The UK's Points-Based Immigration System has enabled skilled workers to live and work in the UK. With a focus on attracting top talent from around the world, the system offers streamlined pathways for skilled individuals to obtain work visas.
What is the points-based immigration system?
The Points-Based Immigration System evaluates applicants based on a set of attributes, awarding points for various factors such as qualifications, job offers, and English language proficiency. To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, applicants must score a minimum number of points. Unlike the previous Tier 2 (General) visa, the Skilled Worker Visa allows for job switching within the sponsor organisation without needing a new visa. It is also a preferred route for international recruitment as family members, including partners and children, can join the visa holder in the UK. After a defined period of working and living in the UK, skilled workers can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and eventually British citizenship.
What are the requirements for a skilled worker visa?
There are a number of requirements to be eligible for the skilled worker visa including a valid job offer, english language proficiency and meeting the salary thresholds.
Job Offer from a Licensed Sponsor
Applicants must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer that holds a valid sponsor license. The job offer must be at the required skill level (RQF 3 or above) and meet minimum salary thresholds.
English Language Proficiency
Applicants need to demonstrate their skills match the job offer's skill level and meet the English language proficiency requirement. Proof of English language ability is usually provided through recognised language tests like IELTS.
Minimum Salary Requirement
The offered salary must meet the minimum salary threshold for the specific job. The threshold varies based on the occupation and whether the applicant is a "new entrant" or experienced worker.
Applicants can earn additional points for meeting certain criteria such as having a job offer in a shortage occupation or possessing a PhD relevant to the job.
Application Process for Skilled Worker Visa
Job Offer and Certificate of Sponsorship: Secure a job offer from a licensed sponsor and obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from them.
Prepare Supporting Documents: Gather documents to prove your identity, qualifications, English language proficiency, and maintenance funds.
Submit Online Application: Complete the online application form on the official UK government website. Pay the application fee and the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Biometric Appointment: If required, schedule a biometric appointment to provide fingerprints and photograph.
Decision and Travel to the UK: The processing time varies, but you'll receive a decision on your application. If approved, you can travel to the UK before your visa's start date.
Legal Advice for Skilled Worker Visa
The Points-Based Immigration System's Skilled Worker Visa offers a straightforward route for skilled individuals to contribute their expertise to the UK's workforce. By understanding the requirements and following the application process, you can position yourself to take advantage of the opportunities this visa provides. Seeking guidance from experienced immigration professionals can streamline your journey and ensure you meet all necessary criteria, making your transition to working in the UK a successful and fulfilling one.
If you would like legal support in applying for a skilled worker visa, get in touch with our expert immigration team on 0161 503 0553 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org