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Skilled Worker Visa - This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa

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Skilled Worker Visa

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.

Frequently asked questions

Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.
  • This route is for skilled workers with a job offer.

    You will need to meet the minimum salary requirements according to the vacancy you will fill. CLICK HERE to check minimum salary.

    This requires applicants to have been provided with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from an employer who is registered on the sponsor register.

    The applicant must have completed (or be applying no more than 3 months before they are expected to complete) the course. An exception applies to PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, where the applicant must have completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards the qualification.

    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 OR your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270

    It is important to note that the skilled worker route ties you into one job and one employer for the duration of that visa's validity.

    Your employer will act as a sponsor and will therefore have a legal obligation to the Home Office to report on your attendance and compliance under this category.

    After 5 years of being in the UK under this route, and, if you meet the minimum salary requirements at that time, you will be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK, provided other conditions are met.

  • There is a special provision under the Skilled Worker category for applicants who are currently here on a Tier 4 / Student visa are considered as an applicant as a new entrant

    A “new entrant” means a new entrant to the labour market, in other words someone who is near the start of their career, who meets certain criteria. It does not mean an applicant who is making their first Skilled Worker application or entering the UK for the first time.

    the applicant must have been sponsored to study one of the following courses (not any other qualifications of an equivalent level):
    • a UK bachelor’s degree
    • a UK master’s degree
    • a UK PhD or other doctoral qualification;
    • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
    The applicant must have completed (or be applying no more than 3 months before they are expected to complete) the course. An exception applies to PhDs and other doctoral qualifications, where the applicant must have completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards the qualification.

  • As you can apply for a Skilled worker visa within the 3 months of your expected course completion date, you are only required to submit a letter which would confirm your expected course completion date. You can generate and download this student status letter using Student records online.

    If for some reason your employer disagrees then please refer them to Page 37 point 6 of the Skilled worker policy guidance


    If you have made the Skilled Worker application after completing your course, but you are still awaiting results that will confirm that you have passed, and therefore, used a COURSE COMPLETION LETTER (requested by your academic department), you will not be able to start your full-time job until:

    1. The Home Office grants your Skilled Worker visa;
    2. You have brought your new Skilled Worker visa to our Reception to update your immigration records at the University and to discharge you from the work permission attached to a Tier 4 / Student visa.
      • This is because as long as you apply before your previous leave expires, you remain subject to the conditions of your previous leave while you wait for a decision.
      • Please check our working during and after studies page.
  • If your Tier 4 / Student visa was issued for the purposes of studying a full-time degree-level course at a recognised body or an institution in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution (the University of Warwick is such an institution), you can start work with your sponsoring employer before receiving a decision on your skilled worker application if you have successfully completed your course and received the award

    This allows you to start a full-time permanent job, which is usually not allowed before your Skilled Worker leave is granted.

    You should still discuss this with your Skilled worker sponsoring employer before starting a full-time permanent job.

    Even if you could start your skilled worker job before your immigration permission is granted, your employer might not want you to do this as it could lead to problems if your skilled worker application is not successful.

    Your employer will let you know when you can start your job.

  • If you submit your skilled worker visa application online and pay the visa application fees before your Tier 4 / Student visa expiry date, you will be covered by Section 3C leave.

    Section 3C of the 1971 Immigration Act states that the conditions attached to your previous leave will continue to apply if you have applied before the leave expires until a decision is made on your visa application.

    This means you are not considered an overstayer after your visa expiry date as Section 3C leave essentially extends your Tier 4 / Student visa validity until you receive your skilled worker visa

Quick links

Home Office - Skilled Worker Visa

Home Office - Policy Guidance used by UKVI caseworker

Post-study work visa options Workshop - Express your Interest

Working options - During and after studies