How can you apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

The Skilled Worker visa replaced the Tier 2 General visa on 1 December 2020. It is the main work route under the new Points-Based System (PBS), and it is a scheme that leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Please note that with the end of EU free movement, the Skilled Worker route also applies to EU citizens. EU nationals, who are not eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), are able to apply for a Skilled Worker visa from 1 December 2020.

How can you apply for a Skilled Worker (SW) visa?

In order to apply for a SW visa, migrants will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Work for a licenced UK sponsor;
  • Obtain a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ (CoS) from the employer. If the prospective employee is applying from outside of the UK, the employer will need to apply for a ‘defined CoS’ for the migrant. However, if the individual is applying from within the UK, the sponsor can apply for an ‘undefined CoS’ for the applicant;
  • Do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations;
  • Be paid at a minimum specified salary.

Individuals will also need to satisfy the English language (Level B1) and the maintenance requirements. Some migrants might need to provide a TB test if they are applying from the TB listed countries and a criminal record for certain roles

The SW visa can be granted for up to 5 years prior to the extension.

If the migrant changes jobs or employment, he/she will need to submit a new SW visa application. Individuals will be able to apply for Ssttlement once they have resided in the UK for a continues 5 years under the SW visa scheme.

For those who are applying from inside the UK, the application can be made if the migrant has valid leave to remain in the UK in any immigration schemes, other than:

  • As a Visitor; or
  • As a Short-term student; or
  • As a Parent of a Child Student; or
  • As a Seasonal Worker; or
  • As a Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
  • Outside the Immigration Rules.

How much do you need to pay?

The UKVI fees are in the range of £610 to £1408 depending on the length of the CoS, whether the role is on a shortage occupation list and vary whether they are applying from inside or outside the UK. The fee will also be reduced by £55 if the migrant is from EU or Turkey.

In addition, applicants will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) of £624 per year.

The employer will also need to pay £199 when assigning the CoS and the immigration skills surcharge.

Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK Skilled Worker visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075.

The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.


We remain open for business and can arrange meetings by phone call or video conferencing to advise and assist with any UK immigration matters.
Click here for further information regarding COVID-19