What do you need to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK?

If you want to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK, you must check first whether you meet a number of conditions, three of which are the most important for the purpose of this article.

First requirement: an eligible occupation

The first condition is to have an eligible occupation for a Skilled Worker visa. Occupations eligible for such a visa are listed on the UK government website here. If you do not have an occupation listed there, you will need to explore other routes, if any are available, to immigrate to the UK. Skilled Worker Visa is not for you.

Second requirement: a sponsor licensed by the Home Office

The second condition, assuming the first is met, is that you have received a job offer (in the form of a Certificate of Sponsorship, a digital certificate issued by the prospective employer) from an organisation licensed to sponsor workers on this immigration route. Employers licensed to act as sponsors for skilled workers are those on this permanently updated register published on the UK government website. Therefore, not any employer based in the UK can make you a job offer. You need an employer listed in the register of licensed sponsors.

Great attention must be paid to the frauds that can occur. There are so-called employers on the internet who make false job offers and who obviously have no other purpose than to collect various amounts of money from people who want to obtain a skilled worker visa. If such an “employer” is not in the register on the government website, then the job offer and the requested fees are methods of deceiving people of good faith. A genuine licensed sponsor will not even charge you “fees”, but will probably seek to provide support in obtaining your visa.

Third requirement: knowledge of the English language

You must prove either that you have obtained a (post-)graduate degree from an educational institution in the UK (or from another country if the studies were in English) or that you have passed an English language test at least at intermediate B1 level (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The test must be passed in all 4 components – reading, writing, speaking and listening. 

You will meet the English language requirement if you have already met the requirement, at the level required for your current application, in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

You will also meet the English language requirement if you are a national of any of the majority-English-speaking countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, The British Overseas Territories, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America).

Doctors and nurses, in order to receive the right to practice in the UK, must pass an English language exam specific to the respective professions, according to the rules established by the General Medical Council or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. That test will also be sufficient for the Skilled Worker visa, no separate test will need to be passed.

I am here to help

If you want to apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.


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