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With the UK leaving the European Union (EU), immigration policies and procedures have become even more important to businesses and their futures.

Our dedicated immigration solicitors work with many different individuals and companies, providing legal advice on what steps to take and why, and support with a wide range of immigration legislation including helping businesses recruit from overseas with skilled worker visas.

What is the Skilled Worker visa?

In December 2020, the Home Office introduced a new skilled worker route for foreign workers with a job offer from a UK employer.

The Skilled Worker visa (formerly known as the Tier 2 (General) visa) is for skilled migrants who have received a qualifying job offer by an approved employer. Via the skilled worker route an employer must firstly apply for a licence that will legally allow them to sponsor an employee.

Who can apply for a Skilled Worker visa?

  • To be eligible for the visa, the migrant must have received a job offer which meets the following criteria:
    • The role meets the minimum skill level (RQF Level 3 – equivalent to A Level).
    • The role meets the minimum salary level (this depends on the role and the circumstances of the migrant however the starting point is that the salary must be higher than £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour or the ‘going rate’ for the role).
  • Crucially, the employer must hold a valid sponsor licence. If the employer does not hold a sponsor licence, the employer must apply for a licence (and have their application approved) before the migrant applies for their Skilled Worker visa.
  • Migrants can only work for their employer and in the role for which they have been sponsored. If a migrant wishes to change employers, they must submit another visa application.

What are the benefits of the Skilled Worker visa?

  • The migrant’s partner and/or children can apply to come to the UK (or remain in the UK) if they’re eligible. This typically includes spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children under the age of 18 and children over the age of 18 if they are already living in the UK as the migrant’s dependant.
  • There is no time limit on the duration for which the migrant can hold a Skilled Worker visa.
  • Provided that the migrant is eligible, they can apply to settle in the UK (also known as ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’) after five years.

How can we help?

Our specialist immigration lawyers can support on an application, ensuring a business or individual completes it accurately.

The application process can be daunting as it’s complex, extremely detailed and requires you to enter 100% accurate facts to avoid any delays or rejection of an application.

You need to find a trusted legal firm who will guide you through the complexities, explaining each step of the way with empathy, energy and expertise.

Ward Hadaway can help. Please visit the FAQs available on our free visa guidelines hub or for a confidential chat about your current situation or future workforce plans, contact one of our specialist solicitors.

Free visa guidelines resource

We have recently launched a dedicated visa guidelines hub which is full of clear, useful guidance to help those wishing to live, work and recruit into the UK navigate the complex legal territory that is immigration law.

Applying for a visa is a complex process. On this dedicated website, our immigration experts have cut through the mountains of regulation. We present clear answers to the frequently asked questions of those who want to move to the UK to work or study, and of businesses wishing to recruit individuals from overseas.


For details in relation to certain immigration applications, please click here.

Contact a specialist

Flora Mewies

Partner | Employment & Head of Immigration

+44 (0) 330 137 3156

+44 (0) 752 522 5480

Email Flora Mewies

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Roisin Patton

Partner | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3187

+44 (0) 783 488 9938

Email Roisin Patton

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Gillian Burns

Managing Associate | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3152

+44 (0)773 846 2372

Email Gillian Burns

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Natalie Payne

Associate | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3174

+44 (0) 7725 757 256

Email Natalie Payne

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Isabelle Cernis

Solicitor | Employment

+44 (0) 330 137 3170

+44 (0) 791 257 8938

Email Isabelle

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