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Skilled Worker visa: sponsorable roles guidance for applicants

Guidance for applicants relating to eligibility for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker visa route.

Due to the recent Government announcement relating to upcoming changes to the Skilled Worker Visa, please note this webpage is under review

Before reading the following guidance and embarking on a job application, please refer to our Skilled Worker visa guide to ensure you understand the sponsorship requirements.

Understand if the role is sponsorable and if you meet the skill and salary requirements

Only the roles listed in Tables 1 and 2 of the Government’s Appendix Skilled Occupations will potentially be eligible for sponsorship at the University under the Skilled Worker route.

To help applicants, we have developed the following guidance on sponsorable roles, outlining the roles which are typically sponsorable at the University. This guidance takes into account the minimum skill and salary threshold requirements by job family and grade and other tradeable characteristics.

When we advertise a vacancy, it will normally include the following criteria. This will enable you to check against the Government’s Skilled Worker Points Calculator to see if you are likely to be successful if you apply for a Skilled Worker visa:

  • grade of the role
  • salary range (you will need to enter the bottom salary point of the grade range into the calculator)
  • role requirements, such as the skills, qualifications and experience needed for the role
  • role ‘Occupation Code’ (often referred to as the SOC code) – you will need to use this to check against Tables 1 and 2 of the Government’s Appendix Skilled Occupations to see the ‘going rate’ for the role

Please note, the ‘going rates’ in Table 1 are per year and based on a 37.5 hour working week, so will need to be pro-rated according to the University’s normal contractual working hours which are 36.5 hours per week. For example, the starting salary of a Research Associate (SOC code 2119), Grade 7, is £37,099 based on a 36.5 hour working week (as at August 2023). The ‘going rate’ for SOC code 2119 at 37.5 hours per week is £34,600, so the going rate for SOC code 2119 at 36.5 hours per week is £33,677 (£34,600 ÷ 37.5 x 36.5 = £33,677). When asked on the calculator ‘What is the going rate for your job?’, you will need to input the pro-rated salary figure (for example £33,677, using this example).

The calculator will ask you the following questions:

  • Do you have a job offer from an approved sponsor? Click ‘yes’ to this (assuming you will receive sponsorship).

  • Is your job on the list of eligible jobs? Click ‘yes’ to this as the SOC code identified in the advert should be listed under Table 1.

  • Do you meet English language requirements? After you have identified how you meet this requirement from the list provided, you will need to click ‘yes’ (you will be asked to provide evidence of this requirement if you are successful following the interview process).

  • How much will you be paid by your employer each year? You will need to enter the bottom salary point of the grade range to determine this (the salary you get paid if successful may or may not be higher than this).

  • Is your job in healthcare or education? Click ‘no’ to this unless the role falls under Table 2 (few, if any, roles at the University are likely to meet this requirement).

  • What is the going rate for your job? You will need to enter the ‘going rate’ for the role based on the guidance previously mentioned on this page. If the salary for the role meets the higher of the general salary threshold (for example, £26,200) or the ‘going rate’ for the role and you meet the mandatory criteria, you will automatically meet the points required for sponsorship.

If the salary does not meet the general salary threshold or ‘going rate’ for the role

If the ‘going rate’ you have entered on the calculator (‘What is the going rate for your job?’) does not meet the general salary threshold (for example, £26,200) or the ‘going rate’ for the role automatically, the calculator will go on to ask whether you meet the criteria based on other criteria. This could be having a relevant PhD qualification (you gain more points if this is in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) subject), being sponsored to work in a shortage occupation, or because you are a ‘new entrant’ to the UK’s labour market. You will need to answer based on your specific circumstances.

The Government’s Skilled Worker Visa guidance provides an overview of how you may be able to meet this criteria.

If you have a PhD qualification, you might be able to use it as a ‘tradeable point’ for any role listed as being eligible for PhD points under the Government’s Appendix Skilled Occupations. If the job description does not specifically state this as an essential criterion, it will be up to the recruiting manager to provide a credible explanation of how your PhD qualification is relevant to the role you are being sponsored for via the recruitment process. If successful, you will be asked to provide evidence of this qualification following the interview process. Find out more about what evidence will be required.

If you’re a research or academic leader, you may also be eligible to apply for the Global Talent Visa which has a number of benefits over the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa has no language or minimum salary requirements.

If you are unsure or need any help, please contact the relevant HR Recruitment Co-ordinator for the vacancy you are applying for.

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