Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements 2024

Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements 2024

Do you want to apply for UK Skilled Worker Visa? Or Are you an employer looking to employ a skilled worker from overseas? If so, you'll find the following article very informative. 

To successfully apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa, you must first meet certain requirements. These requirements are crucial to ensure that your application is not delayed or rejected by the UK home office.

Although the application process for the Skilled worker visa is not difficult, it can be overwhelming without the right information.That's why we've conducted extensive research to provide you with all the necessary information on the Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements. 

As you continue reading this article, you'll discover everything you need to know to ensure a successful UK Skilled Worker Visa application.


Read this too: Schengen Visa Application: Requirements, Application Form.


Table of Content

  1. What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

  2. Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements

  3. Skilled Worker UK Visa Requirements for Employers

  4. Skilled WorkerUK  Visa Salary Requirement

  5. How much is a Skilled Worker Visa?

  6. How to apply for your Skilled Worker UK Visa

  7. Documents for Skilled Worker UK Visa

  8. Requirements for applying for a Skilled Worker UK Visa with Family

  9. Skilled Worker Visa Refusal 


What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker Visa is a type of Visa that allows qualified candidates who have secured a job and sponsor, to reside and work in the UK.

Previously recognized as the Tier 2 General Work Visa, this visa welcomes candidates from across the world, except for those who are British or Irish. 

With a Skilled Worker Visa, you can travel to the UK with your family, establish yourself, and build a new life.

To be eligible for this visa, both you and your sponsor must meet certain requirements. 

If you would like to know what these requirements are, we suggest that you continue reading.


Skilled Worker Visa UK Requirements 

Below, we'll list the uk work permit visa requirements. This list is obtained from the official page of the UK Home Office, so we assure you that it is 100% accurate.

Here are the requirements for the UK Skilled Worker Visa;

  1. You must be 18 years or older 
  2. You must present a valid Certificate of Sponsorship 
  3. You must be proficient in English Language( i.e read, write, speak and understand English)
  4. Your job must be on the list of Eligible Occupations for the Visa route.
  5. You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer.
  6. Your job offer must be at a skill of RQF Level 3 or above

Now we are going to go into further detail about each of the requirement


You must be 18 years and above

This is the age limit for skilled worker visa uk and it states that the UK Skilled Worker Visa is only available for individuals that are either 18 years or older, at the time of their application. 


You must present a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

A major requirement for immigrants who wish to work in the UK via the skilled worker route is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS is a digital document that is issued by the employer and contains important information about the job, such as the work start and end date, annual salary, sponsor's license number, and date of expiry.

The CoS is important because it confirms that both the worker and job meet all the required immigration requirements for the visa route. There are two types of CoS: Defined and Undefined. Applicants from outside the UK require a Defined CoS, while those already in the UK need an Undefined CoS.

Without a valid CoS, you will not be able to enter the UK through the Skilled worker Visa route. However, it is important to note that even with your valid CoS, you may still get a visa refusal. So, ensure that you meet the other relevant criteria for applying for a skilled worker visa.


You must be proficient in English Language

To qualify for the UK Skilled Worker Visa, you must demonstrate your proficiency in the English language.

Specifically, you must be at least a B1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Scale. 

There are three ways to meet the Skilled Worker Visa English Language requirements:

  • Write and pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. e.g the uk skilled worker ielts requirements. Check here for the list of SELT providers 
  • Present a degree that was taught in English which is equivalent to a UK bachelor's, master's, or PhD.
  • Have a GSCE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English from a UK school that you attended before you turned 18.

Note:  if you have already proven your English language skills in a previous successful Skilled Worker Visa application, you will not need to provide further evidence of your English skills.


English Language Exemption

If you are a citizen of any of the following countries, you do not need to provide proof of your English language skills: 

  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • Australia 
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana 
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand 
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United States of America 


Additionally, if you work in the healthcare industry as a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife, or veterinarian, you are exempted from proving your English skills if you have passed the English assessment accepted by the relevant regulatory body in your profession.


Your job must be on the list of licensed Occupations

Before you can qualify for a Skilled worker visa, your job must be listed on the official licensed occupation list. UK Visa and Immigration will only grant Visas to applicants whose occupation codes are on the list. So, check carefully before applying.


You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer.

To make a successful uk work visa application, you must have a job offer from an approved UK employer(sponsor) before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. 


Your job offer must be at a skill of RQF Level 3 or above

 To qualify for the UK Skilled worker visa, your job offer must be at a skill level of RQF Level 3 or above. This means that the job has to require a skill level of an A-level graduate or higher and pay a salary of at least £26,200 or the going rate for the job.


Skilled Worker visa requirements for employers 

To meet the Skilled Worker Visa uk eligibility, both the worker/applicant and their employer in the UK must meet certain requirements. We've covered the uk work permit requirements for the applicant.

Now, let's take a look at what the employer needs to be eligible to sponsor an immigrant through the UK Skilled Worker Visa. The employee must;


Have paid the immigration skill charge.

Once the sponsor meets the above requirements, they can offer the worker/applicant a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the job.


Hold a valid sponsorship licence with an A rating.

To apply for a sponsorship license, the employer must prove that they can offer employment at the RFQ level 3 and pay the required salary threshold.


Skilled Worker Visa Salary Requirements 

Starting from the 4th of April, 2024, the minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visa UK will be increasing to £38,700 per year.

This is the new uk immigration rules for skilled worker and is a significant increase from the current minimum salary threshold of £26,200.

However, certain sectors such as health and social care, and education workers on national pay will be exempted from this new salary requirement.

Under the existing rules, the general minimum salary for the Skilled Worker visa is calculated based on the highest of three criteria. These criteria are either a minimum of £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour, or the 'going rate' for the specific job being recruited for. 

The going rate for a job in the UK  is determined based on various factors such as the job's skill level, demand, and location.


How much is a Skilled Worker Visa?

To apply for your Skilled Worker Visa, you must have enough money to pay the following fees.

  1. Application Fee

  2. Healthcare Surcharge 

  3. Proof of funds


Application Fee

The first step of your work permit uk Visa requirements is to pay your application fee.

If you're applying from outside the UK, the table below shows the different fees required.

Application Fee 


Skilled Worker Application fee(if COS has been issued for three years or less)

£719 per person

Skilled Worker Application fee(if COS has been issued for more three years)

£1,420 per person

Skilled Worker Application fee for shortage occupation roles (if COS has been issued for three years or less )

£551 per person 

Skilled Worker Application fee for shortage occupation roles, (if COS has been issued for over three years)

£1084 per person


Healthcare Surcharge 

If you're applying for a skilled worker visa in the UK, you will be required to pay a Healthcare Surcharge fee for every year that you intend to stay in the UK.

The current fee for this is £1,035 per year. Once you have paid the surcharge, you will be eligible to receive medical services from the National Health Service (NHS) without any additional charges.


Proof of Personal savings 

Lastly, you will need to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself upon arrival in the UK. 

Currently, you must show that you have a minimum of £1,270 available in your bank account. These funds must be in your account for a continuous period of 28 days before your visa application. 

Please note that there are certain circumstances under which you may be exempt from providing evidence of these funds.

For instance, if you have been legally residing in the UK for a minimum of 12 months or if your employer has agreed to cover your expenses during your initial month in the UK.

Read This: 12 Best Countries to Study Abroad 2024


How to Apply for Your Skilled Worker Visa

Applying for a Skilled Worker Visa is a straightforward process. The application is done online via the UK Home Office's official website and you must submit all the required uk skilled worker visa documents and pay the fees.

As part of your application process, you will also be required to prove your identity. If you are applying from overseas, you can have your fingerprints taken at the nearest visa application center.

Alternatively, you can use the 'UK immigration: ID check' app to scan your identity document if you are applying from within the UK.


Documents Required for Skilled Worker Visa

  • A valid Passport

  • The COS Reference Number (from the employer/sponsor)

  • Job Title and Annual Salary

  • Job Occupation Code

  • Employer's name and Licence Number


In addition, it may also be necessary to provide the following documents;

  • Proof of English Language Proficiency 

  • Proof of your relationship with your dependants( if they are coming with you)

  • A valid Criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years

  • A Valid ATAS certificate ( if applicable)

  • UK PHD Certificate or Unique Ecctis Reference Number(if needed)

  • Tuberculosis Test Results ( if needed)

  • Proof of personal savings( to support yourself in the UK)


After you have completed the online application, submitted all the necessary documents, and provided proof of your identity, the next step is to wait for a decision on your UK visa application.

The processing time usually takes up to 3 weeks. However, if there is an issue with your application that may cause a delay, the UK Home Office will contact you.

If you want to speed up the process, you may be able to pay an additional fee for a faster decision.


Requirements for applying for a Skilled Worker UK Visa with Family

The Skilled Worker UK Visa route enables partners and children of skilled workers to relocate to and settle in the UK through the dependant visa uk work permit, provided that they meet the uk skilled worker visa requirements.

If your dependants are eligible, they will have to submit a separate application.

  •  Your spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner. 

  •  Your children who are under 18. 

  • Your children who are over 18, but only if they are not married and are already in the UK as your dependants. 

If your dependants' applications are successful, their visas will be valid for the same duration as your own. Additionally, you will need to provide proof of your relationship with your dependants.


Requirements for Care Workers or Senior Care Workers with Family

If you work as a Care Worker or senior care worker and you wish to bring your dependants with you to the UK, you must have been employed through the UK Skilled worker route as a carer before the 11th of March 2024.

Additionally, you must meet one of the following uk skilled visa requirements:

  • You are still on the Skilled Worker Visa 

  • You are extending your Skilled Worker Visa

  • You are changing to a new job within the occupation code while on a Skilled Worker Visa 

Note that if you don't meet any of these requirements, your dependants won't be allowed to join you in the UK.


Requirements to change employers on a Skilled Worker Visa

If you are currently on a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK and wish to change employers, you will need to apply for a new visa.

It's important to note that your current visa must still be valid at the time of the application, as you will be allowed to remain in the country while a decision is reached on your new visa.

To ensure a smooth transition, it is recommended that you start your application process as early as possible. This is because it may take up to 8 weeks to receive a decision on your visa application.

Furthermore, you can apply for a new visa up to 3 months before the start date of your new job.

This means that you should plan your application accordingly to ensure that you have sufficient time to gather all the necessary documents and submit your application before your new job begins.


Skilled Worker Visa Refusal 

Sometimes, people apply for the skilled worker visa to work in the UK but their application gets rejected. This can happen for different reasons. Although the rate of rejection is not very high, we will tell you some of the most common reasons why this can happen;

  1. The applicant fails to submit the documents in the correct format or provide the necessary documents
  2. The job does not meet the salary requirements of the applicant
  3. The applicant does not possess the required skill level
  4. The applicant doesn't have enough funds in their savings account.
  5. Applicant provided incorrect or insufficient information 
  6. Criminal records or security concerns


What to do if you get a Visa Refusal?

If you are denied a skilled worker visa, you will need to obtain a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to apply again. However, it is important to note that your sponsor employer might take some time to assign a new CoS, or they may choose not to issue another CoS and decide not to sponsor you anymore.

If you think that your visa refusal is illegal, you have the right to contest the decision. The appeal period is 28 days if you are outside the UK, and 14 days if you are already in the country.

It's important to keep in mind that the visa appeal process can last between 6 and 12 months, depending on the complexity of the issue and the specifics of your case.

During this period, you might need to provide additional documentation and evidence to support your appeal. Seeking legal advice is also important to ensure that you understand the process and your legal rights.



Applying for a UK Skilled Worker Visa requires careful planning. By understanding the requirements, you can increase your chances of a successful application process. 

We hope that the information in this article has been helpful, and we wish you all the best in your visa application process.



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