Skip to content

COVID-19

Our team are fully operational and here to help. We can advise/represent you by telephone, email, video call or face to face in essential circumstances. Please contact us by email or call Molly on 0191 232 9547.

Close

How can we help?

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt

The new work visa routes apply to all non-UK nationals wishing to come to work in the UK from 1 January 2021.


Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa enables overseas workers to the UK to work. It replaces Tier 2 (General). It has similar features to its predecessor in requiring employers to have a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office to sponsor a worker.

The skill level is lowered from RQF Level 6 to RQF Level 3 (equivalent to A level) and the salary threshold for most jobs reduced from £30,000 to £25,600 so making a wider range of occupations now eligible for a work visa.

Key features of the new points-based system

  • Having a job offer from an employer with a Sponsor Licence
  • Having a job at the required skill level
  • Speaking English
  • Being paid the relevant minimum salary
  • Having funds for maintenance

Sponsor licence required

Employers are required to have a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office. There is now no need for an employer to undertake a recruitment search ahead of sponsoring an overseas worker. They must issue a certificate of sponsorship to a worker which confirms that their job meets the required skill and salary level.

Required Skill level

The skill level for the Skilled Worker visa is RQF Level 3 (equivalent to A level).

Occupations that now qualify are listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations.

Speaking English

Workers must demonstrate that they speak English at CEFR level B1. They can do this by passing an approved test or having a degree taught in English. Some nationalities are exempt.

Relevant minimum salary

This is £25,600 per annum or the going rate for their particular job, whichever is higher.

Earning this will score the 20 points required. Earning less than this will score lower points. However, provided the salary is at or exceeds the minimum threshold of £20,480 points are “tradeable”. This enables the required 20 points to be made up by other attributes such as being under 26, switching from a student visa or undertaking a shortage or PhD level occupation.

Employer Maintenance

The required funds must be held for 28 days or be certified by an employer.

There is an exemption for those already in the UK for 12 months or more.

UK Settlement

After 5 years in the UK in the Skilled Worker route or a permitted combination of this and previous work or business visas, a worker can apply to settle in the UK.

Dependants

Workers can bring their partner and children under 18 to live in the UK as dependants.

Intra-Company Transfer

The Intra-Company transfer route enables established staff and Graduate Trainees to be transferred by a parent company outside the UK to work for a UK entity. It replaces Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) route and also requires employers to have a Sponsor Licence from the Home Office to sponsor a worker.

Established staff

Established staff can be transferred to undertake a job at RQF Level 6 or above (degree level).

They must have worked for the parent company outside the UK for a minimum of 12 months unless they are high earners (over £73,900 per year). They must be paid at least £41,500 per year.

Graduate Trainees

Graduate Trainees can be transferred as part of a graduate training programme for a managerial or specialist role. They must have worked for the parent company outside the UK for a minimum of 3 months. They must be paid at least £23,000 per year.

Length of visa

Employers can bring workers to the UK for up to 5 years in any 6 year period or up to 9 years in any 10 year category for high earners. This route does not however lead to settlement for workers.

Dependants

Workers can bring their partner and children under 18 to live in the UK as dependants.

Our Fees

In accordance with rules published by the SRA, as of December 2018 all firms offering this type of work must publish details of prices and personnel undertaking the work.  Please see our dedicated fees page for more information.

If you’d like some more advice about your options for working in the UK or about sponsoring skilled workers please contact  Molly Beattie by telephone on 0191 232 9547 (ext. 1306) or contact her by email to molly.beattie@davidgray.co.uk

The David Gray Work Visas Team

Bryony Rest

Bryony Rest

Partner

Irfan Ali

Solicitor

Search the site

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt