The Skilled Worker visa is for those with a job offer. This visa requires applicants to have received an offer of employment and the employer must provide you with a 'Certificate of Sponsorship' (CoS).
To obtain a Skilled Worker visa for you, your employer must
- hold a Skilled worker sponsor licence
- offer you a job at the the appropriate skills level, RQF3 and upwards
- allocate a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to you and
- offer the minimum applicable salary (the minimum annual salary is £ 20,480 per year. Please note that for some occupations the minimum entry level salary will be a higher amount)
Tier 4 Concessions
You can switch into a Skilled Worker visa from within the UK if you continue to hold a valid Tier 4/Student visa and meet all other eligibility requirements under the Skilled Worker route.
The employer no longer needs to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) to offer you a job and there is no restriction on the number of CoS's that an empoyer may issue.
We advise that when making job applications you check to make sure that the prospective employer is registered as a Skilled Worker sponsor. When you complete the online application form or submit a covering letter you should make the employer aware of the following:
- that as they are registered as a Skilled Worker sponsor they can sponsor you for a Skilled Worker visa,
- mention that the employer does not need to conduct the RLMT and there is no restriction on the number of CoS's issued,
- that you have a right to work in the UK, restricted to 20 hours per week during term-time, and
- that under the Tier 4/Student visa rules you can work full time hours on the final 4 months of your visa as this is considered 'vacation time' by the Home Office (refer to the 'Can I work whilst in the UK?' section of the Student Route Policy Guidance)
When can I apply?
- UG and Masters students who have completed all exams and academic work and the formal course end date has passed. You do not have to wait until your degree has been awarded before applying OR
- UG and Masters students up to 3 months before the expected completion date of your degree course OR
- PhD students may apply having completed at least 12 months of the course
Please note: If you apply before your degree award date you cannot start the Skilled Worker job until your new visa is issued. If you apply after your degree award date you can start working in the Skilled Worker job whilst the application is pending.
Skilled Worker applications made within the UK are submitted online.
If you have been living in the UK for the past 12 months there is no requirement to provide evidence of maintenance.
If you have not been living in the UK for the past 12 months you are required to show you have held a minimum balance of £1270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days. This bank account must be in your name or a joint account with another person. If dependants are included in the applications, there must be extra funds of £285 for your partner, £315 for the first dependant child, and £200 for any further dependant.
Alternatively your employer can confirm on the Certificate of Sponsorship that they will cover your living costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1270.
- Biometric Resident Permit (if your visa was issued in this format)
- Police Registration Certificate (only if you are from a country required to register and it must be up-to-date)
- Bank statements if required
- Degree certificate or Skilled Worker Reference Letter*
- Certificate of Sponsorship (Cos)
Please note that if you have been fully financially sponsored (all tuition fees and living expenses) by a government or international scholarship agency, and this funding ended less than 12 months before your intend to apply for this visa, you will need written permission from that sponsor to say they do not object to you applying for the visa. If you were fully funded by Imperial College then you do not need a letter of consent.
* A Tier 2/Skilled Worker Reference Letter can be requested once the formal course end date has passed but prior to the final degree award date (1 August for undergraduate students or 1 November for postgraduate students). This letter is available from the Student Hub, Level 3, Sherfield Building.