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Updated March 2023

The Skilled Worker visa is for highly skilled individuals with relevant experience and knowledge within a particular field. Skilled workers must have a job offer from a UK-registered sponsor to fill a genuine position in a company.

Any UK company that is hiring workers from outside the UK including EEA nationals (unless they are eligible for EU pre-settled or settled status) will need to have a sponsor licence in order to do so. This means that they are a Home Office-approved employer.

At The Nathanson Partnership, we understand that applying to live and work in the UK is a big move and can be a little stressful, with many factors to consider. We can provide people with the peace of mind that their visa applications are in safe hands as we help many of our clients secure Skilled Worker visas.

What Counts as a Skilled Worker?

A skilled worker is someone who works in a role on the Home Office list of occupations. The list outlines all the job types and related job titles that qualify for a Skilled Worker visa. There are a large number of varied roles on the list from chemical scientists, to IT specialists and psychologists. A quick way to check if your job is eligible is to go to the ONS occupation coding tool and search for your role.

Who Is Eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa?

Individuals will need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa:

  • The job must be an approved role that is on the Home Office list of skilled worker occupations and you must be paid the minimum salary for the role.
  • Your UK sponsor must issue you with a certificate of sponsorship which confirms that you have a job offer and are allowed to work in the UK.
  • You must achieve a minimum level of B1 CEFR.
  • To meet the financial requirement, you will need to show that you have maintained at least £1270 in your bank account for at least 28 days.

Who Is a UK Sponsor?

A UK sponsor is a company that has a UK sponsor licence. You can find out whether your employer has a sponsor licence by checking the register of licensed sponsors.

How Long Can I Stay in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa?

You can stay in the UK for up to 5 years on a Skilled Worker visa, after this, you will need to extend your stay. But you can do this as many times as you want providing you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Does the Skilled Worker Visa Lead To ILR?

Yes, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or settlement when you have lived and worked in the UK for 5 years continuously. You must satisfy certain conditions including that you are still working and needed for your job and you are being paid the minimum salary for the role.

You must not have spent more than 180 days in any 12-month period outside of the UK in the last 5 years and you will need to pass the Life in the UK Test.

When Should I Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa?

Once you have been assigned a certificate of sponsorship by your UK sponsor, you will need to submit an application for the visa within 3 months. All applications can be made up to 3 months before your start date. This can be found on your certificate of sponsorship.

How Can The Nathanson Partnership Help You?

At The Nathanson Partnership, we can help you apply for your Skilled Worker visa. The most important first step is to receive a job offer from a UK-registered sponsor.

We provide a full Skilled Worker visa service whereby we advise on how you can meet the requirements and which documents you will need to satisfy the Home Office standards.

Please contact us for a free initial assessment with our qualified and experienced UK immigration advisors.

Contact Our Expert Skilled Worker Visa Immigration Professionals

The Nathanson Partnership is made up of regulated immigration professionals providing immigration advice that is accurate and reliable. We are fully accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) which means that we must adhere to high-quality immigration service standards.

We are proud to represent a range of clients and truly thrive on helping them gain successful applications. We pride ourselves on giving clear, transparent, and practical advice as we understand that the UK immigration system can be confusing. Our immigration experts have years of experience and are therefore well-versed when it comes to interpreting the immigration rules.

If you need assistance with your Skilled Worker visa application, our team of specialists are keen to help you.

Please contact us today on 020 3476 9523 or email us at [email protected] 


Is the Skilled Worker Visa a Permanent Visa?

Providing you meet all the eligibility requirements, you will be able to stay in the UK on the Skilled Worker visa for 5 years, after which, you can apply to settle in the UK. If you break the conditions of your visa, or your employer stops sponsoring you and you cannot find alternative work, you must leave the UK if you are not eligible for another visa. 

What Is the Minimum Salary for a Skilled Worker in the UK?

The minimum salary requirement for the Skilled Worker visa is £26,200 per year equivalent to £10.75 per hour, or the “going rate” for your particular occupation code, whichever is higher. 

Can I Get a UK Skilled Worker Visa Without IELTS?

Yes, there are other ways to prove your knowledge of English language including having a degree taught in English. You may not need to prove your English language ability if you are from a majority-speaking English country.

Can I Come to the UK Without a Job Offer?

No, if you are applying for the Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK, you must have a job offer from a UK sponsor before you can apply for the visa. You will then need the visa to be able to enter the UK.

Can I Do Extra Work on a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, you can take on additional work on the Skilled Worker visa for up to 20 hours per week. The work must be within the same occupation code and the same skill level as your primary job, or it is in the shortage occupation list. If you want to do more than 20 hours per week or the job is in a different occupation code, you will need to get a new certificate of sponsorship from the employer for the role. 

Can I Study On a Skilled Worker Visa?

You can study on the Skilled Worker visa providing it does not interfere with your work. 

How Long Does It Take To Get a Skilled Worker Visa?

If you apply from outside of the UK, your Skilled Worker visa will typically take 3 weeks to come through once everything is submitted. If you apply from within the UK, applications will take around 8 weeks. 

Can I Apply for a Skilled Worker Visa Without Sponsorship?

No, you will need to be sponsored by a UK registered sponsor licence employer to be able to obtain the Skilled Worker visa. 

If you need assistance with your Skilled Worker visa application, our team of specialists are keen to help you.  Please contact us today on 020 3476 9523 or email us at [email protected] 


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