A skilled worker visa is a work visa granted by the Home Office UKVI to a migrant skilled worker who is sponsored by a UK employer holding Skilled Worker sponsor licence so that the migrant skilled worker can come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible skilled job with the sponsoring employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. According to paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, a “Skilled Worker” means a person who has, or had, permission under Appendix Skilled Worker, or as a Tier 2 (General) migrant under the rules in force before 1 December 2020.

The prospective employer of the Skilled Worker must have Skilled Worker sponsor licence and must assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the Skilled Worker for the Skilled Worker to apply for Skilled Worker visa.

The Skilled Worker route is for employers to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific skilled job. A Skilled Worker must have a job offer in an eligible skilled occupation from a Home Office-approved sponsor.

The Skilled Worker visa is a Point Based System (PBS) visa category and points can be awarded for the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), job skill level, English language, appropriate Salary, Phd level qualifications, job in shortage occupation, and applicant being new entrant. A total of 70 points are required to be eligible to apply for Skilled Worker visa; 50 points from mandatory non-tradable points and the remaining 20 from tradable points.

Skilled Worker visa is a route to settlement and a person who has spent 5 years in the UK on Skilled Worker visa can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as a Skilled Worker. A dependent partner and dependent children can apply on this route to stay in the UK with the Skilled Worker.

Skilled Worker Visa Applications

Our skilled worker visa solicitors specialise in all types of skilled worker visa applications including entry clearance for skilled worker visa, switching into skilled worker visa, extension of skilled worker visa and ILR as a skilled worker. 

As one of the best skilled worker visa solicitors, our team of skilled worker visa solicitors have wealth of knowledge and experience to provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee skilled worker visa services for all types of applications under the Skilled Worker visa category.

Our fast track skilled worker visa solicitors can provide priority or super priority service for faster decision on following skilled worker visa applications:

Our Fixed Fees For Skilled Worker Visa Applications

Our fixed fees for employer sponsored work visas are as given in the fee table below:

Our Service Our Fixed Fees Range
Full service for Entry Clearance for employer sponsored work visas to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £800 To £1,500 (no VAT)
Full service for switching into employer sponsored work visa from inside the UK through Priority or Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your application From £800 + VAT To £1,500 + VAT
Full service for extension of employer sponsored work visa from inside the UK through Priority or Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your application From £800 + VAT To £1,500 + VAT
Full service for ILR as an employer sponsored worker from inside the UK through Priority or Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your ILR application From £800 + VAT To £1,500 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for the application, the applicant also has to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the application.

Skilled Worker Dependant Visa Applications

As specialist immigration solicitors for dependant visa UK, we can provide fast, friendly, reliable and fixed fee legal services for following applications for dependants of Skilled Worker migrant:

Our Fixed Fees For Skilled Worker Dependants

Our fixed fees for dependant visa applications are as given in the fee table below:

Our Service Our Fixed Fees Range
Full service for dependant visa Entry Clearance to cover all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) From £1,000 To £2,000 (no VAT)
Full service for switching into dependant visa from inside the UK through Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your application From £1,000 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT
Full service for extension of dependant visa from inside the UK through Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your application From £1,000 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT
Full service for ILR as a dependant from inside the UK through Super Priority Service to cover our work until decision on your application From £1,000 + VAT To £2,000 + VAT

The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the application and the volume of casework involved in the application. In addition to our fixed fee for the application, the applicant also has to pay the Home office UKVI fees for the application.

Priority and Super Priority Service For Skilled Worker Visas

Most entry clearance applications for skilled worker visa from outside the UK can be submitted using Priority Service whereby decision on the skilled worker visa entry clearance application will be made within 5 working days instead of 4 week normal waiting time.

All skilled worker visa applications made from inside the UK can be submitted to the Home Office UKVI either by using priority service (to get decision within 5 working days) or by super priority service ( to get decision within 24 hours) instead of standard service which can often take up to 8 weeks to get a decision on the family visa application.

As specialist skilled worker visa solicitors based in London, we are registered with the Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) and its commercial partners UKVCAS Sopra Steria to provide priority and Super Priority Service for skilled worker visa applications whereby decision on your skilled worker visa application may be made by the Home Office UKVI faster than the usual waiting times.

Our skilled worker visa solicitors can prepare and submit your skilled worker visa application to the Home Office, UKVI through priority or Super Priority Service and get decision on your skilled worker visa application through fast track decision making process. This way, you will not have to wait for the decision on your skilled worker visa application for months (sometimes years).

FAQs - Skilled Worker Visa UK

What is a Skilled Worker visa UK?

A skilled worker visa is a work visa granted by the Home Office UKVI to a migrant skilled worker who is sponsored by a UK employer holding Skilled Worker sponsor licence so that the migrant skilled worker can come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible skilled job with the sponsoring employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. According to paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, a “Skilled Worker” means a person who has, or had, permission under Appendix Skilled Worker, or as a Tier 2 (General) migrant under the rules in force before 1 December 2020.

Does Skilled Worker visa UK lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?

Yes, Skilled Worker visa route is a settlement route and it leads to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) upon completion of 5 years in the UK

Is Skilled Worker visa and Tier 2 General visa the same or different?

The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. According to paragraph 6 of the Immigration Rules, a “Skilled Worker” means a person who has, or had, permission under Appendix Skilled Worker, or as a Tier 2 (General) migrant under the rules in force before 1 December 2020.

Any time spent on Tier 2 General visa is counted towards the 5 years qualifying period for ILR. If you are currently holding Tier 2 General and want to extend or apply for ILR, you will submit your application as a Skilled Worker.

Are Skilled Workers allowed to sponsor their dependants to stay with them in the UK?

A person on skilled worker visa is allowed to bring his partner and children under the age of 18 to the UK to stay with the skilled worker in the UK.

Which jobs are eligible skilled jobs for the purposes of Skilled Worker visa?

The relevant jobs for which Skilled Worker visa is possible are those listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations and Appendix Shortage Occupations.

How can I apply for Skilled Worker visa UK?

You must apply online.

How you apply depends on whether you’re:

If you want to change your job or employer, you must apply to update your visa.

You can include your partner and children in your application to stay in the UK if they are eligible.

FAQs - Entry Clearance For Skilled Worker Visa

How can I apply for Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK?
What type of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) do I need from my employer / sponsor to apply for Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK?

You employer should assign a defined Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for you to apply for Skilled Worker visa entry clearance from outside the UK?

How many points do I need to score to succeed in my application for skilled worker visa entry clearance?

A total of 70 points are required to be eligible to apply for Skilled Worker visa; 50 points from mandatory non-tradable points and the remaining 20 from tradable points.

What documents do I need to apply for skilled worker visa entry clearance?

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job’s occupation code
  • the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number - this will be on your certificate of sponsorship

Depending on your circumstances, you might also be asked to provide:

You’ll need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you are:

  • from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein but do not have a biometric passport with a chip in it

If your documents are not in English or Welsh you’ll also need to provide a certified translation.

Whar are the application validity requirements for skilled worker visa entry clearance?

An application for entry clearance for Skilled Worker visa must meet all the following requirements for validity of the application:

  • any fee and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) must have been paid; and
  • the applicant must have provided any required biometrics; and
  • the applicant must have provided a passport or other travel document which satisfactorily establishes their identity and nationality; and
  • the applicant must have a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) that was issued to them by their sponsor no more than 3 months before the date of application;
  • The applicant must be aged 18 or over on the date of application;
  • An applicant applying for entry clearance who has received an award from a Government or international scholarship agency in the 12 months before the date of application which covers both fees and living costs for study in the UK, must have provided written consent to the application from that Government or agency.

An application which does not meet the validity requirements for a Skilled Worker is invalid and may be rejected and not considered.

What is a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for Skilled Worker visa entry clearance application?

The applicant must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job they are planning to do; which to be valid must:

  • confirm the applicant’s name, that they are being sponsored as a Skilled Worker, details of the job and salary the sponsor is offering them and PAYE details if HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) requires income tax and National Insurance for the sponsored job to be paid via PAYE; and
  • if the application is for entry clearance, have been allocated by the Home Office to that sponsor for the specific job and salary details shown; and
  • include a start date, stated by the sponsor, which is no more than 3 months after the date of application; and
  • not have been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused (but can have been used in a previous application which was rejected as invalid, made void or withdrawn); and
  • not have been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office.
Is there any cooling off period for me to apply for Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK as I had Tier 2 General visa which just expired whilst I was outside the UK?

There is no cooling off period any more for you to apply for Skilled Worker visa from oustide the UK and you can apply for new Skilled Worker visa from outside the UK without any cooling off period.

FAQs - Switching Into Skilled Worker Visa

Can I switch from ICT visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from ICT or Tier 2 ICT visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK without any cooling off period. Your qualifying time for ILR will start from the time when you switch into Skilled Worker visa and you CANNOT combine the time previously spent on ICT visa when applying for ILR as a Skilled Worker.

Can I apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa using Priority or Super Priority Service?

You can apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa using Home Office UKVI Priority or Super Priority Service. If you apply using Priority Service, your application will be decided within 5 working days from the date of biometrics enrolment. If you apply using Super Priority Service, your application will normally be decided within 24 hours of biometrics enrolment.

Who is not permitted to switch into Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

You cannot apply to switch to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you are currently in the UK:

  • on a visit visa
  • on a short-term student visa
  • on a Parent of a Child Student visa
  • on a seasonal worker visa
  • on a domestic worker in a private household visa
  • on immigration bail
  • because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds

You must leave the UK and apply for a Skilled Worker visa from abroad if you are in one of the above listed visa categories.

Can I switch from Student visa to Skilled Worker visa without completing a degree course?

A student can switch into Skilled Worker visa without completing a degree course in the UK. However, if the student applies without completing a degree, the Student will not be able to apply as a new entrant unless the student is under the age of 26.

Can I switch from spouse visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

Yes, you can switch from spouse visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you are offered a skilled job by a UK employer holding Skilled Worker sponsor licence. If your prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence, we can provide the required legal help and assistance with an application for sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor your leave to remain under the Skilled Worker visa category.

Can I switch from Dependant visa to Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK?

If you are in the UK as a dependent partner of a Student or Worker visa holder, you can apply for switching into Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK if you have a job offer for a skilled job from a UK employer holding skilled worker sponsor licence.

If your prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence, we can provide the required legal help and assistance with an application for sponsor licence so that your employer is able to sponsor your leave to remain under the Skilled Worker visa category.

Can I work part time for my sponsor on Skilled Worker visa?

No, you cannot work part time on skilled worker visa. The job must be a full time job which means you should be sponsored to work for at least 30 hours per week. If you are sponsored to work for less than 30 hours per week, your application for Skilled Worker visa may be refused by the Home Office, UKVI.

FAQs - Extension Of Skilled Worker Visa

Can I apply for extension / renewal of my Skilleds Worker visa using Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours or Priority Service for decision within 5 working days?

You can renew / extend your Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK using Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) or using Priority Service (decision within 5 working days).

As specialist Skilled Worker visa solicitors, we can provide Super Priority Service or Priority Service for renewal of your Skilled Worker visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for extension / renewal of Skilled Worker visa?

To be eligible for extension of Skilled Worker visa / Tier 2 General visa, you should meet the following requirements:

  • You must be in the UK with leave to remain as a Tier 2 General migrant or as a Skilled Worker;
  • score 50 points from mandatory non-tradeable points;
  • score at least 20 points from tradeable points;
  • have have funds for maintenance in the UK or your Skilled Worker sponsor has certified your maintenance in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS);
  • meet the suitability criteria and not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
How many points do I need to score to qualify for extension / renewal of Skilled Worker visa?

A total of 70 points are required to be eligible to apply for extension of Skilled Worker visa / Tier 2 Generarl visa; 50 points from mandatory non-tradeable points and the remaining 20 from tradeable points.

How can I apply for renewal of my Skilled Worker visa if my new employer does not hold the skilled worker sponsor licence?

If your new or prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence for Skilled Worker visa, your employer can apply for Skilled Worker sponsor licence to be able to sponsor you for renewal of your Skilled Worker visa. Our expert team of Sponsor licence solicitors can provide the required legal help and assistance to your prospective employer with an application for Skilled Worker sponsor licence application.

How can I extend my Tier 2 General visa?

The Tier 2 General visa category has been replaced by the Skilled Worker visa. You can extend or renew your Tier 2 General visa by making an application under the Skilled Worker visa category. Your employer / sponsor should assign you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) so that you can apply for your visa renewal as a Skilled Worker.

What is the time limit to apply for renewal of Skilled Worker visa as a new entrant?

Applicants can be new entrants for a maximum of 4 years. The 4 years include time spent in any Tier 2 route or as a Skilled Worker, whether or not that permission was for a continuous period. An applicant cannot be considered as a new entrant for only part of the time they are applying for. If the applicant is applying for more than 4 years, or if granting the application would mean they would have more than 4 years’ permission in total (whether continuous or not) as a Tier 2 migrant and/or as a Skilled Worker, they cannot score tradeable points as a new entrant. They will need to score tradeable points in another way.  

What are my options if my application for renewal of Skilled Worker visa has been refused by the Home Office UKVI?

If your application for renewal / extension of Skilled Worker visa has been refused by the Home Office UKVI, you may have one of the following options available to you:

Option 1: You can file an Administrative Review (AR) against the refusal of your application if you believe that the Home Office caseworker has made a caseworking error in deciding your application for renewal of Skilled Wokrer visa. Our expert team of Skilled Worker visa solicitors can help you with your application for an Administrative Review (AR) of the Home Office UKVI refusal decision.

Option 2: You can submit a fresh application within 14 days (if your leave has already expired whilst the application was pending with the Home Office UKVI) by using a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) assigned by your employer to you. Our specialist skilled worker visa solicitors can provide the required legal help and assistance with your fresh application for extension of Skilled Worker visa after the refusal of your application.

Do I have to resign with my current employer before applying for extension of my Skilled Worker visa through my new employer?

No, you do not have to resign from your current job before applying for Skilled Worker visa extension through your new employer and you can resign and after you have been granted extension of your Skilled Worker visa.

If your application for Skilled Worker visa gets refused for any reasons, your current visa will remain intact and you can continue with your job with your current employer, if you so wish.

FAQs - Updating Skilled Worker Visa If You Change Your Job or Employer

Under what circumstances I need to apply to the Home Office UKVI to update my skilled worker visa?

You’ll need to apply to update your Skilled Worker or Tier 2 (General) work visa if:

  • you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer
  • your job changes to a different occupation code, and you’re not in a graduate training programme
  • you leave a job that’s on the shortage occupation list for a job that is not on the list
Do I need to apply for updating my skilled worker visa if I change my job with my current sponsor/employer?

If you will be doing a different job for your current employer, you only need to apply to update your visa if your new job is in a different occupation code.

Do I have to update my skilled worker visa if I am adding a second job to my current visa?

You must apply to update your visa if you take on a second job that is either:

  • more than 20 paid hours a week in addition to the job you’re being sponsored for
  • in a different occupation code

Your second job must meet the eligibility requirements and you’ll need a new certificate of sponsorship to prove this.

You do not need to apply to update your visa if you’re taking on additional work in the same occupation code or you’ll be doing less than 20 paid hours a week.

When can I apply to update my skilled worker visa?

You can apply to update your visa up to 3 months before the start date of your new job.

Can I continue working for my current employer / sponsor while my application for updating skilled worker visa is pending with the Home Office UKVI?

You can continue working in your current job while your new application is being considered, or to work out your notice period - as long as you apply before your current visa expires.

When can I start job with my new employer / sponsor?

You should not start your new job until you have got confirmation of your leave to remain as a skilled worker as a result of an application for updating skilled worker visa.

Can I lease the UK and travel abroad while my application for updating skilled worker visa is pending with the Home Office UKVI?

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

Can I apply for updating my skilled worker visa using Fast Track visa service?

You can apply for updating your Skilled Worker visa from inside the UK using Super Priority Service (decision within 24 hours) or using Priority Service (decision within 5 working days).

As specialist Skilled Worker visa solicitors, we can provide Super Priority Service or Priority Service for updating your Skilled Worker visa.

What are the eligibility requirements for updating my skilled worker visa?

To be eligible for updating Skilled Worker visa / Tier 2 General visa, you should meet the following requirements:

  • You must be in the UK with leave to remain as a Tier 2 General migrant or as a Skilled Worker;
  • Your must be either:
    • changing your job and your new job is with a different employer
    • changing your job to a different occupation code, and you are not in a graduate training programme
    • leaving a job that is on the shortage occupation list for a job that is not on the list
  • score 50 points from mandatory non-tradeable points;
  • score at least 20 points from tradeable points;
  • have have funds for maintenance in the UK or your Skilled Worker sponsor has certified your maintenance in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS);
  • meet the suitability criteria and not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
How many points do I need to score to qualify for updating my Skilled Worker visa?

A total of 70 points are required to be eligible to apply for updating Skilled Worker visa; 50 points from mandatory non-tradeable points and the remaining 20 from tradeable points.

How can I apply for updating my Skilled Worker visa if my new employer does not hold the skilled worker sponsor licence?

If your new or prospective employer does not hold the sponsor licence for Skilled Worker visa, your employer can apply for Skilled Worker sponsor licence to be able to sponsor you for updating your Skilled Worker visa.

Our expert team of Sponsor licence solicitors can provide the required legal help and assistance to your prospective employer with an application for Skilled Worker sponsor licence application.

Do I have to resign with my current employer before applying for updating my Skilled Worker visa through my new employer?

No, you do not have to resign from your current job before applying for updating your Skilled Worker visa through your new employer and you can resign after your application for updating skilled worker visa has been approved by the Home Office, UKVI.

If your application for Skilled Worker visa gets refused for any reasons, your current visa will remain intact and you can continue with your job with your current employer, if you so wish.

Can I extend my Tier 2 General or Skilled Worker visa beyond 6 years?

Following changes in the Immigration Rules with effect from 1 December 2020, there is no time limit set by the Home Office UKVI as to maximum period for which a person can extend his/her Skilled Worker visa. It is therefore possible for a person to extend Tier 2 General or Skilled Worker beyond 6 years if for any reasons an application for ILR cannot succeed for the time being and the extension application is the only option available.

FAQs - ILR Skilled Worker

When can I apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

You can apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker 28 days before you complete 5 years qualifying period for ILR.

How can I apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

You can apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker online using application form SET (O).

Can I apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker using Super Priority Service or Priority Service?

You can apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker using Super Priority Service for decision within 24 hours or using Priority Service for decision within 5 working days.

Our specialist team of Skilled Worker visa solicitors can provide expert legal help and assistance with your application for ILR as a Skilled Worker.

What is the qualifying period requirement for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

The applicant must have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK, consisting of time with permission in any of, or any combination of, the following routes:

  • Skilled Worker
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Global Talent
  • Innovator
  • T2 Minister of Religion / Tier 2 (Minister of Religion)
  • T2 Sportsperson / Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Representative of an Overseas Business
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 1 (General)

The most recent permission must have been in either the Skilled Worker or Tier 2 (General) route. An applicant does not need to have switched from Tier 2 (General) to Skilled Worker before applying for settlement as a Skilled Worker, as the definition of Skilled Worker in the Immigration Rules includes those with permission in the Tier 2 (General) route.

What is the continuous residence requirement for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

The applicant must meet the continuous residence requirement as set out in Appendix Continuous Residence during the qualifying period for ILR as a Skilled Worker / Tier 2 General Migrant.

Do I need to meet the Life in the UK test and English language requirement for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

To apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker, you must meet the Knowledge of Life in the UK requirement as set out in Appendix KOL UK.

You do not need to meet an English language requirement for settlement, as you will have met this requirement in your previous Skilled Worker visa application.

Can I combine time spent under ECAA Turkish Worker visa or Turkish ECAA Businessperson visa with time spent under Skilled Worker visa to apply for ILR as a Skilled Worker?

No, you are not allowed to combine time spent under ECAA Turkish Worker visa or ECAA Turkish Businessperson visa with time spent under Skilled Worker visa to apply for ILR after 5 years as a Skilled Worker. Your qualifying time for ILR as a Skilled Worker will start from scratch once you switch from ECAA Turkish Wroker visa or ECAA Turkish Businessperson visa to Skilled Worker visa.