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Applying for a Skilled Worker Visa

Skilled Worker – Key Features

The Skilled Worker visa is the most popular route for overseas nationals to secure permission to work in the United Kingdom. To successfully secure a visa, an overseas national will need to have a job offer from a UK employer with an immigration sponsor licence, for a role which is at the required skill level (currently RQF 3 or school leaver level).

To secure a Skilled Worker visa, the candidate must:

  • Be assigned a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by their proposed UK employer.
  • Be filling a genuine vacancy.
  • Be paid an appropriate salary for the role.
  • Have the required skills and experience for the role, including relevant qualifications where this is essential for the role.
  • Demonstrate they have the required level of English language (currently B1 of the CEFR in speaking, listening, reading and writing).
  • Have sufficient funds to maintain themselves, although most UK sponsors certify maintenance for their sponsored workers.
  • Have a TB certificate, if required.
  • Have a criminal record certificate, if required.
  • Do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

Length and conditions of stay in the UK

The candidate can apply for a visa of up to 5 years’ duration initially, however, visas will be granted in accordance with the work start and end data entered onto the certificate of sponsorship by the UK sponsoring employer.

The visa can be extended in the UK towards the end of its term.

The sponsored worker must work for the sponsor in the role described on their certificate of sponsorship, and they can also undertake supplementary part time work, work on a voluntary basis and study, providing this does not interfere with their main sponsored work.

Sponsored workers and their dependants can access NHS services in the UK. They are not however permitted to access public funds.

Skilled Worker – Additional Benefits

  • There is no limit on the number of sponsored workers a UK employer can employ, provided they are filling genuine vacancies.
  • Resident labour market: There is no requirement to try to recruit from the resident population before offering sponsorship, provided the recruitment of a sponsored worker is genuinely required to fill a vacancy.
  • Shares: There is no restriction on the number of shares an applicant can hold in the sponsoring company.
  • Switching: Most visa holders can switch into the Skilled Worker route from within the UK.
  • Dependants: The sponsored worker’s spouse or partner and children can secure dependant visas to accompany or join the worker. Dependants who are over 18 years old can work for any employer at any skill and salary level, and all dependants can study in the UK.
  • Settlement: The Skilled Worker route enables visa holders and their dependants to settle, which means securing indefinite leave to remain, after a period of 5 years’ residence in the UK.

How can our immigration solicitors help?

Our team of immigration solicitors can deal with all aspects of sponsorship for Skilled Workers for your business and your candidates. This includes:

  • Securing your immigration licence for your business.
  • Managing your licence by being appointed as Level 1 users.
  • Assessing the recruitment proposal and advising on all aspects of the role, including skill and salary level.
  • Providing advice to ensure your contracts of employment are immigration compliant and provide protection for the business in the event the sponsored migrant leaves your employment.
  • Advising on licence compliance and providing training and support for key members of your team.
  • Securing the required certificate of sponsorship from the Home Office and assigning this to your proposed sponsored worker.
  • Assessing the sponsored worker’s documentation and preparing and submitting the visa application for the sponsored worker and their dependants.
  • Liaising with the Home Office throughout the application process, to ensure a successful outcome.

We provide a responsive, full-service approach to ensure every visa matter is dealt with successfully and with a short lead time between the offer of employment and grant of visa clearance. With Freeths expert immigration support, you can be confident of securing the required immigration permission for every skilled candidate your business needs.

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