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Skilled Worker visa

Overview of the Skilled Worker visa and sponsorship requirements.



The Skilled Worker visa allows non-British/Irish nationals to come to, or stay in, the UK to undertake an eligible job with an approved employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

The duration of an applicant's employment contract will determine the duration of their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). For example, if an applicant is offered a permanent contract, they will be issued with a five year CoS (the maximum visa length before an extension is required). They can apply to extend their visa as many times as they like (subject to their contractual position) as long as they still meet the eligibility requirements. After five years' residence, they may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa at the University, 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 the University accompanied by a Certificate of Sponsorship 20
Job at an appropriate skill level (at least A-Level or equivalent) 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 these requirements 10

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

  • their salary (must meet or exceed the 'going rate' specific to the occupation and the minimum salary threshold); or
  • other criteria if necessary and applicable (such as having a PhD qualification that's relevant to the role or the role appears on the Immigration Salary List or because they're a ‘new entrant' to the UK’s labour market)

Other requirements

ATAS requirement

Applicants who are academics and researchers will require an ATAS certificate if they need to obtain a Skilled Worker visa and are intending to research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. Please visit our ATAS webpages for further information.

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 CoS to the applicant. This should help to simplify the application process for them.

Criminal records certificate requirement

If the applicant is applying for entry clearance and is being sponsored for a job in any of these occupation codes, 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.

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 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 individual continues to work in the job for which they are being sponsored
  • voluntary work is permitted


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

Further guidance

To help recruiting managers and applicants determine whether a role is likely to be sponsorable at the University (taking into account the minimum skill and salary threshold requirements and other tradeable characteristics), please refer to our guidance below.

Further guidance for applicants

Further guidance for recruiting managers


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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