Navigating the skilled worker application process: what should you consider relocating to the UK

18th June 2024

To relocate to the UK using a Skilled Worker application, candidates must first consider whether they are eligible, investigate the fees, and learn how to put together a high-quality application. 

With the help of an immigration lawyer, this can be an incredibly efficient process. However, without a lawyer, there is a much higher chance of application rejection.

Read on to find out how to submit an accurate UK Skilled Worker application that allows you to successfully relocate to the UK.

Overview of the UK Skilled Worker Visa

With a successful Skilled Worker Visa application, you can move your career to the UK, and even bring your immediate family with you.

This UK Work Visa, which has replaced the Tier 2 (General) Work Visa, allows individuals with eligible occupations to be sponsored to live and work in the UK by an approved employer. They may stay for up to 5 years before they need to renew their visa.

Who Qualifies for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

To have a UK Skilled Worker application approved, the foreign worker must:

  • Work in a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
  • Have a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) and a confirmed job offer from a UK employer
  • Be paid a minimum salary
  • Have a working knowledge of English
  • Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office

How Much Does the Skilled Worker Visa UK Cost?

To be eligible for this Work Visa, candidates must have at least £1,270 in savings in order to support themselves financially in the UK. 

The application fee for Skilled Worker Visa  is between £719 to £1,639, with a healthcare surcharge of £1,035 per year.

How to Get Skilled Worker Visa in UK

You need to fill in the online Skilled Worker Visa application up to 3 months before your expected first day of work in the UK. Supporting documents will need to be provided as part of this application. All applicants are asked to provide:

  • Valid passport or other document showing identity and nationality
  • Proof of knowledge of English
  • Job occupation code
  • Employer’s name and sponsor licence number
  • Certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • Job title and annual salary
  • Certified translations of documents (if the original is not in English or Welsh)

Other requested documents may include:

  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Proof of relationship with partner or children (if dependants are applying to live in the UK)
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Proof of sufficient personal savings 
  • UK PhD certificate or unique Ecctis reference number
  • Valid ATAS certificate 

Once the applicant has submitted the forms, they can expect a decision from the Home Office within 3 weeks (for those outside of the UK) or 8 weeks (for those living in the UK).

How to Bring Dependants to the UK With a Skilled Worker Visa

The children and/or partner of a Skilled Worker Visa applicant can also move to the UK by filling out their own application, which can be linked to the primary application via a family linking code.

Partners must have been in a relationship with the applicant for at least 2 years, including a marriage or civil partnership. If they are not living with the applicant, they must provide evidence of their commitment to the relationship, in the form of documents demonstrating financial support, time spent together, or regular communication.

Children can move to the UK as the Skilled Worker Visa holder’s dependants if they are under 18 years old (or over 18, unmarried and living with the parent).

Common Mistakes in the UK Skilled Worker Visa Application

One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying for this visa is not checking the eligibility requirements carefully. If any requirements are not met, the application will be rejected. The same goes for missing out certain supporting documents, or providing inaccurate documents. 

Another common mistake is applying for the UK Skilled Worker Visa too late. If the application is submitted any later than 3 months before the start date of the job, the candidate will be informed that they cannot obtain the visa.

Individuals who wish to bring their dependants to the UK sometimes make the mistake of not researching this thoroughly. Dependants must submit separate visa applications, and they can only join the primary applicant if their application has been approved by the Home Office.

Skilled Worker Visa Changes 2024

As of the 4th April 2024, the general salary requirement for Skilled Worker Visa holders is £38,700, which represents a 48% from the former threshold of £26,200. This means anyone with a proposed salary that is lower than £38,700 will no longer be eligible for this scheme.

The other eligibility requirements remain the same, so applicants should not hesitate to apply if they fulfil all conditions.

Finding a Professional Immigration Lawyer

Professional immigration lawyers guide candidates through the UK Skilled Worker Visa application process, helping them to understand the visa, submit accurate forms and documents, and complete each stage of the application before the set deadlines.

Without this fantastic support, applicants may find it difficult to keep on top of the application, given the demanding nature of the Skilled Worker Visa route.