On 1 December 2020, the new Skilled Worker route was launched by the UKVI. This new UK Immigration category replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa as the main immigration route for skilled workers as part of the UK’s new Points- Based Immigration System.
Both EU, EEA and non-EEA citizens are now subject to the same immigration rules. This means that unless they have the right to live and work in the UK by other means, foreign nationals coming to work in the UK must hold a job offer from an approved sponsor at the required skill and salary levels for this route.
How we can assist you?
We work with a significant number of employers, large and small, across a wide range of business sectors to manage sponsorship issues and ensure that workers arrive in good time and with a complete set of compliance documentation.
We can assist with the complete application process from start to finish, advising on all aspects of the process from the initial sponsor licence application to the visa application preparation and submission.
Key Features of the Skilled Worker Route
The UKVI promise a quicker, streamlined approach to applying:
- The cap has been removed – under Tier 2 (General) there was an annual quota of migrants who could enter; there is no longer a limit on the number of people who can enter.
- Lower Salary and Skills thresholds are in place. Roles now need to be skilled to RQF3 (‘A’ level) and above, where previously it was RQF6. The salary has also been lowered to the higher of £25600 or the going rate for the role.
- Employers are no longer required to conduct a Resident Labour Market Test.
- Intra-Company Transferees can switch to the Skilled Worker Route faster.
- Individuals in the UK on dependant or Tier 5 visas can now switch into the Skilled Worker Route from within the UK.
Applicants must score 70 points to be granted entry. All applicants must meet the following mandatory criteria:
- They hold a confirmed job offer from an approved sponsor (20 points).
- The job must be at an appropriate skill level (20 points).
- The applicant must speak English to an acceptable standard (10 points).
To make up the required 70 points, applicants can earn a further 20 “tradeable” points based on their salary, having a job offer in a shortage occupation or a relevant PhD.
Intra Company Transfer Route
The basic principles of this route remain the same; it allows for temporary moves of key personnel to business entities bound together by common ownership. Applicants need to have been employed overseas for at least 12 months prior to entry. Do note that the skill level for ICT is a minimum of £41,500 and roles must continue to be skilled at RQF level 6 (degree level) and above. Moreover, it is not a route that leads to settlement in the UK. One advantage, however, is that there is no English language requirement, which would allow employers to transfer employees into the UK as quickly as possible for temporary assignments. Applicants under ICT are then also permitted to switch into Skilled Worker Route whilst in the UK.