UK Skilled Worker Visa: Do you want to move to the UK for a job? The UK has seen a steady rise in the rate of immigration for various jobs through skilled worker visas. A skilled worker visa for the UK allows an eligible applicant to come or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer/company.
The skilled worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa and is currently the main UK immigration route for non-UK resident workers. In 2021, India was among the top five countries for people who were granted skilled worker visas. Let’s explore this blog to know about UK skilled worker visas.
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Candidates looking to apply for this visa must first ensure that they are fulfilling the eligibility criteria that an applicant must meet to be eligible for a skilled worker visa in the UK. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
- The applicant must be employed by a resident of the UK that is approved by the Home Office.
- The applicant must provide evidence of financial support as they will have no access to public financial aid.
- The applicant must provide the ‘certificate of sponsorship’ received from the employer, including information about the job role, company details, etc.
- The applicant must be employed in a job profile that is on the list of eligible occupations.
- The applicant must receive a minimum monetary fund in the form of a salary per the designation and work, i.e., £25,600 (INR 22.76 Lakh) per year or £10.10 (INR 898.31) per hour
- Be proficient in speaking, reading, writing, listening and understanding the English language to at least a B1 level on the CEFR scale. If not, the applicant has to prove their level of English proficiency. Only those applicants are exempted from the English proficiency test those who have a qualified degree in English (Bachelor, Master or PhD).
The skilled worker visa application process is online wherein one has to submit supporting documents and application fees. Additionally, candidates do have to visit the visa application centre to enrol their biometric details along with the necessary documents. The documents will include:
- A valid passport or other equivalent documents
- Expired passport to show the history of travelling (if applicable)
- Certificate of sponsorship
- Proof of English proficiency
- Proof of personal savings
- Tuberculosis test report (if applicable)
- A criminal record certificate
Furthermore, the application process depends on whether the applicant is applying from outside the UK to come to the UK, inside the UK but to extend their current visa or inside the UK but switching from a different visa. In case of any update, the applicant must apply for an update on their visa. The applicant’s partner and children may apply as ‘dependents’ if they’re eligible.
Also Read: Is it Easy to Get a PR in UK?
How Long Does it Take to Receive the Skilled Worker Visa?
The applicant can begin the visa application process 3 months before the day of the start of work in the UK. The date of joining is listed on the certificate of sponsorship. This part of the application process includes identity and other document verification. It is recommended that applicants keep extra time in their hands before beginning the application process in case extra time is needed.
The decision regarding finalising the visa is usually made within 3 weeks if applying from outside the UK and 8 weeks if applying from inside the UK. One can pay to get a faster decision however it depends on whether you’re applying from outside or inside the UK.
Cost for the Skilled Worker Visa-UK
The applicant has to bear certain expenses to apply, be eligible and stay in the UK through a skilled worker visa. The expenses are noted below:
- Pay the visa application fee which is somewhere between £610 and £1,408 (INR 54,255-1,25,230).
- Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for which the rate is £624 (INR 54,996) per year of the visa.
- Bank account statement which supports the applicant’s financial status to support themselves in the UK as they will not receive any public funds. According to the state rule, applicants are required to have at least £1,270 (INR 1,11,930) in their bank account when applying for the visa. This respective amount should be available in the bank account for at least 28 consecutive days.
- If the applicant is from a profession of medicine like a doctor or nurse or is employed in health or adult social care, they can check and apply for the health and care worker visa instead subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. The application fee is cheaper and it does not require paying the annual immigration health surcharge.
Duration of the Stay
The validity of the duration of the skilled worker visa stay is 5 years from the date of initiation. If the need may arise, the validity of the duration can be extended as long as the eligibility criteria are met. The extension of the duration of the visa is subject to the following conditions:
- If the skilled worker visa expired
- Change of employment
- Change of employer
After completing 5 years of stay duration in the UK, applicants are eligible to apply for permanent residence in the UK. It is also known as the ‘indefinite leave to remain’. The permanent resident gives the applicant the right to stay, study and work in the UK for an indefinite duration and apply for perks and benefits if only they’re eligible.
Also Read: USA Work Permit Visa For Indians
Terms and Conditions After Receipt of Visa
Once the applicant receives the skilled worker visa for the UK there are certain terms and conditions regarding what an applicant can and can not do during their stay in the UK. Refer to the table below for the detailed list:
|Get employment according to qualification
Bring respective partner and children as dependents only if eligible
Work for additional job
Visit/travel to other countries and return to the UK
Apply for permanent settlement in the UK known as the indefinite leave to remain only if the applicant has lived in the UK for 5 years and meets the other eligibility criteria.
|Cannot apply for the pension scheme and other additional benefits (public funds) etc.
Can not change their job/job role/employer unless applied for an update of the visa
Note: Once the application process for the skilled worker visa is successfully verified and approved, the applicant will receive a full list of what they can and cannot do with a skilled worker visa.
No, without a job offer, you can not apply for a skilled worker visa for the UK.
Yes, a holder of a skilled worker visa for the UK can apply for permanent residence subject to 5 years of living in the UK and after 6 years apply for citizenship.
Yes, anyone with a skilled worker visa is eligible for bringing their family member as ‘dependents’ subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria. However, the dependents have to complete the application process separately.
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