What are new for Skilled Workers in the UK?

Skilled Worker Visa

On 1 January 2021, the new Skilled Worker Visa will replace the current Tier 2 Skilled Worker migration route.

At first glance, the two immigration routes seem very much alike. However, under the new Skilled Worker visa route, many persons who were not previously able to qualify should qualify. Many skilled workers who were dreaming of living and working in the UK should now be able to do so!

What are different under the new Skilled Worker Visa?

The free movement of EU Citizens will end on 31 December 2020. From 1 January 2021, EU citizens (not settled in the UK) will also have to apply under the Skilled Worker Visa, if they want to work in the UK as skilled workers. This route will thus apply to both EEA (not settled in the UK) and non-EEA citizens.

The skills threshold of the Skilled Worker visa route is lower than that of the Tier 2 route. The new visa route is open for sponsorship of RQF Level 3 job occupations. This lower skills threshold means that more jobs will qualify under sponsorship, meaning more job opportunities!

The baseline minimum salary is £25,600 or the going rate for the specific job, whichever is the higher. This minimum salary is lower than the one under Tier 2 Skilled Worker.

Persons 26 years and younger, jobs on the Shortage Occupation List and PhD degrees in STEM subjects (relevant to the job), will be eligible at lower minimum salaries.

There is an annual cap on Tier 2 Skilled Worker visa route. The Home Office allocates the certificates of sponsorship monthly. Luckily, the annual cap will be abolished.  A visa will thus no longer be turned down because the annual or monthly cap has been reached.

Jobs that are not on the Shortage Occupation List will no longer require a Resident Labour Market Test. Unfortunately, the Home Office has, however, indicated that it might still include some advertising requirement. Breytenbachs are still awaiting the final rules in this regard.

The Skilled Worker visa offers more flexibility to applicants. Certain characteristics will be tradeable. So, if you, for example, cannot fully meet one requirement, you can make up the requisite number of points from another requirement. As an example – if you cannot meet the Minimum Salary requirement, the points can be made up if the job is on the Shortage Occupation List etc.

What stays the same under the new Skilled Worker Visa?

Fortunately, the Skilled Worker visa route will maintain all of the benefits of the old Tier 2 route.

Partners and dependants can still apply to accompany the main visa holder.

Also, after the successful completion of five years on this route, the applicant can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How Breytenbachs can help you

If you are interested in finding out more about the Skilled Worker visa route or wish to apply, Please do not hesitate to contact us. We have a dedicated team of OISC Registered consultants who deal exclusively with this route, sponsorship licensing and Certificates of Sponsors. We assist both employees and employers!