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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 [i.e. they hold a 'Sponsor Licence']

  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ [COS] from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK [such as salary, hours of work, place of work, job SOC code]

  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations [the Home Office publish this information online]

  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do [this would normally be at least £26,200 per annum unless you qualify to use tradeable points to compensate for a lower salary]

With a Skilled Worker visa you can:

  • work in an eligible job [not all jobs/occupations are of the right skill level]

  • study [as long as it doesn't interfere with your hours of work]

  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible [durable partners, spouses, children you have sole responsibility for]

  • take on additional work in certain circumstances [over and above your job]

  • do voluntary work 

  • travel abroad and return to the UK [if authorised by employer]

  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements [such as Life in the UK test and English language]


You cannot:

  • apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension [until after you settle permanently]

  • change jobs or employer unless you apply to update your visa [although if your new employer sponsors you, you can switch without leaving the UK]

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