More Information on Immigration Status 'Skilled Worker'
This is the main employment route to use if you are wishing to take up full-time employment in the UK. You can accept a full-time employment opportunity, so long as the job offer is from an employer sponsored by the Home Office to employ overseas workers and the job is on the approved list of skilled occupations or shortage occupation list. You must have the job offer in place before you apply. The job offer must meet certain skill and salary requirements to be successfully granted a Skilled Worker status.
If the employer is sponsored by the Home Office, their details will appear on a list of registered sponsors on the gov.uk website. Check this list to ensure they appear here before you rely on their job offer for your immigration application. The employer will issue you a certificate of sponsorship which you will use to support your application.
The Skilled Worker status is tied to your employer, which means you must work for the sponsored employer and you would not be able to move to another employer under the same status. If you want to move your main employment to another employer, then you will need to apply for a new Skilled Worker status.
In some cases you will need to prove that you can maintain yourself. This means you need to evidence £1,270 of funds held in a bank account for at least 28 days at the date of your application. This maintenance can be met by the employer, if the employer is willing to meet it. If you are applying to stay in the UK for more than 12 months you do not need to evidence maintenance.
The Skilled Worker route also permits “new entrants” to obtain this status if you are under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training. This does not mean someone applying for their first skilled worker status but refers to the less stringent criteria that can be applied to certain persons. The idea of the new entrant category is to allow younger people or those at the start of their career the ability to come to the UK even though they may not yet possess the necessary skills of a Skilled Worker or be able to meet the higher salary levels. This means those under the age of 26 might have more favourable requirements to be met.
How long can I stay in the UK?
You will need to extend or update your status before it expires or if you change jobs or employer. You can extend your status as many times as you like so long as you still meet the relevant requirements. You may be eligible to apply for settlement after 5 years of being in the UK as a Skilled Worker if you meet all the conditions. To be granted indefinite leave to remain you must still be required by the employer and must be earning the going rate unless their job is in shortage occupation at which stage the minimum salary is £20,480. So, make sure you understand the requirements leading up to settlement so that when you are ready to apply for it, you can do so successfully.
Can I switch into another status from within the UK?
Yes, you are able to switch into certain alternative immigration statues from a Skilled Worker while you are in the UK. If you have Pre-Settled Status and you will not be eligible for Settled Status, you can consider applying for a Skilled Worker status if you meet its requirements.
How much does this cost?
The immigration fees depends on where you are applying from and how long you will be staying in the UK. It will also depend on if the job is in shortage occupation. For example, if you’re applying from outside the UK and will be staying in the UK for more than 3 years you will pay £1,220. You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. This is a fixed fee you pay for each year of your residence in the UK, the current fee is £624 per year. For example, if you are applying for a 5-year Skilled Worker status you will be paying £3,120 online when you apply for your status.
Can my family members join me in the UK?
Family members (husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner and dependent children) may be able to accompany you or join you in the UK later. Your family members will need to make their own individual applications and meet the requirements for their applications.