UK Skilled Worker Visa Requirements- All You Need to Know

No doubt the United Kingdom has enormous employment opportunities for foreign workers. The UK skilled worker visa allows you to stay there for up to 5-year.  

Moreover, foreigner workers having visas under the skilled worker category may extend its validity or apply for permanent residence in the UK. Most importantly, British immigration has replaced Tier-2 General work visas with skilled worker visas (UK SW visa).

So, the foreign workers from any country may get the SW visa. However, they must have job offers from approved employers in the UK and the job must be on an eligible occupation list.

Furthermore, if you are doing a job in healthcare or Education, and your profession is on the UK shortage occupation list, you may get some extra benefits.




The United Kingdom offers 27 types of employment visas, some are long term and the rest are short-term work visa categories. So, the UK skilled work visa is one of the most popular category because of its core benefits:

  • SW visas are extendable for multiple-times.
  • Stay in England for up to 5-year with or without family.
  • Bring your partner and dependents on the England.
  • Visa holder’s spouse can work.
  • Become British resident (PR) after five years.
  • UK’s SW visa allows to work, live or study there.
  • SW visa holders may travel outside the UK and return.
  • Less visa fee for healthcare and Education workers and their families.

Selection Criteria

In order to qualify for the United Kingdom’s skilled worker visa, meet the eligibility criteria, for instance:

  • Have a sponsored Job Offer,
  • Score at least 70 points in the points-based system.
  • Your British employer must be approved by the UK government.
  • A ‘certificate of sponsorship’ you need to get from the employer.
  • An offered Job must be on an eligible occupation list in the UK.
  • At least level-B1 is compulsory to prove your English proficiency.
  • Education must be Bachelor’s degree (A-level/RQF level 3).
  • Minimum salary threshold should be £25,600/year or £10.10/hour or according to the job you are going to do in the UK.

Qualifying Points System

In fact, the UK sets one of the easiest and achievable points systems for the skilled worker. So, in order to be eligible for the UK skilled worker visa, you must have 70 qualifying points. See the image below or the points table guide.

points for uk work visa

Eligible Occupations

Only those whose jobs are on the list of eligible occupations are eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa. In addition, each profession has a four-digit code. Thus, if you are applying for SW visa, make sure your job is eligible and appearing on the official list.

In Demand occupations

There are many occupations that are highly in demand in the UK. Therefore, the UK government issues a list of skills that are short in the country.

So, if your profession is also included in the skills shortage list, your chances of success may be higher to get a UK skilled worker visa. The visa application fee will be less if your job is listed in shortage occupation in the UK.

According to media reports, the UK and especially Scotland are facing labor shortages and Transport Logistics, Tourism & Hospitality, Manufacturing Food and Drink sectors emerge from the deep disruption of the pandemic.

The United Kingdom is a big country. So, if you are a job seeker in the UK, you can apply for jobs advertised online. However, if you approach Scottish companies and employers who are worried about labor shortages, then your chances of success can be exploded.

How to find the UK employers who sponsor jobs?

You can easily find out about the British/Scottish employers on various online platforms by using 3 methods. You can apply for a vacant position if the employer is sponsoring foreign workers. For example:

01. Online Job search resources

02. Licensed Companies to sponsor jobs in the UK.

UK CV format for job seekers

International job recruitment agencies in UK Scotland

Visa Application Fee

The fee for the UK skilled worker visa varies as per candidate and his/her family circumstances, for example:

  • Overseas applicant

For a 3-year visa, application fee is £610/person and for over three years it is £1,220.

  • Inside United Kingdom

If a candidate is already in the UK, the visa-application fee ranges from £704 to £1,408 per person.

Above all, if the applicant’s job-role is on the shortage occupation list, the fee for each candidate ranges from £464 (up to 3 years) to £928 (over 3 years). Here, the UK skilled worker visa fee structure is the same whether the applicant is overseas or applying from inside England.

Cost of SW Visa in UK?

Total cost for the UK skilled worker visa may also fluctuate because it depends on the applicant’s situation. However, for a single applicant, cost is:

  • Healthcare surcharge is £624/year per person.
  • At least £1,270 in applicant’s bank-account to show as proof of funds.
  • Candidate’s families also must present proof of funds to support themselves in England, for instance:
  • Applicant’s spouse, £285
  • A child £315 if one, also
  • For each kid, £200.

How can a foreigner apply for a UK Skilled worker visa?

All applicants for a UK skilled worker visa must launch their visa application online. Moreover, a candidate can include his/her spouse & children in the application to bring them to the UK.

Processing Time

Once an applicant applies for a UK skilled worker visa online, gets a decision on visa application within 3-weeks (if overseas). Unlike, if you are applying from inside the United Kingdom, it may take 8-weeks to get a decision from the UK authorities on your visa application.

Also Read: How to apply for a UK Visitor Visa in 2021?

Can I apply for a UK work visa without a job offer?

Usually, a sponsored job offer is mandatory to apply for the UK work visa. However, if you have completed a degree at the undergraduate level or above in England, you do not need a job offer for the Graduate route. You can work flexibly in the United Kingdom or switch jobs through the Graduate route. 

Is IELTS required for a UK work visa?

The IELTS exam is not a barrier to apply for the UK work visa. However, you must prove your English language abilities to work in England. For example, you can meet the English requirement for the visa by showing IELTS for UKVI (General) with a score of 4-bands or SELT (Secure English Language Test).


How much money is required for a work visa in the UK?

Money requirements for England’s work visa depending on the category you are applying for. Generally, the minimum application fee for the UK’s skilled worker visa (up to 3-year) is £610, and the healthcare surcharge is £624 for a single applicant. Next, the applicants will need to show sufficient in their account as £1,270. 

What type of visa is required to work in the UK?

If you want to work in England, you need to get a working visa. Usually, UK skilled worker visa covers high-demand occupations, so you can opt for that if it suits you. There are almost 27 work visas types for the United Kingdom. 

How can you apply for the UK tier 2 visa?

First, tier 2 general visa in the UK no longer exists because of a new skilled worker that is a replacement. Second, you can apply for England’s skilled worker visa (tier 2) online at the UK immigration portal.

What is a skilled visa in England?

A skilled visa is an immigration route for aspirants to live and work in England for 3 to 5 years. Also, UK’s skilled worker visa holders and their families can become British permanent residents.

What are tier 2 visa minimum salary requirements in England?

Since the tier 2 visa category has been replaced with UK skilled worker visa, the minimum salary threshold is £25,600/year. However, it depends on your occupation and the job you are going to do in England.


Since the up-gradation in UK immigration, the system is now more flexible and encourages migrants to experience the United Kingdom as a more appealing destination in Europe.

Consequently, the UK skilled worker visa category has been an ease for the British employers and foreign workers as well. Therefore, I have explained almost all aspects you may need to know about this very important UK work visa category.

Also, I have highlighted the related reference links so that you can explore more details about this working visa route in the UK.

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