A Skilled Worker Visa Walk Through
A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.
To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must:
- work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
- do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do
How much it costs:
When you apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to have enough money to:
- pay the application fee - the standard fee ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on your circumstances
- pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 per year
- support yourself when you arrive in the UK - you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)
You’ll pay a lower application fee if your job is on the shortage occupation list.
You’ll be told how much you need to pay when you apply.
If you’re applying from outside the UK, the standard fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:
- up to 3 years - £610 per person
- more than 3 years - £1,220 per person
If you’re applying from inside the UK to extend, switch or update your visa, the standard fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:
- up to 3 years - £704 per person
- more than 3 years - £1,408 per person
You and your family will pay a lower application fee if your job is on the shortage occupation list.
The fee for each person applying is:
- £464 if you’re staying for up to 3 years
- £928 if you’re staying for more than 3 years
The fee is the same whether you’re applying from inside or outside the UK.
You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK.
You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.
You’ll usually need to show proof of this when you apply, unless either:
- you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months
- your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270
The Cost for the Health and Care Worker Visa
The standard application fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:
- up to 3 years - £232 per person
- more than 3 years - £464 per person
These fees are for the Health and Care Worker visa which is the category IMGs will come under when applying for the Skilled Worker visa. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.
Documents you'll need to apply:
- 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
Other documents you might need. Depending on your circumstances, you might be asked to provide:
You’ll need a blank page in your passport for your visa if you’re:
- 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.
Criminal record certificate
You’ll need to provide a criminal record certificate if you’re applying from outside the UK and you work in:
- education, for example teachers, education advisers and school inspectors, childminders, teaching assistants
- healthcare, for example nurses, doctors, paramedics, managers, pharmacists, dentists and dental nurses, ophthalmic opticians
- therapy, for example psychologists, speech and language therapists, counsellors
- social services, for example social workers, managers, probation officers, welfare and housing officer
If you’ve lived in more than one country
- You might need to provide a certificate from each country you’ve lived in, depending on your age and how long you stayed in each country.
- If you’re under 28, you’ll need a certificate from any country you’ve stayed in for a total of 12 months or more since you turned 18.
- If you’re 28 or over, you’ll need a certificate from any country you’ve stayed in over the last 10 years.
Extend your visa
You can usually apply to extend a Skilled Worker visa or a Tier 2 (General) work visa if all of 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 certificate of sponsorship
How Can We Help?
If you’re an international doctor that has any questions regarding the skilled worker visa or if you are still looking for a position within the NHS please email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.
Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of vlogs and blogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!
Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go to IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.