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The Skilled Worker Visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa and is the main visa route for foreign workers to live and work in the United Kingdom under the new immigration system.


You can apply for this visa to do an ‘eligible’ job with an approved employer in the UK. An approved employer is one that has been granted a Sponsorship Licence by the Home Office.


To be eligible to apply for this visa, the following requirements must be met:


  • You must work for a Home Office-approved employer i.e. an employer who has been granted a Sponsorship licence;
  • You must be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by your UK employer with information about the role they have been offered in the UK. Your Certificate of Sponsorship will hold your personal details and information about the job you have been offered, including the salary and the start and end date of the employment. Your employer will give you a CoS reference number that must be included with your application. This CoS is time-sensitive and must be used within 3 months of assignment.
  • You must have a confirmed job offer.
  • You must do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations;
  • You must be paid a minimum salary. You’ll usually need to be paid at least £25,600 per year unless the ‘going rate’ for your job is higher than this. There are different salary rules if you work in some healthcare or education jobs, where the going rate is based on national pay scales. If you do not meet the usual salary requirements, and you do not work in healthcare or education, you might still be eligible if your annual salary will be at least £20,480. This will only apply if certain requirements can be met which can be found here.
  • You must meet the English language requirement.


A Skilled Worker Visa is usually valid for a period of up to 5 years. You must apply to extend or update your visa if it expires or if you change jobs. It may be possible to extend the visa, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. After 5 years, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.


The date your employment is to start with your employer will be stated on your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The earliest you can apply for a visa is 3 months before you are due to start work in the UK.

You should normally receive a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK. If you are applying for an extension or switching your visa from within the UK, decisions are made within 8 weeks of your application date if you use the standard service.

What you can do:

  • You can work in the eligible job you have been granted leave for by the approved employer who has assigned you the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS);
  • You are permitted to do voluntary work;
  • You are permitted to take up studying;
  • You will be permitted to take on additional work subject to certain circumstances;
  • You can make applications for your family members to join you in the UK as your dependants;
  • During your permitted visa period you will be entitled to travel abroad and return to the UK.


What you cannot do:

  • You will not be permitted to change jobs or employer unless you successfully apply to update your visa with the Home Office;
  • You will not be entitled to benefit from public funds (which consists of most benefits), or the State Pension


Contact White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public for expert advice by experienced professionals on all areas of Immigration law. The many conditions and immigration requirements that must be met are handled by White Horse Solicitors and Notary Public with excellent professionalism, reliable conduct and integrity. We will ensure that our advice focuses on your personal circumstances and will always aim to achieve brilliant results for our clients.


White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public is well placed and highly qualified in providing professional advice and assistance on making an Skilled Worker Visa. We recommend getting in contact with us on 020 7118 1778 for our specialist and professional advice on such an application before any action is taken.

The information contained on this page is sourced from UK Visas and Immigration and is subject to change. White Horse Solicitors & Notary Public makes every effort to keep this information current, however prices and information cannot be guaranteed and should always be checked on

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