The UK Skilled Worker visa route replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa scheme which was phased out at the end of 2020.
BENEFITS OF THE VISA:
- You can include your spouse and children as dependents to join you in the UK
- Spouse is allowed to work on the visa
- No cap on the number of people who can move to the UK on the visa
- Minimum salary requirement has been reduced to £25600 from threshold of £30000
- travel freely overseas and come back to the UK
To secure a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Have a job offer from a UK employer
- Your employer must be on the list of licensed sponsors approved by the Home Office
- Your employer must have issued you with a valid ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’
- The job for which you are being employed must be on the list of eligible occupations
- Meet the minimum salary requirements
- Meet the English language requirements at B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- Have £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK
How Long can you stay in the UK?
The Skilled Worker visa is a long-term visa and will be initially granted for a period of up to five years (this will depend on the duration of your Certificate of Sponsorship). It is important to note that your visa is only valid as long as you remain in the same role with your sponsoring employer.
The key point is that you can extend your visa as many times as you wish, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria and you are still sponsored by the same employer.
Qualifying For Permanent Residency In The UK
One of the main benefits of the Skilled Worker visa is that if you do plan to stay in the UK permanently, rather than just extending your visa, you can acquire permanent residency by applying for indefinite leave to remain after five years. To do so, you must meet the continuous residence requirement, meaning that you must not have been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any of the five years. Once you have indefinite leave to remain, you will not need to make any more visa applications or pay the immigration healthcare surcharge, and you will be able to apply for UK citizenship after 12 months.