UK Skilled Worker Visa 2023 – How to qualify and apply

With an overall shortage of workers in a range of sectors, the UK continues to look overseas to fill a wide variety of jobs in locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Despite some anticipating that migration would decline following the end of visa-free work migration from the EU when the UK left the bloc in 2020, the number of people entering the country on working visas or as their dependents remains high.

With its history of immigration of people from around the world, well-established multicultural communities in all areas of the country, and English as the main language, the UK is an extremely attractive option for skilled workers looking for the opportunity to broaden their horizons and gain valuable  professional and life experience.

There are a range of visa options available to those who want to live and work in the UK. While specialist visas exist, such as those for individuals wanting to enter the UK Health and Social Care sector or as a Seasonal Worker, for many people intending to work in the UK the best UK visa for them will often be the Skilled Worker Visa.

If you would like personalised advice on which UK work visa is right for your specific plans and circumstances, book a consultation with our team today.

How to qualify for a UK Skilled Worker Visa in 2023

In order to be eligible to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, you must have already received an offer of a job that is on the UK’s Shortage Occupations List. The job offer must come from a company which has been approved by the Home Office, which is responsible for migration and visa policy in the UK.

In addition to the job offer, you will need to show that you speak English to a sufficient level, usually at least B1 level (according to the CEFR scale). If you are from a country where English is commonly spoken, you may be exempt from this requirement.

The last major criteria applicants for UK Skilled Worker Visas will need to fulfil relates to the salary they will receive for the job they have been offered. For their application to be succesful, they will usually need to be paid either at least the ‘going rate’ for the type of work they have been offered or £26,200pa (equivalent to £10.75 per hour).

Skilled Worker Visa Changes in 2023

The Shortage Occupations List is kept under review by the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee, and types of occupation can be added or removed depending on the state of the UK job market. For example, builders, bricklayers, carpenters and fishers were added to the list in order to try to relieve worker shortages in the construction and fishing industries.

How to apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa in 2023

You can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa from inside the UK if you are currently there on another valid visa, or from outside the UK if you do not yet have a valid visa or do but are not currently resident in the UK. You can only apply for a Skilled Worker Visa if the job you have been offered will start within the next three months.

When applying, you’ll need to provide documents proving your identity and details of the job you have been offered. You may also need to provide evidence of your finances and/or a criminal record certificate from countries you have lived in.

It is possible to bring your partner and/or children to the UK with you with this visa, but they will need to submit their own applications alongside yours.

Submitting an application for a Skilled Worker Visa will require payment of an upfront fee of between £719 and £1,500. The precise fee will depend on your own personal circumstances when you apply and how long you want the visa to last. You will also need to be prepared to pay the UK’s healthcare surcharge so you can access public healthcare during your time in the country.

For further details on how to apply and what documents you may need to provide, please see our dedicated Skilled Worker Visa guidance.

Tailored advice for visas to the UK

VisaEnvoy is a truly international migration firm, with a long track record of working with both companies and private individuals to understand their personal circumstances and visa needs, and helping them get the right visa for them as quickly and hassle-free as possible.

We understand that the key to a successful visa application is understanding both our clients and the immigration systems with which we work. A key part of that work is keeping on top of the frequent changes to the immigration systems and visa categories of the countries in which we operate.

Our friendly, professional team of migration agents and immigration solicitors work with trusted partners in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Canada and the United States.

If you would like to know more about VisaEnvoy, our agents or the services we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with a member of our team to discuss the needs of you or your company.

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

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Construction and fisheries jobs added to the UK’s Shortage Occupations List