2 (General) visa. This new system introduces the Skilled Worker visa as an easy way for employers to bring in talented employees from overseas. It’s a flexible and streamlined way for employers to hire workers without having to meet complex requirements.

The Skilled Worker visa is essential for employers and potential employees as it makes it easier to access the UK job market and brings more opportunities for skilled workers. It allows employers to fill gaps in their workforce, while giving talented workers from outside the UK the chance to come and live and work in the country.

The visa also helps reduce bureaucracy and red tape, meaning that employers can hire people more quickly and efficiently. It also gives employers access to a larger pool of skilled workers, and it gives potential employees the chance to move to the UK with relative ease.

Overall, the Skilled Worker visa is an important tool for those looking to work in the UK, both for employers and potential employees. It helps ensure that businesses can bring in the right talent, while providing skilled workers with the opportunity to come and work in the UK.

 

Eligibility requirements for a UK skilled worker visa

To be eligible for a UK skilled worker visa, individuals must meet certain requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the specific visa category, but generally, individuals must have:

  1. A job offer from a UK employer in a highly skilled occupation
  2. The required education and work experience for the job they are applying for
  3. A minimum age of 18
  4. Adequate proficiency in English
  5. Sufficient funds to support themselves while in the UK
  6. Eligible occupations for a UK skilled worker visa include those that require a high level of education or training, such as doctors, engineers, and IT professionals. The specific job an individual is applying for must also be on the Shortage Occupation List or the Skilled Occupation List, which includes specific Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes. Examples of jobs that can be sponsored on a skilled worker visa include software developers (SOC code 2147), registered nurses (SOC code 2211), and civil engineers (SOC code 2124).
  7. You must have an offer of a job at a required skill level. This means that your job must be listed as a skilled occupation in the UK’s list of Shortage Occupations.
  8. You must have previous experience in the same field of work for which you are applying for the visa.
  9. You must pass the points-based system immigration health surcharge.
  10. You must prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in the UK, without recourse to public funds.
  11. You must show that you have a valid passport and other relevant documents.
  12. You must have valid medical insurance while in the UK.
  13. You must not be a threat to national security or have any criminal convictions.

Education and work experience requirements

Those applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa must meet certain education and work experience requirements. For the purpose of this visa, education must be at least equivalent to a UK Bachelor’s degree or higher, or an approved UK professional qualification. Alternatively, applicants must have the required number of years of experience in the occupation that they are applying for, as outlined in the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code.

The number of years of work experience needed depends on the SOC code. Those in occupations listed as PhD level roles must have a PhD or evidence of relevant research experience. There is also an option to substitute some years of work experience with qualifications if necessary.

Applicants must also prove their previous two years’ employment, by providing a letter from a former employer or pay slips, or proof of self-employment such as accounts and tax returns. Any gaps in employment need to be explained with supporting evidence. Finally, applicants must provide evidence that their English language skills meet the required level for the visa.

Age requirements

The UK Skilled Worker visa is available to both adults and young people who meet the eligibility criteria. To apply, applicants must be at least 18 years of age and must not have reached the official state pension age in the UK. There is no upper age limit for this visa.

In addition, for those under the age of 21, some additional requirements must be met. Applicants must demonstrate that they have either lived in the UK for five consecutive years before making their application or that they have a parent or grandparent who is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Language requirements

If you’re applying for the UK Skilled Worker visa, you must demonstrate that you have a good command of the English language. The exact requirements vary depending on whether you are a non-EEA or EEA citizen.

For non-EEA citizens, the language requirement for the Skilled Worker visa is typically Level B1 CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) or above in all four language components (reading, writing, speaking and listening). To prove your language proficiency, you must submit either an IELTS test or an equivalent such as the Trinity SELT (Secure English Language Test).

For EEA citizens, the language requirement is usually Level A2 CEFR in all four language components. You can also prove your language proficiency through a variety of tests, including IELTS or the Trinity SELT.

In some cases, you may be exempt from the English language requirement, such as if you have a degree which was taught in English or if you’re applying to work in a job which requires knowledge of another language instead. In this case, you can provide evidence of language proficiency in a language other than English as long as it’s relevant to your job role.

It’s important to make sure that you meet the language requirements for the Skilled Worker visa before you begin your application process, as failing to do so can result in your application being refused.

Financial requirements

The UK Skilled Worker visa has specific financial requirements in order to be eligible for the visa. To be considered for the visa, applicants must prove that they can support themselves and any dependents financially. This is usually done by providing evidence of income or savings.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of £1,270 in savings for 90 days prior to the date of their visa application, unless they are in a job that meets certain criteria as outlined in the UK Visas and Immigration guidance. This amount is increased to £2,090 if there is a partner or dependant applying with the applicant.

In addition to the above financial requirements, applicants may also be required to submit additional documents such as payslips, bank statements, tax returns, and other evidence of income.

The financial requirements are subject to change, so it’s important to check the most up-to-date information when applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa.

Eligible occupations

The UK Skilled Worker Visa is available to those wishing to work in the UK and who meet certain requirements. One of the key criteria is that you are employed in an eligible occupation. The list of eligible occupations for the UK Skilled Worker Visa can be found on the Home Office website, and is updated regularly. The list of occupations is split into two categories: Shortage Occupation List and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.

The Shortage Occupation List is a list of occupations where there is a recognised shortage in the UK labour market and employers need access to workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Occupations on this list are known as ‘In-Demand’ roles. Examples of In-Demand roles include health professionals such as nurses, medical practitioners and dentists; engineers and scientists; IT professionals; and more.

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes are used to classify jobs into different categories based on job description and duties. These categories are used to identify which occupations are eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa. The SOC codes cover a wide range of occupations, including accountancy and finance, IT, engineering, medicine, legal professions, nursing and midwifery, teaching and lecturing, business and administration, science and technology, media, arts and entertainment, hospitality and retail.

When applying for the UK Skilled Worker Visa it is important to ensure that your occupation is eligible. If your occupation is not listed on either the Shortage Occupation List or SOC codes then you will not be eligible to apply for the visa.

Points breakdown for skilled worker visa requirements

If you’re applying for the new UK Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to make sure you meet the requirements. The UK Government has set out a points system that you must meet in order to be eligible for the visa.

You must get at least 70 points to be eligible. To get those points, you need to meet certain criteria in the following categories:

  1. Qualifications: You will get 20 points if you have a degree at bachelor’s level or above, or a master’s degree or PhD.
  2. Salary: You will get 20 points if your job offer is for a salary of £25,600 or more (or the equivalent of this in an alternative currency).
  3. Skills: You will get 10 points for having job skills at an appropriate level for the job you are being offered.
  4. English language ability: You will get 10 points if you have an English language test certificate from an approved provider and meet the minimum required score for speaking and listening.
  5. Other qualifications: You will get 10 points if you have certain qualifications in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine.
  6. Sponsorship: You will get 10 points if your job offer is from an approved sponsor.
    It’s important to make sure you meet all of these requirements and get the required number of points to be eligible for the UK Skilled Worker visa.

Examples of jobs that can be sponsored on a skilled worker visa (including SOC codes)

Under the UK Skilled Worker visa, employers may sponsor skilled workers to fill job vacancies where there is a need for workers with specific skills and knowledge. The following list of jobs can be sponsored on a Skilled Worker visa:

• Teachers and educational professionals – including SOC code 2411
• Health professionals – including SOC code 2212
• Financial services professionals – including SOC code 2213
• Scientists – including SOC code 2114
• IT professionals – including SOC code 2113
• Engineers – including SOC codes 2111, 2112, 2115
• Media professionals – including SOC code 2431
• Business and administration professionals – including SOC codes 2223, 2224, 2231
• Creative, arts and design professionals – including SOC codes 2441, 2442, 2443
• Legal, social and other services professionals – including SOC codes 2241, 2242, 2243
• Clerical, administrative and other services workers – including SOC codes 3121, 3122, 3123
• Agriculture and related workers – including SOC codes 4111, 4112, 4113
• Elementary construction and building trade occupations – including SOC codes 5121, 5122, 5123

In order to apply for a Skilled Worker visa you must have a valid job offer from an employer in the UK that is eligible for sponsorship. The job offer must be at the appropriate skill level (RQF level 3 or above) and match a job on the list of eligible occupations for the visa.

Examples of jobs that cannot be sponsored on a skilled worker visa

The UK Skilled Worker visa is designed for people who are qualified in a specific job and wish to work in the UK. However, there are certain types of jobs that cannot be sponsored on this visa, including:

  • Unskilled manual labour
  • Domestic service
  • Jobs in the creative industries, such as actors, musicians, dancers and entertainers
  • Sportspeople and athletes
  • Work in the sex industry
  • Au pairs or nannies
  • Overseas medical staff coming to the UK to work
  • Any job with a salary below £25,600
  • Any job that has a skill level of A-Level or equivalent or lower

Applying for a UK skilled worker visa

To begin the process of applying for a UK skilled worker visa, individuals must first secure a job offer from a UK employer. The employer must then sponsor the individual for a skilled worker visa by obtaining a sponsorship license. Once the sponsorship license has been obtained, the individual can begin the visa application process.

 

How to begin the application process

The first step in applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa is to have an eligible job offer from a UK employer. This job must be in an occupation listed on the Shortage Occupation List or on the government-recognized list of jobs that are eligible for sponsorship on the Skilled Worker visa.

The next step is to complete the online application form and submit it to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) along with the required documents and fees. This application process is known as the ‘points-based system’ and requires applicants to demonstrate that they meet all the criteria outlined in the requirements section above. The UKVI will then assess the application and notify you of the outcome.
It is important to note that you must be outside of the UK when you apply for this visa. Once your visa is approved, you will be permitted to travel to the UK, where you can begin working for your employer.

You will also need to provide proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in the UK, as well as proof that you have adequate healthcare insurance coverage for yourself and any dependents. You will also need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge before entering the UK.

Finally, if you are applying for a Skilled Worker visa with a job offer from an employer who is not on the list of approved sponsors, they must first apply to become an approved sponsor with the UKVI before you can begin the application process.

Required documents and information for the employee and employer

When applying for a UK Skilled Worker Visa, both the employee and employer will need to provide documents and information to the Home Office.

Employees must submit the following documents:

  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Evidence of qualifications and any required language tests
  • Proof of sufficient maintenance funds
  • A tuberculosis test certificate (if applicable)
  • Evidence of any qualifications or membership in professional bodies

Employers must submit the following documents:

  • A valid license as an approved sponsor
  • A signed job offer letter from the employer detailing job role, salary, working hours, benefits, etc.
  • A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the employee
  • Evidence of the vacancy being advertised for a certain amount of time
  • Evidence that there are no suitable settled workers available for the job
  • Details of any measures the employer has taken to recruit a settled worker for the job
  • Evidence that the offered job meets the minimum salary threshold and relevant salary rate
  • Evidence that the job is genuine and will not have an adverse effect on local employment
    The employee and employer must also provide evidence of their respective identities by providing passport photos and/or proof of address.

Cost and fees breakdown for the application process

The cost of applying for a skilled worker visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for, as well as your age and nationality. For most applicants, the total cost will be around £1,408. This includes a £610 fee for the application itself, a £704 Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), and an additional fee if you’re using a visa service provider.

The Immigration Health Surcharge is a mandatory fee that must be paid by those applying for a UK visa. The IHS allows you to access the National Health Service in the UK while you are here on a visa. You will need to pay the IHS in addition to the visa application fee. The current fee is £704 per year, though it may increase depending on the length of time you are applying for.

You may also be required to pay additional fees for biometrics and for dependants. Biometric fees are currently set at £19.20 per person and any dependants (such as a partner or children) will also require their own visas. The fee for dependants is currently £610 per person.

If you’re using a visa service provider, such as an immigration lawyer or consultant, you may be required to pay an additional fee for their services. This fee will vary depending on the provider, so make sure you shop around and compare prices before making your decision.

You may also be asked to pay other costs associated with your visa application, such as the cost of any medical examinations or language tests required by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). It is important to research any other fees associated with your application before beginning the process.

Overall, the cost of applying for a skilled worker visa in the UK can range from £1,408 up to several thousand pounds depending on the length of stay and number of dependants involved. Make sure you research all costs associated with your application thoroughly before beginning the process.

 

Processing times for skilled worker visa applications

The processing time for a skilled worker visa application varies depending on the particular case and where it is being processed. Generally speaking, applications can take anywhere from several weeks to several months for the Home Office to process. It is important to note that this processing time does not include the time it takes for an employer to review the application and provide their supporting documents.

The Home Office has stated that most UK skilled worker visa applications should be decided within 3 weeks if they are made from within the UK, and within 8 weeks if they are made from outside the UK. However, depending on the complexity of the individual’s application or if additional documents or information are required, this timeline may be longer.

It is also important to note that the Home Office prioritises certain visa applications over others, such as those of high-value investors and entrepreneurs, so these applications may be processed faster than those of skilled workers.

Finally, it is important to understand that the Home Office will only begin to process an application after they have received all of the necessary documentation and information from both the applicant and the employer. Therefore, applicants and employers should make sure to submit all necessary documents as quickly as possible in order to speed up the processing time.

What to do if a skilled worker visa application is refused

If your skilled worker visa application is refused, you may be able to challenge the decision or submit a new application. It’s important to carefully read the refusal letter from the Home Office, as it should explain why your application was refused. Depending on the reason for refusal, you may be able to provide additional evidence and submit a fresh application.

If your visa application was refused due to not meeting the eligibility requirements, it’s important to review each requirement and ensure you have all the necessary documents and information to prove you meet them. Make sure to review the relevant language, education, financial and age requirements and if needed, take steps to meet them.

If your application was refused because the Home Office believes your job is ineligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker visa, you will need to select an eligible occupation and submit a new application with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. It’s important to review the list of occupations eligible for sponsorship and make sure you select one that meets the criteria.

If your visa application was refused due to providing false or misleading information, you can request for the decision to be reconsidered. This requires you to provide evidence that the information provided was accurate. You should also consider submitting a new visa application with updated information, if applicable.

It’s important to remember that visa refusals can have an impact on future applications, so it’s essential to review any refusal letters carefully and ensure that any applications are submitted correctly. Seeking professional advice from a lawyer or immigration advisor can help you understand any potential implications and the best course of action to take.

Maintaining a UK skilled worker visa

Once you have been approved for a UK skilled worker visa, there are several requirements you must meet in order to keep your visa valid. Firstly, you must remain employed by your sponsor throughout the duration of your visa and be able to demonstrate that you are able to do the job specified on your visa application. You must also stay within the United Kingdom, although certain absences may be granted in some circumstances.

In addition, you must abide by any work and study restrictions imposed on you while on your visa, including limits on the number of hours you can work and restrictions on taking up additional employment. You will also need to inform the Home Office if you change your job, move house, or extend your stay.

Your visa will only be valid for as long as it states on your visa. This is usually for three years, but it could be for less depending on the requirements for the job you have been sponsored for. If you want to stay longer in the UK after the duration of your visa, you will need to apply to extend or switch your visa before the current one expires.

You must also comply with the conditions of entry set out by the Home Office, which include refraining from criminal activities and not becoming a burden on public funds. Failure to comply with these conditions can result in having your visa cancelled.

How long a skilled worker visa is valid for?

The UK Skilled Worker visa is valid for a period of up to five years and 14 days. This means that applicants who are successful in their visa application can stay in the UK for up to five years and 14 days, after which they will need to either renew or extend their visa. It’s important to remember that the five year period is not a continuous stay, and you must leave the UK before the end of this period.

The exact length of stay granted on the skilled worker visa will depend on the type of job the applicant has been offered, as well as the length of the employment contract. The visa is valid for the length of the employment contract or up to five years and 14 days, whichever is shorter. For example, if an applicant has been offered a three year contract, their skilled worker visa will be valid for three years only.

You can also apply to extend your skilled worker visa, but this will require you to prove that you still meet all the eligibility criteria for the visa. You must also have an employer willing to sponsor you for an extended period of time.

It’s important to note that you cannot apply for permanent residency during the five year period. You must leave the UK at the end of this period, or make an application to extend your skilled worker visa. After five years, if you still meet all the criteria and have an employer willing to sponsor you, you can apply for settlement or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Duration and length of stay on a skilled worker visa

The new UK Skilled Worker visa is granted for a period of up to 3 years and 1 month, but can be extended for another two years. The initial visa application must be made within three months before the start date of the job.

Once the skilled worker has been granted the visa, they are free to travel in and out of the UK as they please during the duration of their stay. However, if you leave the UK for more than 6 months at any time, your visa will be considered as ‘spent’ and you will need to reapply if you wish to return.

The UK Government also offers what is known as a ‘cooling off period’ which allows skilled workers to take a short break of up to 6 months, either within the first 3 years of their visa or after the visa has been extended. During this period, the skilled worker is still permitted to remain in the UK and carry out the same duties as before.

It is important to note that holders of a UK Skilled Worker visa may not undertake any other kind of work in the UK or be employed by any other company during their stay.

Renewing or extending a skilled worker visa

If you wish to stay in the UK beyond the duration of your skilled worker visa, you will need to renew or extend your visa. This can be done by submitting an application to the Home Office.

When applying for renewal or extension of a skilled worker visa, you must show that you continue to meet the requirements set out in the points-based immigration system. This includes demonstrating you have the requisite skills, qualifications and experience needed for the job you are applying for. You must also prove that your employer is still willing to sponsor you.

The length of the visa you can apply for depends on your current status and whether or not you have already applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). If you are applying for renewal or extension of a skilled worker visa, then you may be eligible for up to a three-year visa, unless you have already applied for ILR.

In addition to this, you must prove that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay in the UK and meet the financial requirements of the visa. This includes providing evidence that you have £945 in savings for 90 days prior to the application date.

It is important to remember that if your skilled worker visa expires while your renewal or extension application is being processed, then you will be considered an overstayer and may face deportation. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you submit your application before your existing visa expires.

Switching to a skilled worker visa from another visa category
For those currently holding a visa in the UK, it is possible to switch to a skilled worker visa. Depending on your current immigration status and the type of visa you hold, the process and requirements may vary.

For those with other forms of PBS visas, you may be able to switch directly to a skilled worker visa without leaving the UK. You will need to meet all the requirements for the new skilled worker visa and must have a valid job offer in an eligible occupation.

The employer must also demonstrate that they have met the relevant requirements for sponsoring skilled workers, including conducting a Resident Labour Market Test and registering with the Home Office as an approved sponsor.

For those with other types of visas, you may need to apply from outside the UK. In this case, you will need to submit an application for entry clearance as a skilled worker and provide evidence of your qualifications and experience.

In both cases, you will need to pay the applicable fee for your application.

It is important to note that if you switch to a skilled worker visa from another type of visa, any time you have spent in the UK on other visas will not count towards the five-year residence requirement needed to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Changing employer or job while on a skilled worker visa

It is important to understand that while on a UK Skilled Worker Visa, any changes to your job or employer will require you to apply for a new visa. This is also known as switching your visa. The process of switching a visa is largely the same as applying for a new one. You must meet the requirements for a skilled worker visa, and any change in job role or salary must be reported to the Home Office.

If you want to switch from one employer to another while on a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you must make sure that the new job meets the criteria for a skilled worker visa. This means that the job must be in an eligible occupation and at an acceptable level of salary. It is important to note that some jobs are not eligible for sponsorship, such as those below the skilled worker threshold or jobs that fall outside the eligible occupations list.

In addition to meeting the criteria for a skilled worker visa, you must also report any change in salary or working hours to the Home Office. If the new job does not meet the criteria for a skilled worker visa, you must apply for a new visa category before taking up employment with your new employer.
It is also important to note that if you leave your job before your visa expires, you will be required to leave the UK. You will then need to apply for a new visa if you wish to stay in the country.

Path to permanent residency in the UK

If you are looking to stay in the UK for a longer period of time, then you might be eligible to apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency in the UK is an official status given to those who meet certain criteria, allowing them to stay in the UK for an extended period of time without having to renew their visa.

In order to apply for permanent residency in the UK, you must have been continuously living and working in the country for at least five years while on a UK skilled worker visa. You must also meet certain financial requirements, which include being able to show that you have enough income to support yourself without needing to rely on state benefits or public funds. Additionally, you will need to pass a life in the UK test and have knowledge of English language proficiency.

If you are successful with your application for permanent residency, then you will be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. This means that you will be free to live, work and study in the UK with few restrictions. You may also be able to apply for British citizenship after 12 months of living and working in the UK with indefinite leave to remain.

Permanent residency in the UK is a great option for those who wish to stay in the country for a longer period of time and benefit from all of the rights and privileges that come with it. If you are considering applying for permanent residency, it is important to understand all of the requirements and regulations that apply to the process.

Other considerations for those on a UK skilled worker visa

While obtaining a UK skilled worker visa is a great opportunity to work in the UK, there are other factors to consider. Firstly, the visa holder will need to keep up with their tax obligations while they are in the country. The UK has specific tax requirements for those working on a skilled worker visa, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with them. Additionally, health care and insurance should be taken into consideration as well. If you are coming from outside the European Economic Area, you will need to arrange health insurance before you start your job in the UK.

For those with families, it is possible to bring them to the UK too. Dependent visas can be applied for, though there are specific requirements that must be met. It’s important to understand the difference between an employee and family dependant visa and make sure all the necessary documents are provided when applying.

Finally, those on a skilled worker visa may eventually want to consider permanent residency in the UK. While it is possible to apply for permanent residency after getting the new UK Skilled Worker visa, there are certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible. It is worth researching the requirements for a permanent residence permit and understanding the process for applying for one.

Bringing family members to the UK and requirements for dependant visas

If you’re a UK skilled worker visa holder, you may be able to bring your family members with you to the UK. Your family members can apply for a dependant visa if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Eligible family members include your spouse or partner, children, parents and other dependent relatives such as grandparents and siblings. If you’re in a same-sex relationship, your partner will also be eligible for a dependant visa.

In order to qualify for a dependant visa, your family members must be able to prove that they are financially dependent on you, that you’re both related by blood or marriage, and that you can provide for their essential needs in the UK.

Your family members must also meet certain health and character requirements and have enough money to support themselves without needing public funds. They must also have suitable accommodation that meets the UK’s standards.

Your family members must apply for a dependant visa before they travel to the UK. The visa application process is similar to the one for the main applicant, and they must provide the same documents, including proof of relationship, financial information and health documents.

The visa fees are typically the same as for the main applicant and the processing time is usually between two and six weeks. Once approved, your family members can travel to the UK with you or join you at a later date.

Once in the UK, your family members will have the same rights as you do, including the right to work, study and access public services. They will need to apply for an identity card once they arrive in order to prove their legal status in the country.

Health care and insurance while on a skilled worker visa

Those on a UK skilled worker visa will have access to the same health care and insurance as those who are UK residents. The National Health Service (NHS) provides free healthcare to everyone living in the UK, regardless of their immigration status. However, it is important to note that not all treatments are free, such as dental care and eye exams.

In addition to the NHS, those on a skilled worker visa may also choose to take out private health insurance for themselves and their family. This type of insurance can help cover the cost of medical treatment in private hospitals, as well as providing additional coverage for things like physiotherapy and complementary medicine.

It is important to make sure you have adequate health insurance in case of any medical emergencies while on a skilled worker visa. The NHS provides emergency care for those who require it, but this may be subject to restrictions depending on your visa status.

Finally, it is also important to make sure you have sufficient travel insurance if you are travelling abroad while on a skilled worker visa. It is highly recommended that you get travel insurance before you leave the UK to protect yourself in case of an accident or illness while overseas.

Tax obligations for those on a skilled worker visa

The UK tax system can be complex for those not familiar with it, and it is important for those on a skilled worker visa to be aware of their tax obligations. The UK government has set up a system called ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) which requires all employed individuals to pay taxes on their income.

For those on a skilled worker visa, they may need to register as self-employed with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is important to note that the HMRC will treat any income earned while in the UK as taxable income, regardless of where it originated from or where it was paid.

It is also important to note that if you earn more than the threshold amount then you may need to pay National Insurance contributions. These contributions help fund the UK’s state pension and benefits system. Depending on your individual circumstances, there may also be other taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) that you may need to pay.

Finally, it is important to keep records of all income earned and taxes paid as this may be necessary for applications such as applying for permanent residency in the future.

How much does the new UK Skilled Worker visa cost?

The cost and fees for a UK skilled worker visa vary depending on the specific visa category and the length of stay. The fees for a skilled worker visa are as follows:

Short-term skilled worker visa (valid for up to 6 months): £244
Long-term skilled worker visa (valid for up to 2 years): £610
Long-term skilled worker visa (valid for up to 5 years): £1,220
Long-term skilled worker visa (valid for up to 10 years): £2,445


It is important to note that these fees do not include the cost of the immigration health surcharge, which is an additional fee that must be paid by individuals seeking to access the National Health Service (NHS) while in the UK. The immigration health surcharge for a skilled worker visa ranges from £470 to £624 per year, depending on the length of stay.

 

In addition to the fees associated with the visa itself, there may be other costs associated with the application process. For example, you may be required to pay a healthcare surcharge and to have an English language test. Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to pay a visa fee. It is important to check all the applicable costs before submitting your application.

Finally, employers must also pay a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence fee when hiring skilled workers. The fee varies depending on the number of workers being sponsored. The fee for sponsoring up to 10 workers is £536, for 11-50 workers it is £1,476 and for 51-200 workers it is £3,876.

The total cost of a UK Skilled Worker visa can vary significantly depending on the type of visa and other associated fees. It is important to factor in all the costs associated with the application process before making a decision.

Legal rights and protections for skilled workers in the UK

Skilled workers in the UK have a number of rights and protections under both UK and EU law. The most important of these are the right to be paid the national minimum wage, the right to join a trade union, and the right to be protected from discrimination.

The UK National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the legal minimum hourly rate that employers must pay their workers. This rate changes every year and can vary based on age and experience. All skilled workers must be paid at least the NMW rate for their age group.

Under EU law, all skilled workers also have the right to join a trade union and be represented by it when negotiating terms of employment with their employer. Trade unions also provide support to their members, such as free advice and legal representation if necessary.

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal in the UK, regardless of an individual’s immigration status. Employers must treat all their employees fairly and equally. If a skilled worker feels they have been discriminated against, they have the right to take their employer to court or make a complaint to the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS).

It is also important to note that all workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days of paid annual leave each year, as well as statutory sick pay if they need to take time off due to illness.
Overall, the UK has comprehensive legal rights and protections in place to ensure that skilled workers in the country are treated fairly and in line with UK law.

Work and study restrictions while on a skilled worker visa

Workers on a UK Skilled Worker Visa are expected to commit to full-time employment in the UK, meaning they cannot take up any other form of employment during the period of the visa. They are also required to stay within their contracted working hours and cannot take up any additional work or study that could interfere with their contracted working hours.

Furthermore, those on a UK Skilled Worker Visa cannot take up any courses of study that are not related to the job role they have been sponsored for. If they wish to pursue further studies, they must first apply for a study visa and gain approval before they can commence their studies.

Finally, workers on a UK Skilled Worker Visa cannot take up any self-employment activities or start any business while they are employed in the UK. If they wish to become self-employed or start a business, they must first get approval from the Home Office.

Can I apply for permanent residency after getting the new UK Skilled Worker visa?

Yes, the new UK Skilled Worker visa offers a pathway to permanent residency in the UK. After completing at least five years of living and working in the UK with a valid skilled worker visa, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement. This will allow you to stay and work in the UK indefinitely and benefit from various rights, including the right to access free NHS care and free education for your children.

To apply for ILR, you must have lived in the UK for five years, hold a valid UK visa, meet the English language requirement, pass the Life in the UK test, and have proof of valid maintenance funds for yourself and any dependents. You must also demonstrate that you have been employed in a job relevant to your visa category or in any other job for the entire five-year period and that you meet the suitability criteria.

You should note that there may be additional requirements based on your particular situation, so it is important to check the Home Office website for the most up-to-date information. If your application is approved, you will receive a stamp in your passport confirming that you are allowed to remain in the UK without restrictions.

Conclusion

The UK Skilled Worker visa is a great way for those who want to work in the UK. It provides a pathway for individuals to gain a legal right to live and work in the country. The requirements are straightforward and the process of applying for the visa is relatively easy. However, there are certain criteria that need to be met, including financial and language requirements, as well as providing proof of education and work experience. In addition, there are restrictions on what kind of jobs can be sponsored on this visa and the length of stay.

While the new UK Skilled Worker visa is designed to provide job opportunities for those looking to work in the UK, it is important to remember that there are still some restrictions. Understanding the requirements and regulations is key to making sure that your application is successful and that you make the most of your time in the UK.

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