Understanding The Points-Based System For Skilled Worker UK Route

Yaswini Suvarna

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What is the UK point based system for skilled worker visa?

The UK point based system (PBS) is a visa framework that the UK uses that allows international applicants a route of immigration into the UK for the purpose of work, study or business. This route is a replacement for an older framework, the UK work permit visa, which was not as clear and structured as this one.

Each visa type has different score demands to become eligible for entering and staying in the UK through that route.

Who is eligible for a UK skilled worker visa?

A skilled worker visa is an immigration route for individuals with a valid job offer from an employer licenced by the UK Home Office. There are other factors that make a candidate eligible for a PBS skilled worker visa.

To qualify for a skilled worker visa, the following criteria must be kept in mind:

Job offer

  • Get a job offer from a UK Home Office approved company in the UK.
  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) with all the job details mentioned.
  • Ensure that the role comes under the list of eligible occupations that are sponsorable.
  • Get the minimum payable salary for the job role.

English knowledge

To stay and work in the UK, the candidate must prove that they can read, write and speak in English to at least level B1. There are a few ways to prove the English language for a skilled worker visa UK.

People from certain countries are exempted from this rule, so they can skip this step.

Salary threshold requirement

To meet the requirements for a skilled worker visa, the candidate must be paid the salary threshold that the Home Office has put as a requirement.

How do you apply for a skilled worker visa?

The process of applying for skilled worker visa UK is fairly simple. Before applying for the skilled worker visa, one must ensure they are eligible to apply.

If the candidate has a valid job offer from a UK employer who holds a UK sponsor licence and has proven English language proficiency and meets the maintenance requirement, then it makes them eligible to apply for the skilled worker visa.

Once this is established, the candidate must obtain a certificate of sponsorship (CoS), which includes details about the job and a unique reference number, which will be needed for the skilled worker application.

After this, the score for skilled worker visa is calculated, and the candidate has to score a certain number of points to make a strong application. These scores are based on different factors such as a valid job offer, CoS, English language proficiency, salary, age, and skill level at the job, among others.

To apply for skilled worker visa UK, the applicant can apply online with the necessary documents. The applicant can either apply online and get their identity proof done at a visa application centre or use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan the identity documents.

The maximum period a skilled worker visa is offered for is 5 years in one go. This can be broken down into 2 years and later extended for 3 years, collectively making it 5 years. Once this 5 years is completed, the candidate becomes eligible to apply for a leave to remain.

In case the candidate needs assistance from a legal point of view, they can contact immigration solicitors.

How are points scored in a point-based system?

Under the UK point based system, there are two types of points that a candidate can score: mandatory points and tradeable points. As the name suggests, mandatory points have to be met in order to qualify for the visa, and tradeable points are points that can be used to compensate for any factor that is lacking in the application.

The points for the skilled worker visa are as follows:

CriteriaMandatory or Tradeable pointsPoints
Job offer from a UK Home Office approved employer with a sponsor licenceMandatory20
Job role at the right skill levelMandatory20
English proficiency at B1 levelMandatory10
Applicant’s salary equals or exceeds £26,200 per year.Tradeable20
Applicant’s salary equals or exceeds £23,580 per year and has a PhD in a subject relevant to the job. In this requirement, 10 points are for education and 10 points for the salary.Tradeable20
Applicant’s salary equals or exceeds £20,960 per year and has a PhD in STEM subject relevant to the job.Tradeable20
Applicant’s salary equals or exceeds £20,960 per year and comes under a job in a shortage occupation.Tradeable20
Applicant is a new entrant, and their salary equals or exceeds £20,960 per year.Tradeable20
Applicant’s salary equals or exceeds £20,960 per year and the job is listed in health or education occupation.Tradeable20

More information here.

How long does it take to get skilled worker visa?

An individual can apply for a UK skilled worker visa up to three months before their job start date, as noted on their certificate of sponsorship. Their application process includes proving their identity and providing the required documents. They might need an extra appointment for identity verification, the necessity of which will be determined during the application process.

Typically, the decision on their visa application takes about three weeks for applicants outside the UK and eight weeks for those inside the UK. There’s also an option to pay for a faster decision, with the procedure varying based on the applicant’s location, either inside or outside the UK.

How can we help you?

We are an immigration law firm that places a central emphasis on achieving outcomes and ensuring client contentment. We aim to provide clients with a seamless experience by maintaining transparent and timely communication, establishing accurate expectations from the beginning, and surpassing these expectations at every stage of the process.

Contact our legal team at enquiries@citylegalsolicitors.co.uk or call us on 020 8175 4000. The City Legal Service team can resolve your queries from Monday – to Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM.


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