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Ever thought of working in the UK? If so, the UK skilled worker visa is one of the documents you need. This visa is for experienced individuals who want to access the UK labour market. It is a preferred work visa type accounting for 63% of all work-related visas issued in 2021.

The Labour Force Survey for Q4 of 2020 revealed some key insights. It showed that 1.26 million non-EU nationals are currently working in the UK. With the UK skilled worker visa, individuals with the right skills can stay in the UK for five years. With over 76,000 visas granted for the year ending March 2021, you need to know the requirements.

Here is information on the UK skilled worker visa application. It includes requirements and eligibility and ways to apply. Also, check the Home Office website as the requirements can change at any time.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

Are you planning to apply for a UK skilled worker visa? You will have to make the application online through gov.uk website. EEA nationals with chipped passports can use the online application form. They can also use the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app.

A valid application has to meet these requirements:

  • Applicant should be at least 18 years of age.
  • The applicant has to provide all the necessary biometrics.
  • Applicant should have a valid passport or any other acceptable identifying document.
  • Applicants should have a certificate of sponsorship from the employer. Approval of the employer by the Home office is a must. Make the application less than three months to the date of application.
  • Proof that you have enough savings to support yourself when in the UK. Evidence of savings is not necessary if your employer will be helping you.

Who is Eligible for UK Skilled Worker Visa?

The UK Skilled worker visa eligibility requirements are specific and are as follows:

  • The applicant must have a job offer from an approved employer. The employer will provide the certificate of sponsorship.
  • Applicants should be able to speak English to level B1.
  • The applicant should earn at least minimum wage for their job category. According to the home office, “the annual salaries for the jobs are on a 39-hour working week. They must be pro-rated for other working patterns.”

 How long is the UK Skilled Worker Visa valid?

With the UK Skilled worker visa, you can stay in the UK for up to 5 years. When it expires, you can apply to update or extend it further. You will also have to update the visa if you change jobs or employer.

There is no limit on the number of times you can extend the visa. Your application will be valid if you still meet the eligibility requirements.

After five years, you will be able to apply for permanent residency in the UK. The UK government refers to this as ‘indefinite leave to remain.’ With this, you can study, live and work in the UK for as long as you like. If you are eligible, you can also apply for benefits.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Application Process

The UK Skilled Worker visa can only happen online. The applicant has to submit the application form with any supporting documents. Submit the biometrics at the visa processing centre.

Make the application three months before the start of employment. This date is on the certificate of sponsorship. Submit the documents online within three months after getting the certificate of sponsorship. Every certificate has a reference number they will need for the application.

Set an appointment with the visa application centre to submit biometric information. Here is also where applicants can submit more documents. Some of the required UK skilled worker visa documents include:

  • A valid passport or any other document that proves they can travel.
  • Any expired passports to show their history of travel.
  • Bank statements where applicable.
  • Proof of English knowledge if applicable.
  • Provide a criminal record certificate. The certificate is for those in the education, health or social care sectors. This certificate should be from a country the applicant has been in for 12 months.

Having a certificate of sponsorship doesn’t guarantee a successful application.

How much does the UK Skilled Worker visa cost?

The UK Skilled worker visa fee falls between £610 and £1,408. The amount you pay will depend on the job market and your circumstances. There is also the Immigration Health Surcharge of £624 per year.

The exact UK skilled worker visa application costs will fall on your dependants. Keep checking the UK immigration website for any changes on these fees.

UK Skilled Worker visa processing time

In general, your visa application takes up to 8 weeks. For those applying within the UK, the application takes three weeks. There is an option to Fastrack the process by paying an extra fee.

Get your visa application process started by visiting the UK immigration website.