Requirements You Need to Meet to Work in the United Kingdom As a Skilled Worker

Work in the UK

The United Kingdom (UK) is highly globalised. It is also true in the job market. There are people from all over the world working in the UK in different sectors. The diverse nature of the job market is also what makes the country attractive to many international talents.

To be successful in your job application and get a job offer from a visa sponsoring employer, you need to demonstrate specific skills and knowledge. However, the skills and knowledge required can vary from employer to employer or position to position. Also, the expectation from students and recent graduates can be lower than the experienced professionals. Soft skills or competencies such as communication, leadership, teamwork and interpersonal skills are highly valued. Depending on the role, some jobs may require project management skills, coding skills and strong IT skills. However, if you are not a British citizen or have relevant permits that allow you to work in the UK freely, in addition to meeting the job-specific requirements mentioned above, you will also need to meet Home Office’s visa requirements to work in the UK.

Now, let’s take a look at some of those requirements in detail.   

  1. Joining an approved UK employer

To hire people who do not have a valid permit that allows them to work in the UK freely, UK employers need to apply for a sponsorship license from Home Office. An approved UK employer means an employer who holds a valid sponsorship license. So joining an approved UK employer means you have received a job offer and signed an employment contract with a UK employer that holds a valid visa sponsorship license. All employers on UK Visa Jobs hold a valid sponsorship license and can provide visa sponsorship.

  1. Obtaining a certificate of sponsorship (COS)

Once you have signed your contract with an employer, depending on your employment start date, you will receive a certificate of sponsorship from your employer. On the certificate of sponsorship, you will see the information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK. It is important to double-check this information against your employment contract to make sure a correct COS is issued. After receiving the COS, you can submit your Skilled Worker Visa application along with other supporting documents.

  1. Do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations

Many types of jobs are eligible to hire people who require a work permit. Examples of such jobs include jobs that require a university degree, such as scientists or doctors, many managerial or skilled administrative roles, skilled trades, such as carpenters or plumbers and some graduate roles. Positions listed on UK Visa Jobs are eligible occupations, so you can directly apply for them. You can also see the full list of eligible occupations here.

  1. Meet the salary requirement

In order to meet the visa requirements, you will need to be paid at a certain level. According to the Home Office rules, the minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following 3 options:

  • £25,600 per year
  • £10.10 per hour
  • the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing

The minimum salary requirement depends on the type of work you do and other criteria. For example, if you are a graduate or your job is on the shortage occupation list, you can be paid £20,480 annually to meet the salary requirement for a Skilled Worker Visa. For further details and most up-to-date information, please visit Home Office’s website.

  1. English Language Requirement

If you studied for a degree in the UK or another English-speaking country, you can prove that you meet the minimum English language requirement by providing your university degree certificate or a relevant document from your university or certifying bodies.

If you did not study or are not studying in an English-speaking country, you may need to prove that you meet the minimum English language requirement by taking other exams. One of the most common types of such exams is IELTS. In order to be eligible for Skilled Worker Visa, the current IELTS requirement is achieving 4 or above in each component of the IELTS UKVI test.

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