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How the skilled worker visa helps to combat the UK skills gap

Skilled Worker Visa

The UK is currently suffering from a lack of appropriate skills within its workforce across several major industries. While there are several programmes, such as the apprenticeship service, which seek to train young people to fill this skills gap, in the short term, employers are forced to look elsewhere to meet their employment needs.

Fortunately, the UK immigration system has a combination of certifications and visas designed to allow this type of recruitment. An employer can obtain a sponsor licence, which allows them to sponsor a foreign worker. The new employee can then apply for a skilled worker visa, which the employer sponsors via their licence.

Application Process for a Sponsor Licence

Once an organisation has completed recruitment for a new role and has selected a candidate who is currently overseas or in the UK on a different visa type, they will need to begin the process of applying to sponsor foreign workers to move to the UK and take up their post. To begin with, they can submit an online licence application using the Sponsor Management System (SMS), which is accessible on the Home Office website.

Organisations use the SMS to maintain their sponsor licence on an ongoing basis and to apply for their licence if one is granted. To utilise the email account of the important contact, you must first create an account on the SMS.

A user ID and password will be given to them, and they must use these to access the system. When the ID is initially given to them, they must be sure to preserve a copy as they cannot regain this information if it is lost.

Once the application is complete, all supporting documents must be delivered to the Home Office within 5 working days of the completion date. As such, it is advisable to ensure that an organisation gathers all necessary documentation for the application before they begin the process.

Skilled Worker Visa Application Process for Employees

An applicant has up to three months to apply for a skilled worker visa before the initial date of employment specified on the certificate of sponsorship. The application procedure will vary depending on whether they are transferring from another path toward the Skilled Worker Route from inside the UK, extending their existing authorisation to stay in the UK from within the UK, or applying from outside the UK.

If the person applying is living outside the country at the time, they must submit an online application.

If they are requesting authorisation to work as a skilled worker in the UK while resident in the country under another visa, they may need to request a change to their status.

Associated Fees

There are two different price points for the application cost to become a sponsor: £536 for a small business or charity organisation, and £1,476 for a medium or large enterprise.

When applying for a Skilled Worker visa, workers will need to demonstrate sufficient funds are available to meet the following requirements. They will need to pay the application fee, which, depending on their specific circumstances, can range anywhere from £625 to £1,423 in total cost.

They will also need to pay the healthcare fees, which are typically calculated to be £624 per year. If the shortage occupation list includes their work, the application cost that they must pay will be reduced. When they submit your application, they will be given the amount of the required payment.

Documents Needed

These are the documents needed to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa:

  • Employer-issued Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) reference number.
  • Evidence of English language competence.
  • Having an English-taught degree from an accredited university.
  • A passport that is still valid or another proof proving your nationality and identity.
  • A work title and yearly pay.
  • The name code for their line of work.
  • Name and sponsor licence number of the employer that can be found on the employers sponsorship certificate.

Before they can submit an application for a visa, the worker’s UK sponsor must first grant a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This document serves as confirmation that both the person and the position satisfy the standards for sponsorship eligibility.

The sponsor has to ascertain the appropriate SOC code for the position before determining whether or not the position is qualified for the Skilled Worker route.  The job description that is included on the list needs to correspond to the vacancy that is being filled.

After the SOC code has been found, it has to be checked against the list of occupations that qualify for the Skilled Worker category to ensure that it is on the list and that it meets the requirements to be considered for this category.

The Certificate of Sponsorship, or CoS, is a reference number that the candidate for the Skilled Worker visa has to present with their application to the Home Office. A Certificate of Sponsorship may only be issued by licensed sponsors.

The employee needs to have a B1 minimal level of English proficiency for reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension. Unless they have previously shown their English language proficiency as part of a prior UK immigration application or if they are a citizen of one of several exempt nations, most candidates for a skilled worker visa will need to show that they fulfil the language standards.

The applicant must demonstrate that they have the necessary financial resources to maintain themselves because you will not have access to public funding like benefits.

According to the criteria, candidates must have at least £1,270 in their bank accounts at the time of application. The money had to be accessible for at least 28 days straight, with day 28 occurring no later than 31 days after submitting the visa application.

It is crucial to remember that a legitimate job offer and a current certificate of sponsorship do not ensure the successful issuance of a skilled worker visa. All other relevant requirements must still be met by the potential employee. Any general reasons for denial, such as any relevant criminal background or prior immigration infractions, will also be taken into account by the Home Office.