visa work application

UK Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa in the UK offers individuals the chance to work in a role for an authorized employer within the country taking over from the former Tier 2 (General) Work Visa. Considered one of the sought after work permits in the UK this visa is accessible to individuals from any country on the scarcity occupation list allowing them to secure a job offer without undergoing a labor market evaluation.

Requirements for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

To be eligible, for the UK Skilled Worker visa you must fulfill the criteria:

  • A confirmed job offer is essential.
  • Employment with a UK employer approved by the Home Office is mandatory.
  • Your employer needs to provide a certificate of sponsorship that outlines the job, in the UK.
  • The job should be included in the list of occupations found on the UK Government website. Determining eligibility involves knowing the occupation code, searchable using the ONS occupation coding tool.
  • The minimum salary for the designated work must be met. To qualify you need to earn least £27,000 per year or £10.10 per hour whichever is more. If the jobs standard pay is higher than both amounts you should receive at the standard pay.
  • You must have a B1 level of proficiency in English, for reading speaking, listening and writing.
  • To qualify for the Skilled Worker visa you must earn least 70 points through the points based system.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)

cerificates of sponsorship


Your UK sponsor must first obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to demonstrate their eligibility, for sponsorship before you can proceed with your visa application. Only sponsors with licenses are allowed to issue a CoS, which’s a specific reference number necessary, for submitting your application to the Home Office.

For individuals applying for the Skilled Worker visa from overseas, a specific CoS is mandatory. Employers will initiate applications for defined certificates through the sponsorship management system. The visa application can be submitted up to three months before the commencement of employment.

English Language Requirement English proficiency verification is not necessary for citizens of the following nations:

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

If you work as a dentist doctor, nurse, midwife or veterinarian you won’t need to demonstrate your English language skills if you’ve already passed an English test recognized by your professional organization. Vets specifically need to show their proficiency in English through a test administered by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Key details to keep in mind for the UK Skilled Worker visa include:

  • You have the option to bring your family members along when you move to the UK.
  • Your spouse is allowed to work in the UK as your dependent.
  • There’s no limit on how many visas can be granted.
  • The minimum salary requirement has been lowered from £30,000 to £25,600.
  • Priority will be given to Track Visas for healthcare professionals such, as doctors and nurses. You are not permitted to seek funds or state pension benefits.
  • Updating your visa is necessary if you change jobs or employers.

Required Documents for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

work visa application


To apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa you must ensure you have the following documents prepared;

  • The Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) reference number provided by your employer.
  • Proof of your proficiency, in the language. This can be shown through:
    • Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider.
    • Holding a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher, or Advanced Higher in English.
    • Possessing a degree-level academic qualification taught in English. If studied abroad, you’ll need confirmation of equivalence from Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) for a UK bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD degree.
  • A valid passport or another document indicating your identity and nationality.
  • Details of your job title and annual salary.
  • The occupation code associated with your job.
  • The name of your employer and their sponsor license number, information available on your certificate of sponsorship.

Additional documents may be required based on your circumstances:

  • Evidence of your relationship with your partner or children if they are also applying.
  • Proof of adequate financial means to support yourself during your stay in the UK, verified through bank statements.
  • Tuberculosis test results if you come from a listed country and plan to stay in the UK for over six months.
  • A valid ATAS certificate for roles involving sensitive subject research at PhD level or higher.
  • Your UK PhD certificate or Ecctis reference number if your qualification is from outside the UK.
  • A blank page in your passport if you are from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, or if your biometric passport lacks a chip.
  • A criminal record certificate for those working in education, healthcare, therapy, or social services when applying from outside the UK.
  • Certified translations for any documents not in English or Welsh.

When applying for a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK from, outside the country you need to start by following these steps:

  • Get the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your employer as it is required before you can apply for the worker visa.
  • Begin your Worker visa application online through the official UK government website. Thoroughly read each step, provide the necessary information, and respond in English. Specify your intended residence when initiating the application.
  • Upload required documents during your online application: Complete the online form and upload the necessary documents in either PNG, JPG, JPEG (for photos) or PDF, PNG, JPG, JPEG (for scanned documents).
  • Pay the visa fee online: As part of the online application, make the essential payments for processing.
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge: Fulfill the healthcare fee requirement during the online application or at the visa application center appointment.
  • Schedule and attend an appointment at your nearest visa application center: Locate a visa application center on GOV.UK, attend the appointment, and provide your biometrics.

Note: Collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) upon entering the UK, as per the instructions in your decision letter, either from a designated Post Office branch or your sponsor.

Processing Time for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

Upon application submission, expect a response within eight weeks if applying from within the UK and three to four weeks if applying from outside the UK. Expedited processing options are available based on the location where your application is being processed.