The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This action was followed by the UK introducing a new points-based immigration system that treats both EU and non-EU citizens equally.
Highly-skilled workers that fit in the criteria of being able to contribute to the UK’s economy as well as filling the skilled-labour shortage faced by the country will be prioritized under the new program.
If you are a skilled professional looking for a plethora of job opportunities, career growth, higher wages and a good quality of life, the UK is definitely the place to be in for your future career ambitions. Read this article brought to you by Kampus Group to find out all about the UK’s new points-based immigration system and the new Skilled Worker Route.
UK Skilled Worker Visa
The new UK points-based immigration system focuses on bringing in individuals with talent and people who are also highly-skilled. This reduces the intake of low-skilled labour into the country.
This means that if you are a doctor, engineer, scientist, software developer, academic, and so on, you have a better chance of getting a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK currently.
8 Skilled Worker Program Points under the UK’s New Points-based System
Here are 6 points about the Skilled Worker Route under the UK’s new points-based immigration system in 2021. These pointers will help you understand the new immigration system much more clearly, we will be covering how it works, what are the factors that help you earn ‘points’, and so forth.
Let’s get started on the requirements…
1: Your job must meet certain eligibility requirements
The Skilled Worker route requires you to have a job offer from an employer in the UK first and foremost. Your job in the UK must also meet certain conditions for instance;
your job must be present in the eligible job list and occupation code provided by the UK
the job you’re hired for must pay you either the minimum salary threshold or the listed rate for that job type
your job requires skill RQF3 (also known as A level) or higher
2: Your UK employer must be Home-Office approved
Employers who want to recruit talent from abroad must be licensed to do so by the UK Home Office for sponsorship.
The Shortage Occupation List (also known as SOL) is a list of jobs facing a critical shortage of workers to fill in positions within the UK. If a job is listed in the Shortage Occupation List, 20 points are awarded to the candidate seeking to come to the UK through this specific route.
A total of 70 points are required for a skilled worker abroad to be eligible for the Skilled Worker route.
An occupation listed on the Shortage Occupation List also lowers the minimum salary threshold for an employer by 20%. This means that they can recruit an individual for £20,4803 instead of the typical salary of £25,600 for instance.
Employers who sponsor non-EU skilled workers must pay £1,000 as Immigration Skills Charge (also known as ISC) for Tier 2 Visas and IntraCompany Transfer visas. This amount has to be paid for the first year. This is then followed by £500 for each month up to 6 months.
Please note that existing Tier 2 (also known as General Visa) sponsors get a new Skilled Worker licence. This is the same expiration date as their current licence, and they also receive an appropriate allocation of Certificate of Sponsorship (also known as CoS).
3: A job must meet the ‘Minimum Salary Threshold’ or the UK’s ‘Going Rate’
The Minimum Salary Threshold for any job offer under the UK’s new immigration system for a ‘skilled worker’ must be £25,600 or higher.
Now, every job type has its own salary requirements. So if your job type requires that you must be paid higher than the minimum salary threshold, so be it. This specific salary requirement which is unique to your occupation is known as the ‘going rate’.
4: Your job offer must be at skill level RQF3 (A-level) or higher (20)
The UK points-based immigration system also awards candidates with 20 points if they hold a job offer which entails the skill level RQF 3 or above, this is A Level equivalent.
5: You must have the required level of English Language Skills
Your ability and proficiency in English is an important part of the UK points-based immigration system. Proving your knowledge in English earns you 10 points out of the 70 which is required of you to move to the UK.
You must take the Secure English Language Test (also known as SELT) from an approved provider which meets the Home Office requirements for immigrants coming to the UK.
6: Points Table for Skilled Workers under the new UK points-based Immigration System
You need 70 points to be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa. Below is a breakdown of the points you can score under the UK’s four deciding factors.
|70-Point Table for Skilled Worker Route||Maximum Points|
|Have a job offer from a licensed UK sponsor||20 points|
|English Language Skills||10 points|
|Job offer for Skill Level RQF3 (A-level equivalent) or higher||20 points|
|Additional ‘Tradeable Points’ earned||20 points|
7: This visa opens up the path to Permanent Residence
If you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years with the UK Skilled Worker Visa and if you meet certain eligibility requirements, you can apply for an ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ (ILR). This allows foreign nationals to permanently live, work and settle in the UK.
8: Doctors and Nurse can apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa
If you are a doctor or nurse, or you are a skilled professional working in health or adult social care, you can apply for the Health and Care Worker visa instead.
This category is for students aged over 16 from outside the EEA who wish to study in the United Kingdom, either at a school, college, or university. Applicants must have a place at a registered UK educational establishment before they can apply. This tier has two main routes.
Tier 4 General Student Visa – to study post 16 education within the UK.
Points allocated for a Visa in the Tier 4 category
Under Tier 4, students need to score 40 points, consisting of:
30 points for a full-time place on a course with an approved education provider which is at level 3 or above on the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) framework. Full-time means a minimum of 15 hours of classroom study per week.
10 points for maintenance.
Key Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Workers
To be eligible for a the UK Skilled Worker Route,
- you must score 70 points
- you must have a job offer from an employer in the UK
- your UK employer must be licensed
- your job must pay a minimum salary of £25,600 or ‘going rate’ for the job, whichever is higher
- your job requires skill RQF3 (A level) or higher
- you must speak good English
- prove evidence of £1,270 in savings (for single applicant)
- you must have a good medical and character record
- How to Apply for the Skilled Worker Visa?
- To apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer.
Steps to apply:
- Fill the online application form
- Prove your identity, upload documents and pay your visa fees
- Book an appointment at a visa application centre
- Pay the health surcharge of £624 per year
- Get your biometric residence permit fingerprints and photo)
Visa Processing Time for UK Skilled Worker Route
You will get a decision within 3 weeks after applying for your visa online.
UK New Immigration Rules for 2020-21
From 1 January 2021, EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally. EU citizens now have to meet the same immigration protocols as other foreign nationals who come to work in the UK.
When you meet certain eligibility criteria, you are awarded points. Under the new points system, you need to have 70 points to qualify for a visa for UK immigration.
A sponsorship requirement will apply to the new Skilled Worker route, Student route, Health and Care Visa and few specialised worker routes.
For the Skilled Worker route, you must be sponsored by the UK’s Home Office-approved employer who is willing to pay you £25,600 or higher. Skilled workers and postgraduate students can also bring their dependents who can also work in the UK.
The visa switching process is very straightforward and correctly streamlined. You don’t have to leave the UK if you want to switch from an existing UK visa to a new immigration route under the UK’s new system.