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On 1 January 2021 the UK’s new Immigration System will be launched

With the end of free movement for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals from this date, the new immigration system will apply equally to new arrivals of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals as it will to new and existing non-EU nationals who require a visa.

As part of this, the current Tier 2 (General) visa route will be re-named the ‘Skilled Worker Visa’ route from 1 December 2020.

No further applications for Tier 2 visas can be made from this date, but exisiting Tier 2 visa holders will retain their current visas with no change to their conditions, and would switch into the Skilled Worker Visa route (if applicable) at the point of expiry of their Tier 2 visas.

The new Skilled Worker Visa route is largely based upon the Tier 2 visa route, with some noteable changes:

  • The minimum skill level for roles eligible for sponsorship will reduce from RQF level 6 to RQF level 3.
  • The Resident Labour Market Test, and the selection rules around this, will no longer be applicable.
  • The minimum salary threshold of £30,000 will be removed and replaced with minimum ‘general’ salary threshold of £25,600.
  • Salaries paid below £25,600 amount can still be considered for sponsorship if the circumstances of the recruitment meet certain characteristics.
  • The Skilled Worker Visa remains a sponsored route, and individuals holding either Tier 2 or a Skilled Worker Visa, they remain subject to the University's sponsor licence duties.


To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, the individual must score a minimum of 70 points from the following attributes:

Offer of a job by an approved sponsor

20 points

Job offer at an appropriate skill level (RQF level 3 and above) supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship

20 points

English language at level B1 

10 points

Minimum Salary requirements met       

20 points

The Financial requirement must be met as part of the visa application, but no ‘points’ are attached to this element


Applying for the Skilled Worker Visa

The University provides an FAQ to all Skilled Worker Visa CoS recipients regarding the processes and procedures to obtain a visa. These are provided by e-mail to the applicant alongside the CoS, and are replicated below for ease of reference:



  • For those applying from inside the UK, it is essential that they apply for their new visa before their existing visa expires. Failure to do so will jeopordise their ability to start work/continue working for the University.


Skilled Worker Visa conditions

  • The individual will not be allowed access to state benefits or other public funds. See the UKVI website for full definitions.
  • Registration with the police (only required if they are a national of these countries and they will be resident in the UK for more than 6 months).
  • The only work that they can do is:
    • The job described in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), working for the designated sponsor; and
    • Supplementary employment in the same professsion and at the same professional level, outside their normal working hours or in a job on the shortage occupation list, for up to 20 hours per week; and
    • Voluntary work.

Family members

Individuals applying for a Skilled Worker Visa can also apply for visas for their dependants. See the section on dependant visas for further guidance.