ONELAW CHAMBERS IMMIGRATION NEWS: How to apply and obtain settlement in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route

21/03/2021 | Immigration News | Aejaz Mussa

ONELAW CHAMBERS IMMIGRATION NEWS: How to apply and obtain settlement in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route

Since 1 January 2021, the UK Government has made wholesale changes to the immigration system in the UK introducing a new Points Based System under the Skilled Worker Visa Route replacing the former Tier 2 (General) Work Visa. The Skilled Worker Visa scheme applied to both non-EU nationals and EU nationals that have entered the UK since the scheme was introduced on 1 January 2021. In order to qualify and be successfully granted the Skilled Worker Visa, the Applicant must achieve a total score of 70 points comprising of 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points. In order to settle in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route, the Applicant must have remained in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route for a continuous period of 5 years.     

 

What is the Skilled Worker Visa Route?

The UK Skilled Worker Visa Route is a new Points Based System under the Immigration Rules that had replaced the old Tier 2 (General) Visa routes for working in the UK. The UK Home Office has published a list of occupations that qualify for the Skilled Worker Visa Route, which are usually high-ranking managerial positions or highly skilled professional occupations. Each qualifying job is assigned an occupation code and the eligible job must be specified under the relevant occupation code to qualify for the Skilled Worker Visa Route. You can the full list of occupations and the occupation codes in the Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Occupations.

 

What are the requirements under the Skilled Worker Visa Route?

The requirements under the Skilled Worker Visa Route are split into 4 stages:

 

  1. The Validity Requirement: In order for your Skilled Worker Visa application to be valid, the UK Home Office must be satisfied that:
  • You have applied using the proper prescribed form for the Skilled Worker Visa;
  • You are aged 18 or over at the time of the application;
  • You have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a registered Sponsor issued no more than 3 months before the date of your application;
  • You have provided your passport or other travel document which confirms your identity and nationality;
  • You have provided any required biometrics; and
  • You have paid the application fees and the Immigration Health Charge fees.

 

PLEASE NOTE that: you cannot apply in the UK and switch into the Skilled Worker Visa if your last grant of permission was in the following visa categories:

  • Visitor;
  • Short-Term Student;
  • Parent of a Child Student;
  • Seasonal Worker;
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household; or
  • Any other visa granted outside the Immigration Rules.

  

  1. The Suitability Requirement: In order to meet the Suitability Requirement for your Skilled Worker Visa Application, your application must not fall for refusal under the General Grounds for Refusal under the Immigration Rules and you must not be in breach of the Immigration Rules, an overstayer or on immigration bail.
     
  2. The Eligibility Requirement: In order to be eligible to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa, you need to achieve a score of 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points, giving a total score of 70 points under the Skilled Worker Visa Points Based System. We have explained how to achieve these points below.
     
  3. The Financial Requirement: The Financial Requirement for the Skilled Worker Visa can be met by either: the Sponsor certifying on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will maintain and accommodate the applicant up to the end of the first month of their employment to an amount of at least £1,270.00; or the applicant is able to show he/she has funds of at least £1,270.00 for a consecutive period of 28 days prior to the date of the application.  

 

How do you achieve the Mandatory 50 Points under Skilled Worker Visa Route? 

As explained above, the 70 points under the Skilled Worker Visa Route comprise of 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points. The 50 mandatory points are awarded as follows: 

  • 20 points for Sponsorship;
  • 20 points for Job at an appropriate skill level; and
  • 10 points for English language at minimum level B1 or above.

 

Sponsorship – 20 Points:

In order to be granted 20 points for Sponsorship, your application must be sponsored by a Sponsor that is registered with the UK Home Office on the Register of Licensed Sponsors. You must check that your Sponsor is registered on the Register of Licensed Sponsor before you apply. If your Sponsor has not yet obtained a UK Sponsor Licence, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers can help your Sponsor apply for a UK Sponsor Licence. Please see our article on“Apply for a UK Sponsor Licence to employ overseas workers in the UK since the changes introduced on 1 January 2021” for more information. 

 

In addition, the UK Home Office must be satisfied that:

  • You have provided a valid Certificate of Sponsorship;
  • The Sponsor must be authorised by the UK Home Office to sponsor the job in question under the Skilled Worker Visa Route;
  • The Sponsor must be listed as an A-rated Sponsor on the Register of Licensed Sponsors;
  • The Sponsor must have paid in full any required Immigration Skills Charge;
  • There are no reasonable grounds to believe that the job is not genuine, does not exist, is a sham or is one of convenience; and
  • There are no reasonable grounds to believe that the job amounts to a hire of the applicant for a third party who is not the Sponsor or amounts to contract work to undertake a routine role or provide a routine service for a third party who is not the Sponsor. 

 

Job at Appropriate Skill Level – 20 Points:
In order to be granted 20 points for a Job at an appropriate skill level, your application must be sponsored for a job in eligible job occupation code listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. The Sponsor must choose an appropriate job occupation code and the UK Home Office must not have reasonable grounds to believe that the Sponsor has chosen a less appropriate job occupation code for any of the following reasons:

 

  • The most appropriate job occupation code is not eligible under the Skilled Worker Visa Route;
  • The most appropriate job occupation code has a higher going rate than the proposed salary;
  • The most appropriate job occupation code is not a shortage occupation and the applicant is claiming points for a job in a shortage occupation; or
  • The most appropriate job occupation code is not listed as eligible for PhD points in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations and the applicant is claimed points for an educational qualification.

 

The UK Home Office can also apply a Genuine Vacancy consideration to the application and refuse the application if it is not satisfied that:

  • The Sponsor has shown a genuine need for the job as described;
  • The Applicant has the appropriate skills, qualification and experience needed to do the job as described;
  • The Sponsor’s poor history of compliance with the Immigration System including but not limited to paying its sponsored workers appropriately; and
  • Any additional information provided by the Sponsor which demonstrates that there is no genuine vacancy for the job.

 

English Language – 10 points:

In order to be granted 10 points for English Language, your application must be supported by a recognised English Language test from a UK Home Office approved provider that shows that you have achieved in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) at least CEFR level B1 or above.

 

   How do you achieve the Tradeable 20 Points under Skilled Worker Visa Route?

The UK Home Office has provided 6 Tradeable Options in order to achieve the additional 20 Tradeable Points needed to be granted the Skilled Worker Visa, which is the mainly to do with the required Salary Level for the job. These options are as follows:

 

  • Option A: The salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £25,600 per annum and the going rate for the occupation code;

 

  • Option B: If the applicant is relying on an educational qualification for the job, then: the job must be listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations as being eligible for PhD points; the applicant must have a UK PhD or other doctoral qualification or its overseas equivalent; the Sponsor must provide a credible explanation of how the qualification is relevant to the job; and the salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £23,040 per annum and 90% of the going rate for the occupation code;

 

  • Option C: If the applicant is relying on an educational qualification in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) subject, then: the Sponsor must provide a credible explanation that the qualification in question is a STEM subject; and the salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £20,480 per annum and 80% of the going rate for the occupation code;

 

  • Option D: If the applicant is relying on a job on the Shortage Occupation List, then: the job at the time of the application must be listed on the Shortage Occupation List; and the salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £20,480 per annum and 80% of the going rate for the occupation code;

 

  • Option E: If the applicant is relying on a job as a new entrant, then: the applicant must be aged 26 year or under on the date of the application; the job must be for a postdoctoral position under qualifying job occupation codes; the job must be in a UK regulated profession and the applicant must be working towards a recognised professional qualification for that profession; the applicant must be working towards full or chartered status with the relevant professional body; the applicant’s most recent visa was a Student visa; the Student visa expired less than 2 years before the application; the applicant studied a qualifying course; the applicant has either completed the course or is applying no more than 3 months before the course is expected to complete; and the salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £20,480 per annum and 70% of the going rate for the occupation code; and

 

  • Option F: If the applicant is relying on a job listed in a health or education occupation, then: the salary for the job being sponsored must equal or exceed both a minimum of £20,480 per annum and the going rate for the occupation code; and if job is in the occupation code for Nurses or Midwives, the salary can be temporarily less than £20,480 per annum for a period up to 8 months whilst the applicant is working towards achieving full NMC registration.        

 

If you fail to satisfy the requirements for the 20 Tradeable Points, then your application will be refused.

 

  How to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa? 

It is important for you to take legal advice from our experienced Immigration Solicitors and Barristers to ensure that you are applying under the correct immigration route, with the correct supporting documents and that you meet all the eligibility requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa. The reason why this is so important is that if you are unsuccessful in applying under the Skilled Worker Visa Route, you may have to apply for it again causing significant delay and costs for you.

 

 How much does the Skilled Worker Visa Cost?

The application fees for the Skilled Worker Visa Route are as follows:

  • For outside the UK applications, the fees are £610.00 per applicant for up to 3 years and £1,220.00 per applicant for more than 3 years.
  • For inside the UK, extension or switching applications, the fees are £704.00 per applicant for up to 3 years and £1,408.00 per applicant for more than 3 years.
  • These fees are reduced if the job is on the Shortage Occupation List to £464.00 per applicant for up to 3 years and £928.00 per applicant for more than 3 years.
  • These fees are further reduced by £55.00 if the applicant is from one of the qualifying countries.

 

In addition the above application fees, you will have to pay the Immigration Health Charge fees at around £624.00 per year and show that you can meet the Financial Requirement.

 

 How to settle in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route?

In order to settle in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route, you need to have remained in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa Route or in combination with other qualifying work and business visa routes for a continuous period of 5 years.

 

 Make a Skilled Worker Visa Route Application with OneLaw Chambers

At OneLaw Chambers, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist with Immigration and Visa applications in order for applicants to relocate to and settle in the UK.  We have assisted many foreign nationals to prepare and submit successful Immigration and Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world. We are well equipped to prepare and submit your Skilled Worker Visa Route application.

 

Whether you require expert immigration advice on the requirements of the Immigration Rules, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for the Skilled Worker Visa Route or professional immigration representation with preparing your Skilled Worker Visa Route application, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers can help you.

 

We are committed to ensuring that our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill so that a successful outcome is achieved every time. Our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.


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