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Skilled Worker Visa - sponsorable roles

Understand which roles are likely to meet the minimum skill and salary requirements for sponsorship.

Sponsorable roles

Any role which is being considered for sponsorship will need to meet the minimum skill and salary requirements.

Mandatory criteria

In addition to meeting the mandatory requirements for sponsorship, if an applicant is paid the higher of the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for their particular role, they will automatically get an extra 20 points earning them the full 70 points needed for sponsorship.

Tradeable criteria / characteristics

There is scope to earn the required extra tradeable points if the applicant is paid less than the general threshold or the ‘going rate’, provided they are paid at least £20,480. If this is the case, for certain roles, an applicant may earn points if they have a job offer in a specific shortage occupation or they have a PhD qualification which is relevant to the job.

If an applicant is looking to use a PhD qualification as a ‘tradeable point’ for any role listed as being eligible for PhD points under the Government’s Appendix Skilled Occupations, unless the job description specifically states this as an essential criterion, it will be up to the recruiting manager to provide a credible explanation of how the applicant's PhD qualification is relevant to the role they are being sponsored for via the recruitment process. If an applicant is using a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) PhD as a tradeable point, the recruiting manager will also need to state how the PhD is in a STEM subject. If successful following an interview, an applicant will be asked to provide evidence of this qualification following the interview process as this is necessary for their visa application ('equivalent experience' will not suffice).

There are different minimum salary rules for applicants who are in health or education jobs, and for ‘new entrants’ at the start of their career. The salary requirement for new entrants will be 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation. However, the minimum of £20,480 must always be met.

This guidance has been developed to help determine whether a role is likely to be sponsorable and takes into account the minimum skill and salary threshold requirements and other tradeable characteristics.

Other considerations

Other factors that will need to be taken into consideration include:

  • If the role is part-time - the ‘going rate’ for a role can be pro-rated as long as the total applicable general salary threshold is met. Please contact your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator to check if the pro-rated salary for the role will meet the minimum salary thresholds.
  • Allowances - only guaranteed basic gross pay (before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions) can be considered for sponsorship purposes. 'Salary' does not include other allowances, pay or benefits (even if they are guaranteed) e.g. accommodation or cost of living allowances, one-off payments etc.
  • Contracts/sponsorship for less than a year – minimum salary requirements are based on annual salaries. If an applicant will be working in the UK for less than 12 months, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will pro-rate their gross actual earnings to the equivalent annual figure to determine if they meet the salary requirement.
  • Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) - only a minority of roles are exempt from the ISC. This exemption has not been extended to cover the wider ranges of roles now eligible for the Skilled Worker route. The ISC currently costs £364 for a 12 month period so for an applicant on a three-year fixed-term contract the cost would typically be £1,092. Where applicable, the cost of the ISC should be recovered from the research grant.

Typical sponsorable roles by job family

Typical sponsorable roles have been grouped according to the University’s Job Families. Each role has been assessed and had the most appropriate Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code attached to it. SOC codes are based on a system designed by the Office for National Statistics to determine the skill and salary requirements of a role. It is this code that is used by the University to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to an applicant. If a role does not appear in the list below, please contact your HR Recruitment Co-ordinator who will determine if a role is sponsorable or not.

Education and Research

For detailed information about sponsorable roles within the Education and Research job family, please see this guidance.

Technical and Experimental

For detailed information about sponsorable roles within the Technical and Experimental job family, please see this guidance.

Management, Specialist, and Administration

For detailed information about sponsorable roles within the Management, Specialist, and Administration job family, please see this guidance.


If you have any questions, please contact us.