What is the New Skilled Worker Route for Visa Applications?

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November 18, 2020

What is the New Skilled Worker Route for Visa Applications?

On 1 December 2020, the Tier 2 (General) Visa application route[1] will close and be replaced by the new Skilled Worker Route. This article will provide an overview of both systems, and what is going to change.

What is the Tier 2 (General) Route?

Until 1 December 2020, this is the main route for foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job by a UKVI authorised employer. The job offer would need to be for an occupation skilled to RQF level 6 or above – which is equivalent to degree level. In addition, the employer would generally have to undertake a Resident Labour Market Test, in order to show that there is no suitable settled worker to fill the role.

What is the Skilled Worker Route?

The skilled worker route will still offer a route to settlement to skilled workers who have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor, but there are a few differences between this and the old scheme.

What are the main differences between the two routes?

One main difference is that the required skill level has been reduced from level 6 to level 3 – which is equivalent to A-level. You do not need to hold a formal qualification as it is the skill level of the job that you have been offered that matters. The Resident Labour Market Test has also been abolished as a requirement for employers.

The salary threshold has also been lowered. Under both routes, the migrant must be paid either above the general salary threshold or the going rate for the job – whichever is higher. The general threshold has been lowered from £30,000 to £25,600.

The criteria used to identify a new entrant into the labour market have been adjusted. As well as those under 26 at the date of application, new entrants will include those sponsored in postdoctoral research positions and those working towards professional qualifications, registration or chartered status.

To achieve settlement under the new scheme, the employee must be earning a salary of at least £25,600 or the going rate for their occupation. There are no longer any restrictions on when applications can be made and the length of stay.

How Can Stella Maris Solicitors Help?

We are expert immigration solicitors and can help both employees and employers across a variety of industries. We can help you to ensure that you have met the necessary requirements and that all your documents are correct, as well as taking you through the whole process and applications to the Home Office. To contact us, telephone 01793 296118 or email mail@stellamarissolicitorsllp.co.uk


[1] https://www.gov.uk/tier-2-general.

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