Employment Visa

Our fees start from just £150 (£180 including VAT).

At the end of 2020, the Skilled Worker route opened for applications and replaced the Tier 2 (General work visa) route. There are similarities.


Skilled Workers

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.


Benefits of obtaining a visa under this route

You can:

  • work in an eligible job

  • study

  • bring your partner and children with you to the UK, as your dependants, if they’re eligible

  • take on additional work in  certain circumstances

  • do voluntary work

  • travel abroad and return to the UK

  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years and meet the other eligibility requirements



To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK

  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations

  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do

The specific eligibility depends on your job.  We can advise on this further.

  • you must be able to read, write and understand English. You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of English when you apply.

If you are not eligible for a Skilled Worker visa

You may be eligible for another type of visa to work in the UK. 

How long you can stay

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

If you want to stay longer in the UK

You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.

After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like and apply for benefits if you are eligible.

How to apply

You must apply online.


How you apply depends on whether you’re:


  • outside the UK and are coming to the UK

  • inside the UK and extending your current visa

  • inside the UK and switching from a different visa

  • If you want to change your job or employer, you must apply to update your visa.


You can include your partner and children in your application to stay in the UK, if they are eligible.



You, your partner or children will each need to have enough money to:


When you apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you’ll need to have enough money to:


  • pay the application fee - the standard fee ranges from £610 to £1,408 depending on your circumstances

  • pay the healthcare surcharge - this is usually £624 per year

  • support yourself when you arrive in the UK - you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)


You will be required to pay a lower application fee if your job is on the shortage occupation list.


You will be told how much you need to pay when you apply.


If you work in public sector healthcare

If you’re a doctor or nurse, or you work in health or adult social care, check if you’re eligible to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa instead. It’s cheaper to apply for and you do not need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge.



You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship.


As part of your application, you will need to prove your identity and provide your documents.


You may need to allow extra time if you need an appointment to do this. You will find out if you need one when you start your application.


Once you have applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you will usually get a decision on your visa within:


  • 3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK

  • 8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK


If you need to go to an appointment, you may be able to pay for a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you are applying from outside the UK or inside the UK.