What is a skilled worker visa? - | Hudson McKenzie

What is a skilled worker visa?

January 12, 2021 | Immigration, UK Government

The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. It allows people from outside of the UK to obtain work with an approved employer in an eligible job in the UK.

If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and you have been in the UK before 31st December 2020, then you may be able to apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. 

If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you have been in the UK since 1st January 2021 and you want to live and work in the UK, you will need to apply for the Skilled Worker visa.


  • You must work for a UK employer which holds a sponsor licence
  • You should have a “certification of sponsorship”
  • You should do a job which is on the list of eligible occupations 
  • You should be paid a minimum salary
  • Depending on where you are from, you may need an approved English language test

This is a point based visa and 70 points must be gained to be eligible. 

What is an approved job?

In order to be eligible for the Skilled Worker visa, you should fill a job which is on the eligible occupations list. This list is in place to make sure that a person is doing a skilled job in the UK. An employer should show that they are unable to employ a UK national or someone settled in the UK and therefore must search further afield to find someone to fill the role that they need. 

Therefore, the list mainly consists of managerial roles or qualified positions. All jobs are given a Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) with a specific skill qualification level and salary level.  

What is a minimum salary?

The minimum salary requirement for skilled workers depends on the occupation.

The salary will be either £25,600 or the “going rate” for that occupation, whichever is higher.

The immigration rules outline the salary levels for each occupation, however, the absolute minimum salary under this route is £20,480, which would be considered by “trading” other requirements. 

For more information on salaries and your specific situation, please contact us.

What is a sponsor licence?

Employers require a sponsor licence if they are hiring non-settled workers from outside of the UK. They will need to make an application and if granted, will then be supervised by the Home Office and must adhere to Home Office rules when employing a migrant worker.

The employer has certain duties and responsibilities under the rules such as: ensuring that skilled workers have the correct qualifications, assign certificates of sponsorship, monitor employees, record attendance, report problems to the Home Office. A full list of responsibilities can be found in the sponsor licence guidance.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice, if you require legal advice on this matter please contact one of our professionals at Hudson McKenzie. 

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.