Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled worker visa route is for foreign workers including the European Economic Area (EEA) national arriving from 1 January 2020 to do a skilled job in the UK. Call us on 0203 909 8399 or contact us online for further information. 

You will need to apply for a skilled workers visa, If you are coming to the UK from 1 January 2020 to do a skilled job for a Home Office license sponsors. A successful visa applicant can apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years. You can also bring dependant partner and children under this route.

The skilled worker route replaced Tier 2 General Visa and no further applications under old route can be made.

Requirements for Skilled worker visa

To qualify for a skilled worker visa, you need to meet the following basic requirements.

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do;
  • Your job offer is a genuine vacancy;
  • Your sponsor has paid any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • Your job is at an appropriate skill level;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
  • You will be paid a salary which equals or exceeds both a general salary threshold of £25,600 and the ‘going rate’ for the occupation;
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate if required; and
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate if required.

Skilled worker visa points

To qualify you will need to score 70 total points. However, you will need 50 mandatory points against the following requirements;

Points requirements Points
Sponsorship 20
Job at the appropriate skill level 20
English language 10


In addition to the 50 mandatory points you must score 20 tradeable points from six options below;

Points requirements Points
Salary 20
Salary and relevant PhD qualification 20
Salary and job in shortage of occupation 20
Salary and applicant is a new entrant 20
Salary and job in listed health or education occupation 20

Approved UK employers for sponsorship

You must have a job offer from an approved UK employer before you apply for a Skilled Worker visa. Approved employers are also known as sponsors because they are sponsoring you to come to or stay in the UK.

View the list of approved UK employers.

If your employer is not currently approved, they can apply for a sponsor licence if they’re eligible.

Job skill level

If you do not know your code, you can search for your job in the ONS occupation coding tool.

English language

You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply unless you did this in a previous successful visa application. You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.

You can prove your knowledge of English by:

  • passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English – if you studied abroad, you’ll need to apply for confirmation through UK NARIC that your qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

Financial requirements

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance from outside the UK or has been in the UK for less than one year at the date of application, they must show they have enough funds to support themselves and any family members in the UK.

As an A-rated sponsor, your sponsor can certify this requirement is met when they assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant.

For further help or information Get In Touch

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Labour Market Test?

To sponsor an individual outside of the UK under Tier 2 General of the points-based system for a skilled job that is not on the list of shortage occupations, you have to first complete a resident labour market test (RLMT).

What is Shortage Occupation List?

The shortage occupation list is an official list of occupations for which there are not enough resident workers to fill vacancies in the UK.


What is Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

In order to apply for a Tier 2 UK visa, you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer with a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.

Types of UK Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship

There are two types of Certificate of Sponsorship: restricted and unrestricted. All prospective employees based outside the UK will need a restricted certificate of sponsorship unless they will be working in a role which pays £159,600 a year or more, or will be working in an inward investment post.

  • Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship are for prospective employees who are based abroad, and planning to work in the UK in a role paying less than £159,600 a year, unless the job is an inward investment post. There is a monthly allocation meeting for restricted certificates (usually 1000-2000) and an annual cap of 20,700. Prospective employees based in the UK who are eligible to change status to a Tier 2 visa do not come under the Tier 2 Visa Cap and usually do not need a restricted COS. The exception is for partners of Tier 4 visa holders who wish to switch to a Tier 2 visa. These applicants do need a restricted certificate of sponsorship.
  • Unrestricted Certificates of Sponsorship are to employ prospective employees who are already in the UK (except dependent family members of Tier 4 visa holders) or are outside of the UK and will be working in a role which pays £159,600 a year or more, or will be working in an inward investment post.

What is English language requirement for Tier 2 General Visa?

Tier 2 General applicant need to prove his knowledge of the English language when they apply for Tier 2 General Visa.

An applicant of Tier 2 General visa can prove his knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language test with at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD

You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways or need a higher level of English in some circumstances. Check the full visa guidance for detailed information.


You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries:

  • Antigua and 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
  • USA

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