Applying for a Skilled Worker visa

A Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. It is open to individuals wanting to work in the UK who have been offered an eligible job by an employer with an approved Sponsor Licence. 


What is a Skilled Worker Visa?

A Skilled Worker visa is available for skilled workers of all nationalities that have been offered a position from an eligible UK company who is a registered sponsor. This route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children. 

This visa can last up to 5 years before you need to apply for an extension and should be updated if you change jobs or employer. You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after working in the UK for 5 years on the Skilled Worker visa. 

The requirements for this visa are complex and therefore you should seek advice from an immigration specialist before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist business lawyers can advise you of the requirements specifically relating to you and ensure that the conditions of your employment are suitable to meet the Immigration rules. 

A Skilled Worker visa is available for skilled workers of all nationalities who have been offered a position from an eligible UK registered sponsor company. This route can lead to settlement and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

This visa can last up to five years before you need to apply for an extension and should be updated if you change jobs or employers. You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain after working in the UK for five years on the Skilled Worker visa.

The requirements for this visa are complex, so you should seek advice from an immigration specialist before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist business lawyers can advise you of the requirements specifically relating to you and ensure that the conditions of your employment are suitable to meet the immigration rules.

If you would like to learn more about how Latitude Law can help you call our team on 0044 161 234 680 or 0044 207 046 7185, complete our contact form and we will get in touch with you at a time that is convenient for you. 

Who is eligible for a Skilled Worker visa?

There are various requirements that must be met for this visa, relating to the job you undertake, the salary you will be paid, your English ability and your ability to maintain yourself during your stay.

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • Be aged 18 years or older;
  • Work for and have a Certificate of Sponsorship (issued no longer than 3 months prior to your application) from a UK company who is a registered sponsor;
  • Work a skilled job that is on the list of eligible occupations;
  • Be able to prove your knowledge of the English Language;
  • Be paid a yearly salary of £25,600 in most cases, yet workers may be paid less where they have other recognised attributes called ‘tradable points’ or work a job on the shortage occupation list;
  • Have cash funds of at least £1,270 available unless you have an ‘A-rated’ sponsor who is willing to meet your maintenance costs up to the end of the first month of your employment.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances. You may want to discuss your Skilled Worker application with an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

What are the requirements of the employer?

In order to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, your employer (/sponsor) must have assigned you a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Employers can only assign a CoS if they are registered sponsor licence holders.

The CoS needs to be issued within the 3 months prior to you submitting your Skilled Worker visa application.

How we can help

The expert solicitors at Latitude Law can provide expert advice on all aspects of UK Skilled Worker visa applications. We can provide detailed guidance about the requirements, or prepare the entire application alongside a detailed representation document explaining how the relevant rules are met. Our experts can also provide assistance in applications to switch to the Skilled Worker route from another category, extend your leave or apply for settlement.

Why choose Latitude Law?

Latitude Law has extensive knowledge in all aspects of immigration, human rights, and nationality law. Our experienced solicitors have assisted clients with some of the most complex issues that can arise from visa applications, extensions and switching into other categories.

We have the largest immigration team in the North West and work tirelessly to ensure all of the necessary steps are completed to the highest standard. We are recognised as a leading immigration law firm by the Legal 500.

Contact Us

As the requirements for this visa are complex, you should seek specialist advice from an immigration solicitor before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist lawyers can advise you about the requirements specifically related to you and ensure that the conditions of your employment are compliant with the immigration rules.

If you would like to learn more about how Latitude Law can help you, call our team on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or complete our contact form and we will get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.

Skilled Worker Visa FAQs

Can I switch into the Skilled Worker category?

You are permitted to switch into the Skilled Worker route from most longer-term immigration categories. The usual exceptions apply:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Parent of child student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Domestic worker in a private household
  • Leave outside the Immigration Rules

Read the full guide to switching from inside the UK here.

How long does a Skilled Worker visa last?

As long as required; there is no longer a cap on the time someone can spend in the UK as a skilled worker.  Settlement becomes a possibility after 5 years.

Can I extend my Skilled Worker visa?

You can usually apply to extend a Skilled Worker visa if all the following are true:

  • You have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • Your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • You’re still working for the employer who gave you your current CoS

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

Read more about extending your skilled worker visa here.

I am in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa as a high earner, but my salary has been reduced to an amount below the high earner threshold. What should I do?

If your salary is reduced to a level below the higher rate threshold, a new Skilled Worker application must be made. This must be supported by a CoS, and the genuine nature of the job must be shown if required. There must also be strong justification provided to explain the salary reduction.

Our experts

What our clients say…

Successful visa application for wife of British citizen

Latitude Law is the best immigration law firm that I have ever come across. The quality of service & professionalism from Katerina, Alexandra, Natasha & Anna is out of this world. They invested time to make sure the application was successful & I received the decision exceptionally quickly. I can't thank them enough. If you are looking for an immigration firm to deal with your visa, Latitude Law is the best ever. Special thanks to Mr Gary - star of the immigration world!
Mr Malekzada
April 2024

Complex British Nationality Application

"Many thanks to the amazing Latitude Law team, especially Katerina Woodcock, Gary McIndoe and Anna Sullivan, for expertly handling my passport application. Mine was a very complicated and multifaceted case, but thanks to the wonderful Latitude Law, I succeeded in getting my passport in a timely manner and would definitely recommend Latitude Law for any immigration or citizenship matters. When working with them, you can rest assured that you are in good hands."
Ms B
February 2024

Administrative Review

"I would like to thank Jessica Lee and Natasha Willett for their excellent work over the last couple
of years. They have helped me secure permanent residence status in the UK and their professionalism
has been second to none throughout the process. What really impressed me is that they were prepared to
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and easy to work with. Needless to say, I can highly recommend this law firm and would definitely go back to
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Mr Tom F
January 2024

All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/10/2022.