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University of Bath

Skilled Worker Visa

Overview of the Skilled Worker Visa and sponsorship requirements.

Overview of the Skilled Worker route

On 1 January 2021, the UK introduced a new Points-Based Immigration System which allows employers to recruit people to work in the UK in a specific job in an eligible skilled occupation and applies to both:

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arrived in the UK after 11pm on 31 December 2020; and
  • non-EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who applied for entry clearance or permission to stay on or after 1 December 2020

Irish citizens do not need permission to live and work in the UK and are not eligible to apply under the Skilled Worker route.

The Skilled Worker route replaces the existing Tier 2 (General) route and no further applications under this route can now be made. Staff who have an existing Tier 2 (General) visa will see no change to the conditions of their visa and will be able to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa (if eligible) or switch to another immigration category (if eligible) when their current visa is due to expire.

The key characteristics of the Skilled Worker route are broadly the same, i.e. an applicant will need to be sponsored to do a specific job which meets the skill and salary requirements by an employer that has been licensed by the Home Office. However, there are some notable differences between the two routes:

  • A wider range of roles are now eligible for sponsorship as the minimum skill threshold has been lowered from RQF Level 6 (e.g. Degree level) to RQF Level 3 (e.g. A-levels/Scottish Highers level)
  • The general salary threshold has been lowered from £30,000 a year to a minimum general salary of £25,600 a year (or the ‘going rate’ for the role, whichever is higher) 
  • Sponsored workers who are paid less than £25,600 may still be eligible for sponsorship through a combination of ‘tradeable points’
  • There is no requirement for sponsors to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test, however, vacancies must be ‘genuine’ and meet the skill and salary thresholds
  • The 12-month ‘cooling off period’ and six-year maximum length of stay in this route has been removed which provides greater flexibility

Genuine vacancy

The Home Office defines a genuine vacancy as one which:

  • requires the jobholder to perform the specific duties and responsibilities for the job and meets all of the requirements of the relevant route
  • does not include dissimilar and/or predominantly lower-skilled duties
  • is appropriate to the business in light of its business model, business plan and scale

It is therefore important that the job description accurately reflects the requirements of the role, and that the applicant's qualifications, skills and experience meet the selection criteria as detailed within it.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, the applicant must score a minimum of 70 points in total. This includes 50 points for mandatory or ‘non-tradeable’ criteria, and 20 points for ‘tradeable’ criteria.

An applicant must meet the following mandatory criteria to score 50 points:

Points type Description Points available
Sponsorship Offer of a job from an approved sponsor accompanied by a Certificate of Sponsorship 20
Job at an appropriate skill level (RQF Level 3 and above) The job must be in an eligible occupation code 20
English language At Level B1 or higher. Applicants can evidence these skills by meeting one of the requirements listed here 10
TOTAL 50

In addition to scoring 50 points for the above criteria, the applicant must score a further 20 ‘tradeable’ points based on:

  • their salary; and
  • other criteria if necessary and applicable (i.e. relevant academic qualifications held by them, being sponsored to work in a shortage occupation or an eligible health or education occupation, or because they are a ‘new entrant' to the UK’s labour market)

To assist recruiting managers and applicants to determine whether a role is likely to be sponsorable (taking into account the minimum skill and salary threshold requirements and other tradeable characteristics) we have developed the following guidance on sponsorable roles at the University.

Financial requirement

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance from outside the UK or has been in the UK for less than one year at the date of application, they must show they have enough funds to support themselves and any family members in the UK.

As the University is an A-rated sponsor, we will certify this requirement is met (up to the value specified in the University’s Relocation Procedure) when we assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the applicant - this should help to simplify the application process for them.

The criminal records certificate requirement

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance and is being sponsored for a job in any of the occupation codes listed here, they must provide a criminal record certificate from the relevant authority in any country in which they have been present for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the past 10 years, while aged 18 or over.

Dependants

Skilled workers can bring their family members (partner and children) to the UK and can apply to settle in the UK after 5 years’ continuous lawful residence.

Visa conditions

The Skilled Worker Visa is a sponsored route into the UK and individuals holding this visa (or a Tier 2 (General) Visa) will still be subject to the University’s sponsor and compliance duties.

The visa will be subject to all of the following conditions:

  • no access to public funds
  • work is permitted only in the job the applicant is being sponsored for
  • supplementary employment is permitted, providing the person continues to work in the job for which they are being sponsored
  • voluntary work is permitted

Guidance for applicants

This overview should be read in conjunction with the guidance relating to eligibility for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker Visa route.

Applicants should also review our additional guidance in relation to the mandatory criteria and tradeable criteria under the Skilled Worker Visa route.

Further information in relation to mandatory criteria which must be met:

Further information in relation to tradeable criteria which an applicant can demonstrate in order to meet the requirements for sponsorship:

Applicants who are successful in their application for a role at the University will need to ensure that they are familiar with the application process for a Skilled Worker Visa which includes details of typical visa costs and timeframes.

Guidance for recruiting managers

Recruiting managers will need to have an understanding of the requirements for an individual to be sponsored to work at the University under the Skilled Worker Visa route. There are a number of mandatory criteria and tradeable criteria which applicants must meet in order to be eligible for sponsorship.

Further information in relation to mandatory criteria which must be met:

Further information in relation to tradeable criteria which an applicant can demonstrate in order to meet the requirements for sponsorship:

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the sponsorship guidance for recruiting managers which details what actions you need to take when advertising a vacancy on our e-recruitment system, Stonefish, under the Skilled Worker Visa route.

Applicants who are successful in their application for a role at the University will need to ensure that they are familiar with the application process for a Skilled Worker Visa. Recruiting managers should be aware of the application process so that they can factor it in to the timings of their recruitment campaign.

Recruiting managers should direct any queries about an applicant's eligibility to work to the relevant HR Recruitment Co-ordinator for the vacancy.