Skilled Worker Visa / Work Permit Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 General)

There are five categories of Skilled Worker applicants who will require a sponsorship certificate from their sponsors in order to make a visa applications in line with the certificate:


New 17.07.2023: Visa rules eased for building and fishing industry

Roofers and plasterers have been added to the Shortage Occupation List, which temporarily eases visa restrictions in areas where employers are struggling to fill vacancies.

Advisors on MAC recommended five jobs for inclusion on the shortage occupations list:

  • Bricklayers and masons
  • Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Plasterers

People on the shortage occupation list can apply for a skilled worker visa to work in the UK.


To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

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Skilled Worker Visa

The applicants are required to score at least 70 points in total to successfully apply for UK Skilled Worker Visa and they can claim the following points under the heads of Attributes, English Language and Maintenance:-

FAQs: Skilled Worker visa

A. Scoring Sections

I Attributes

Initial Applications

The applicant has to score 50 points under this section that can be claimed on the following bases:

  1. The applicant will be awarded 30 points for a valid certificate of sponsorship from their employer;
  2. Appropriate salary and allowances: 20 points. The job has to pay at least the ‘going rate’ for that occupation according to the Codes of Practice and at least £26,200 a year.

The applicant must claim 50 points in total using points earned in the above subsections.

Extension Applications

Applicants who are already on a Tier 2 (General) visa (issued under the old immigration rules) will be given 50 points under Attributes provided they are working for the same employer and at the same position. The new rules therefore will not affect those who wish to continue working at the same position and same employer.

II English Language

Under the Skilled Worker Visa category, applicants are required to provide evidence that they speak, communicate and understand the English language to a certain level. This can be done in three ways:

  • By being a national of one of the majority English speaking countries, i.e. USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
  • By having a degree level qualification from an English speaking country
  • By having passed an approved English language test to a B1 CEFR standard (for example, IELTS: 4.0)

The applicant will earn 10 points for this.

The following persons would also be automatically given 10 points under this section:

  1. Those last granted leave under a Tier 2 category issued under the old immigration rules (having already provided evidence of meeting the English language requirement) and applying for an extension within the same category
  2. Those who were last granted leave under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).
  3. Those making an application as a result of a change of employment where: The applicant has already provided evidence of meeting the English language requirement

III Maintenance

The applicant will need to score 10 points under this section to obtain a visa. This is possible in the following ways:

  • the applicant has already been in the UK for the last 12 months in the following visa categories: Tier 2 General Visa (issued under the old rules), Skilled Worker Visa, ground staff of foreign airlines, clergyman, missionary or member of a religious order, representative of foreign media; or
  • the applicant has at least £1,270 in the personal bank account for consecutive 28 days before applying for himself as the main applicant; or
  • the applicant's sponsor provides official confirmation that, if necessary, he will help the immigrant financially, as well as with housing in the first month after employment. Such an application will only be accepted from a sponsor licensed under category A.

Maintenance for Dependants: The applicant will require showing extra £285 for his/her spouse, £315 for the first child and £200 for each additional dependent child, if the applicant intends to bring them with him to the UK. The applicant’s sponsor will also be able to certify the dependants of the prospective employee for maintenance purposes.

B. Transitional Measures

The following persons who wish to extend their stay in the same capacity would be able to apply under Tier 2 (General) transitional measures (under the old immigration rules) where he or she has or was last granted leave as a:

  • Representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency, or broadcasting organization
  • Member of the operational ground staff of an overseas owned airline
  • Tier 2 (General) migrant issued under the old immigration rules

In this case, they would be awarded 50 points under Attributes, and 10 points each in the English language and Maintenance sections.

To discuss your visa application

Please contact with one of our immigration lawyers by phone +44 (0) 207 907 1460 (London), +971 509 265 140 (Dubai) or complete our enquiry

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C. Duration of Skilled Worker Visa

  • Successful applicants for entry clearance may be granted leave for a period equal to the length of engagement shown on their Certificate of Sponsorship plus 1 month, or a maximum time of 6 months based on the job start date shown on their Certificate of Sponsorship, whichever is the shorter.
  • If the application is for a change of employment, those who are already on a Tier 2 (General) issued under the old immigration rules may be granted leave of to the job end date shown on their Certificate of Sponsorship plus 14 days, or up to five years, or for the period of time they need to take their total stay in Skilled Worker Visa category to six years (this is counted from the date they were first granted entry clearance or leave to remain), whichever is shorter.

D. Work Allowed

Applicants having leave to remain or leave to enter under the Skilled Worker Visa category would be allowed to take supplementary employment that must meet the following criteria:

  • is outside of their normal working hours;
  • is no more than 20 hours per week;
  • is within the same profession at the same professional level as the work for which the Certificate of Sponsorship was issued.

In addition to the supplementary employment, the applicants are also allowed to take unpaid voluntary employment.

E. What work is not allowed?

Skilled Worker Visa workers are not allowed to enter self-employment, set-up a business or join another business as a director or partner without obtaining permission from the Home Office.

F. Switching Rules

The following persons are able to switch into one of the above categories of the Worker Visa, provided they fulfil all the requirements:

  • Tier 1 Migrant
  • Tier 2 Migrant issued under the old immigration rules
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson, Minister of religion) visa issued under the old immigration rules
  • Tier 2 (Intra company transfer: established staff) visa and you’re applying to change sponsor issued under the old immigration rules
  • Health and Care Worker Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Health and Care Visa))
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Creative and sporting) for a job as a professional footballer and you meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements, issued under the old immigration rules
  • Innovator
  • Start-up
  • A Dependent partner of someone with a Student visa
  • Member of Operational Ground Staff of an overseas owned Airline
  • Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization

Switch from a Student Visa

In order to be able to switch from a Student visa to a Skilled Worker Visa you must have obtained one of the qualifications below:

  • A UK bachelor’s degree
  • A UK master’s degree
  • A postgraduate certificate in education
  • A professional graduate diploma of education

The other student visa categories are:

  • Student
  • Student nurse
  • Student Re-sitting an examination
  • Overseas Qualified Nurse or Midwife
  • Person writing up a Thesis
  • Post graduate doctor or dentist
  • Student Union Sabbatical Officer

The following rules become effective for this visa category:

  • The minimum salary threshold is lowered to £26,200; with this salary being “exchangeable” when other requirements are met, including having a PhD qualification relevant to the job; a PhD qualification in a STEM subject relevant to the job; a job in a shortage occupation; being a new entrant (with this definition being amended to allow those sponsored in postdoctoral research position; those working towards professional qualifications; and those who were on the Student route up to 2 years before the application); or being in a job in a listed health or education occupation.
  • Sponsors will no longer need to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test.
  • The 12-month “cooling off period” and six-year maximum length of stay in the route are being removed.

Administrative Review (Entry clearance, extension and settlement applications)

If the entry clearance, extension or settlement application is refused by the ECO in the British Diplomatic post or by the Home Office, the applicant will be given a right to make a request for a review of the decision that must be exercised within 28 days of the date of service of the decision if application was submitted outside the UK or 14 days if application is made inside the UK. The applicant will only be able to rely on the information/documents already submitted with the application and will not be allowed to provide or submit any fresh evidence with the review request.

It is therefore strongly advised to take professional help while making grounds for making review request.

Settlement Prospects

Skilled Worker Visa workers can apply for permanent settlement in the UK on completion of a total of five years in the following categories, most recently having Skilled Worker Visa or Tier 2 leave to remain (issued under the old immigration rules):

  1. Tier 1
  2. Minister of Religion Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Minister of Religion)
  3. Sportsperson Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Sportsperson)
  4. Health and Care Worker Visa (formerly known as TIER 2 (Health and Care Visa)
  5. Representative of an overseas newspaper, News Agency or Broadcasting organization

What services can we offer?

  • We can advise on the procedure of making the Skilled Worker Visa application in line with the sponsorship certificate
  • We can assess the job and the applicant`s details and advise on the likelihood of the applicant being sponsored under Skilled Worker Visa
  • We can advise and represent our clients in making their leave to remain/entry clearance applications in line with the certificate of sponsorship
  • We can advise and represent our clients’ dependants to seek dependant visas in line with the visa of the main applicant.
  • We can make a request for an administrative review if the applicant`s application is refused for some reason
  • We can advise in making applications for indefinite leave to remain for those who have already completed the five years’ qualifying period in the UK

Whatever the case, we are here to assist, advise and represent our clients in relation to any aspect of their immigration matters.


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