Working in the UK – Skilled Worker Visa UK

Tier 2 General – Skilled Workers - UK work visa
LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies Updated:

Apply for Your Skilled Worker Visa

If you are a skilled worker, a Skilled Worker Visa – formerly known as the Tier 2 Visa – will allow you to enter the UK on a long-term basis to fill a skilled job vacancy, in IT, accountancy, teaching, or healthcare.

Our expert immigration solicitors have a 100 per cent success rate for UK work visa applications and can help process yours quickly and error-free too.

Let us help you with your skilled worker visa application once you have secured your next UK job.

Please note: We can not help you find or apply for jobs, you must have a job offer in place before starting the visa application process. 

Assessing if You Can Apply for Your Skilled Worker Visa

Job Offer and Qualifications Required for a UK Work Visa

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you need to work or have a job offer for a job that is on the list of eligible occupations. Your UK employer must have been approved by the Home Office in the form of holding a Sponsor Licence. It is your employer’s responsibility to apply for their Sponsor Licence.

What Your Visa Allows You to Do

A Skilled Worker visa can be as long as 5 years, depending on the term of your employment. You can apply to extend this visa as many times as you require. If you have spent 5 years in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa, you then apply for indefinite leave to remain or settlement.

Applying for a Skilled Worker visa also entitles you to apply for visas for your dependants, such as your partner or children.

While you are in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa you can:

  • Work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • Work in a second job, in certain circumstances
  • Undertake voluntary work
  • Study – as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you are sponsored for
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Bring family members with you
  • Apply to settle in the UK if you meet the requirements

However, there are certain things you can’t do, such as:

  • Access most public funds
  • Change employment without updating your visa

People from certain nationalities also need to register with the police when they are planning to stay in the UK for more than six months.

If you wish to change employers while you are on a skilled worker visa, you will likely need to go through the visa application process again.

Documents You Need to Provide for Your UK work Visa Application

For the Skilled Worker visa application, you must provide:

  • A CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) from your employer
  • Proof you meet the English language requirement
  • Proof of your identity
  • Proof of maintenance funds to cover your living costs
  • A criminal record certificate if applicable

Requirements for a Skilled Worker

There are certain points that must be scored to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa. You must score a total of 50 mandatory points by meeting the following criteria:

  • A job offer from an approved sponsor – 20 points
  • A job offer at the appropriate skill level – 20 points
  • Sufficient knowledge of English language – 10 points

You must also be awarded 20 points which are ‘tradable points’. The requirements for tradeable points depend on your circumstances.

We can help you apply for your work visa once you have a job offer secured. We cannot help you find an employer. 

Short-Term Work

Working on a Temporary Basis

If you wish to come to the UK to work on a temporary basis you may be able to apply for a Temporary Work visa.

This visa category was set out with the aim to share knowledge and experience with temporary visitors from countries outside the UK and EEA.

Read more about coming to the UK on a temporary basis for work

Getting Sponsored for a UK Work Visa

How a Business Can Sponsor You

Firstly, you need to find out whether your employer is eligible to sponsor you. They must have a sponsorship licence before you can apply for your visa.

The business must also not have any unspent criminal convictions, including immigration offences.

If a business has previously sponsored foreign employees and they were found to have failed to carry out their sponsorship duties, they are also unlikely to qualify for a sponsorship licence.

How We Can Help You Apply For Your UK Work Visa

Applying for Your Visa

Our immigration solicitors are here for you when you are ready to apply for your Skilled Worker Visa.

We can help both you and your employer with the immigration process. We can support and guide you through your visa application and we can support your employer with their sponsorship licence application, to ensure the entire application process runs smoothly.

To speak to one of the expert solicitors call us today or request a call back for a time that suits you best.

We can not help you find or apply for jobs.

Get in touch