• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Tuesday 06 th July 2021

Minimum Salary Requirement for a Skilled Worker Visa

So you’re thinking of migrating to the UK, but before you begin your application for a work visa you might be wondering what salary you’ll need to earn before you can be accepted. 

In the past the rules were a little more straight-forward, especially if you were a citizen of an EU country. You simply came to the UK and found whatever work you could, but following Brexit the government decided to give the old visa system a revamp, replacing the Tier 2 visas with the brand-new Skilled Worker Visa. 

Since the introduction of the Skilled Worker Visa, new rules mean that anyone looking to live and work  

in the UK needs to be earning a specified amount. At the moment, the minimum salary requirement is £25,600 or £10.10 per hour - whichever is higher. 

Although you’ll need to earn at least this much to stand any chance of being accepted for a Skilled Worker Visa, if you’re thinking that’s all there is to it then I’m afraid you’re wrong. That’s because in addition to the minimum salary requirement, you’ll also need to be earning the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be undertaking.  

Therefore, even if you’re earning above the £25,600 or £10.10 per hour income requirement, if the rate of pay you’ll receive falls below what the government deems to be the ‘going rate’, then unfortunately your application for a Skilled Worker Visa will still be refused. 

Healthcare and education 

In some cases, you may be granted a Skilled Worker Visa even if you fail to meet the minimum salary requirement. In some situations, those who’ll be coming to the UK to work in either healthcare or education may be eligible provided their income will be at least £20,480. Please note you’ll still need to earn at least £10.10 per hour. 

Usually, this exception to the rule is reserved only for those who work in these sectors, so unless you’ve been offered a job in either healthcare or education then chances are you’ll still need to meet the higher salary requirement set out before. 

Is your job eligible? 

As well as ensuring the salary you’ll be earning is sufficient, you also need to check if the job you’re applying for is eligible for a Skilled work Visa. Not all jobs will give you access to this type of visa, so to avoid wasting valuable time and money, make sure the job you’re going for is eligible. 

The easiest way to do this is with your job’s occupation code. This is a 4-digit code that can be used to check which visas a particular job role will provide access to. If you’ve been offered a job already, ask the employer for the occupation code, and head over to the government’s official website where you can view the table of eligible jobs. 

If you’ve located the occupation code yourself, make sure you have the right one. While two jobs may be similar in terms of the duties you’ll undertake, in some cases they might not both provide access to a work visa. For instance, while chefs are able to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa, cooks aren’t, so don’t waste your hard-earned cash on a doomed application with a simple mistake like getting the occupation code wrong. 

Other requirements

In addition to the minimum salary and job role eligibility requirements, there are some other criteria that you’ll need to meet before you make an application for a Skilled worker Visa.  

Firstly, you’ll need to have a job offer from an approved employer, also known as a sponsor. If your employer has already been approved, then they won’t need to apply for this. If not, they can apply for a sponsor licence, as long as they’re eligible. 

If your employer is applying for a sponsor licence then they’ll need to pay a fee. How much will depend on the size of the company/organisation, and it costs £536 for a small business or charity and £1,476 for medium and large companies. Check whether the employer has a sponsor licence when you make contact about the vacancy. 

Additionally, when making your application you’ll need to demonstrate your knowledge of the English language is at a sufficient level by passing an exam with an approved provider, and you’ll also need a valid passport. 

Getting help from professionals 

Hopefully you now have a good understanding of how much you need to earn to migrate to the UK, as well as the other requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa, but if you’re still confused then it may be a good idea to get some professional assistance. 

The Immigration Advice Service are experts in all aspects of immigration law, and can assist with visa applications, appeals, and claims for asylum. They offer one-to-one advice sessions, step-by-step guidance on applications and everything in between, so if you’re looking for a helping hand or just want to weigh up your options before moving forward, it could be beneficial to seek help from the professionals. 

This post was written by Darryl Rigby, Content Executive at the Immigration Advice Service 


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