Immigration Specialists London

Understanding the Salary Skilled Worker Visa UK 2024 requirements is essential for professionals aiming to navigate the UK’s immigration system. This category mandates adherence to specific salary thresholds established by the UK Home Office, including occupation-specific going rates and a minimum hourly wage. Our guide offers an in-depth analysis of these salary criteria, ensuring applicants meet the UK’s stipulations for skilled workers and facilitating a streamlined visa application process.

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Salary Skilled Worker Visa UK

1. UK Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold


The UK Skilled Worker Visa stipulates distinct salary requirements, which are crucial for meeting visa criteria. The standard minimum salary is set at £25,600 or the occupation’s going rate, whichever is higher. For part-time workers, the salary calculation considers up to 48 hours of work per week. Additionally, tradeable points offer flexibility, allowing skilled workers to qualify even with lower salaries if they meet other specific criteria.

Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary: Thresholds

  • General Salary Threshold:
    • £25,600 or the occupation’s going rate, whichever is higher.
  • Part-Time Work Consideration:
    • Salary calculation considers up to 48 hours of work per week.
  • New Entrants:
    • Lower salary requirement (£20,480) for individuals under 26, students switching visas, and those in postdoctoral positions.
  • Salary Calculation:
    • Based on guaranteed basic gross pay, excluding benefits and allowances.
  • The Going Rate:
    • Must earn at least the full going rate or a portion of it (70%, 80%, 90%) based on tradeable points. No reduced rates for Table 2 occupations.
  • Minimum Hourly Rate:
    • £10.10 from April 6, 2021, for occupations in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations. This does not apply to Table 2 or settlement applications.

Additional Notes: Salary Skilled Worker Visa UK

  • Salary Sacrifice Schemes:
    • Salary sacrifice schemes and specific transitional arrangements for Tier 2 (General) migrants are acknowledged as exceptions.
  • Consult Appendix Skilled Occupations:
    • Applicants should consult the Appendix Skilled Occupations for precise information on the going rate for their specific occupation.
  • Transitional Arrangements:
    • Transitional arrangements exist for certain Tier 2 (General) migrants and Skilled Workers with permission granted before April 6, 2021.

Understanding these salary thresholds and options is essential for applicants to ensure their eligibility and maximize their chances of securing a Skilled Worker Visa.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Threshold Tradeable Points
Uk Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary Threshold Tradeable Points

2. PhD Holders: Option B and C


For PhD holders applying for the UK Skilled Worker Visa, there are specific salary criteria outlined under Option B and Option C. These options cater to different types of PhD qualifications and offer varying salary thresholds and requirements. Understanding these options is crucial for applicants to accurately gauge their eligibility and the points they can score under the Skilled Worker Visa program.

Skilled Worker Salary UK: Criteria and Options for Phd Holders

  • Option B: PhD in a Relevant Subject
    • Minimum Salary PhD Holders: £23,040 annually, 90% of the occupation code’s going rate, with a £10.10 minimum hourly rate.
    • Eligibility for PhD Tradeable Points: Only specific occupations are eligible, marked “YES” in the “Eligible for PhD points (SW)?” column in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations.
    • Verification of PhD Qualification: UK-awarded PhDs require a certificate or academic reference. Overseas PhDs need ECCTIS verification.
  • Option C: STEM PhD Qualification
    • Minimum Salary STEM PhD: £20,480 annually, 80% of the occupation code’s going rate, with a £10.10 minimum hourly rate.
    • STEM Qualification Verification: The sponsor must explain why the qualification is in a STEM subject.

Scoring Tradeable Points

  • Option B:
    • 10 points for salary and 10 for a relevant PhD, totaling 20 points. Non-STEM PhDs can score 10 points if other criteria are met.
    • Applicants using Option B can score 0, 10, or 20 points, depending on how their qualifications align with the criteria.
  • Option C:
    • 20 points for meeting both salary and STEM qualification requirements.
    • For Option C, applicants must satisfy all conditions to earn the full 20 points.

This structured approach ensures that applicants with relevant and specialized qualifications are appropriately recognized within the Skilled Worker Visa application process. Understanding these criteria allows PhD holders to maximize their eligibility and successfully navigate the application requirements.

3. Shortage Occupations: Option D


For the UK Skilled Worker Visa, distinct salary guidelines apply to applicants in shortage occupations, classified under Option D. These rules are designed to cater to the unique needs of certain sectors facing labor shortages. Understanding these rules is crucial for both applicants and sponsors to ensure compliance with the UK’s immigration policies.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Salary Threshold: Shortage Occupations

  • Salary Threshold:
    • Minimum annual salary of £20,480 and at least 80% of the going rate for the occupation code.
  • Hourly Rate:
    • A mandatory minimum of £10.10 per hour, regardless of the occupation’s standard going rate.
  • Shortage Occupation Criteria:
  • CoS Confirmation:
    • Sponsors must confirm that the job is a recognized shortage occupation on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), including any additional criteria.
  • Working Hours Flexibility:
    • No minimum weekly hours requirement, but salary thresholds must be met and pro-rated appropriately.
  • Application Fee Variations:
    • Lower fees for shortage occupations, with potential additional fees or refunds depending on the application’s compliance.
  • Continuity in Shortage Occupation:
    • Points can be scored for a removed occupation if continuing the same job with the same sponsor. Different sponsors require alternative points.
  • Special Note on Chefs:
    • Chefs were removed from the Shortage Occupation List as of 6 April 2021.

Additional Information

Applicants and sponsors must carefully adhere to these salary rules for shortage occupations to ensure the success of the visa application process. Regularly consulting the updated Shortage Occupation List and understanding the nuances of each occupation’s requirements are essential steps in this process. This structured approach ensures that shortage sectors can attract the necessary talent while maintaining the integrity of the immigration system.

4. New Entrants: Tradeable Points Option E


The new entrant salary threshold under the UK Skilled Worker Visa is specifically designed for individuals at the early stages of their careers. This category provides more accessible salary requirements for those who are relatively new to the labor market. It’s essential for both the applicants and their sponsors to understand these specific criteria, as they play a critical role in the visa application process.

Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary for New Entrants

  • Salary Requirements:
    • Minimum annual salary of £20,480 and at least 70% of the going rate for the specific occupation code.
    • Mandatory minimum hourly rate of £10.10, even if it exceeds the standard going rate.
  • Eligibility Period:
    • The status is valid for up to four years, which can include time spent under Tier 2, the Graduate route, or as a Skilled Worker. This duration accounts for both continuous and non-continuous permissions.
  • Duration Limitation:
    • Individuals exceeding four years as a Tier 2 migrant or Skilled Worker cannot score points as new entrants and must seek other tradeable points options.
  • CoS Adjustment:
    • Sponsors may adjust the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) dates to comply with new entrant criteria, which might affect the Immigration Skills Charge and Health Charge recalculations.

Additional Information

Sponsors play a pivotal role in verifying and documenting the applicant’s status as a new entrant. This verification is crucial to ensure that the applicant meets the specific salary requirements and eligibility criteria under this category. Accurate determination and compliance with these guidelines are key to a successful application process for individuals beginning their careers in the UK.

By adhering to these salary requirements and understanding the eligibility criteria, new entrants can effectively navigate the visa application process and take advantage of the opportunities available to early-career professionals in the UK.

5. Tradeable Points Option Guide


The UK Skilled Worker Visa evaluates applicants based on tradeable points related to salary and occupation. It is essential for both applicants and sponsors to be well-versed in these criteria. The Home Office prioritizes mandatory points for sponsorship and skilled job requirements before considering tradeable points. Understanding the nuances of the assessment process, especially regarding different occupation tables and salary thresholds, is crucial for successful visa applications.

Tradeable Points Option and Criteria

  • Initial Consideration:
    • Applicants must first score 20 points each for valid sponsorship (Certificate of Sponsorship) and a job at an appropriate skill level. Failure to meet these requirements disqualifies an applicant from scoring tradeable points.
  • Assessing Occupations in Table 1:
    • Occupations listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations have tradeable points options A to E. The application is assessed for tradeable points until the applicant scores 20 points, with salary being a primary focus.
  • Shortage Occupation List:
    • Jobs on this list receive special consideration. The Home Office may contact the sponsor for clarification if needed.
  • Occupations in Table 2 (Option F):
    • Applies to specific health and education occupations with salaries aligned to national pay scales. No discounts to the going rates are allowed. Points are based on the job being listed and meeting salary thresholds.
  • Minimum Rate Exemption:
    • The £10.10 minimum hourly rate does not apply under Option F.
  • Application Assessment Nuances:
    • Immigration Officers may require additional information from sponsors, especially for occupations listed partially on the shortage list. Applications are comprehensively evaluated.

Additional Information

  • Tradeable Options:
    • Applicants cannot combine different tradeable options and must meet the outlined criteria for a successful application.
  • Sponsor’s Role:
    • Sponsors must accurately provide and verify necessary information according to the specific occupation codes and tables in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. This ensures a streamlined evaluation process and enhances the chances of visa approval.

By thoroughly understanding these tradeable points criteria and adhering to the guidelines, applicants and sponsors can effectively navigate the Skilled Worker Visa application process. Accurate documentation and compliance with the specified requirements are crucial for maximizing the chances of a successful application.

6. How to Compute Salary?


The UK Skilled Worker Visa requires a specific calculation of the salary to determine eligibility. Understanding what is included and excluded in the salary computation as per the guidelines in Appendix Skilled Worker (paragraphs SW 14.1 to SW 14.2) is essential for both applicants and sponsors to ensure compliance with visa requirements.

Skilled Worker Salary UK: Inclusions and Exclusions

  • Salary Inclusions
    • Guaranteed basic gross pay
  • Salary Exclusions
    • Fluctuating pay due to variable work hours
    • Overtime, shift allowance, or bonus pay, even if guaranteed
    • Employer pension and national insurance contributions
    • Allowances like accommodation or living cost allowances
    • In-kind benefits such as equity shares, health insurance, educational fees, company cars, or provided meals
    • One-off payments like signing bonuses
    • Payments covering immigration costs like visa fees or the Immigration Health Charge
    • Business expense reimbursements (travel, equipment, subsistence)

Additional Considerations

  • Salary Sacrifice Scheme: The amount given up as part of a salary sacrifice scheme is included in the salary calculations to meet the minimum requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa.
  • Transitional Arrangement for Tier 2 (General) Migrants: Under paragraph SW 14.5(a), certain Tier 2 (General) migrants can include specific allowances in their salary calculations if:
    • They are extending with the same sponsor.
    • The application is made before December 1, 2026.
    • Allowances are guaranteed for the entire permission duration.
    • Similar allowances would be paid to a local settled worker in comparable circumstances (e.g., London weighting).

It’s crucial for both the applicant and the sponsor to accurately assess and document the salary package, adhering to these guidelines. The Immigration Officer may seek clarification or require amendments to the salary package, especially if it impacts the decision on the visa application. Understanding these nuances helps ensure that the salary package meets the visa requirements effectively.

7. The Going Rate


The “going rate” for the UK Skilled Worker Visa refers to the minimum salary benchmarks set for specific occupation codes, as listed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. Applicants must meet either the full going rate or a percentage of it (70%, 80%, or 90%), depending on their chosen tradeable points option. Notably, for occupations in Table 2, such as Medical Practitioners, no reductions are permitted from the set going rate.

Skilled Worker Salary UK: Pro-Rating the Going Rate

Considerations and Methodology:

  • Table 1 Occupations:
    • Based on a 39-hour week.
    • Pro-rate the salary by dividing the annual rate by 39, then multiply by the weekly hours.
  • Table 2 Occupations:
    • Adjust pro-rating based on defined full-time hours (e.g., 40 for doctors).
  • Teaching Jobs:
    • Use the full-time equivalent (FTE) proportion for pro-rating.
  • Weekly Hours for Salary Checks:
    • Include all weekly hours for salary checks against the going rate, even if over 48 hours per week.

Example Calculation:

For instance, if the going rate is based on £21,000 for a 39-hour week, and the applicant works 52 hours, the pro-rated going rate is calculated as follows: £21,000 ÷ 39 x 52 = £28,000. If the applicant earns £26,000, the salary percentage against the going rate is £26,000 ÷ £28,000 x 100 = 93%. This allows for exploration of tradeable points options at 70%, 80%, or 90% of the going rate.

Transitional Salary Arrangements for Specific PhD-Level Roles

Under transitional arrangements effective until December 1, 2026, certain PhD-level roles, like Physical Scientists and Higher Education Teaching Professionals, can utilize previous, lower going rates for extension or settlement applications. This applies to those previously sponsored under Tier 2 (General) in these roles.

Occupation Codes and Transitional Going Rates:

  • 2113 Physical Scientists:
    • £29,000 (£13.94 per hour)
  • 2119 Natural & Social Science Professionals:
    • £29,000 (£13.94 per hour)
  • 2311 Higher Education Teaching Professionals:
    • £33,000 (£15.87 per hour)

These rates are based on a standard 40-hour workweek, and sponsors must adjust these figures for other work patterns matching the applicant’s weekly working hours.

Implications for New Applicants

This transitional arrangement is specific to individuals previously sponsored under Tier 2 (General) in the mentioned occupations. New applicants or those transitioning to these roles will be assessed against the current going rates as per Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations. It’s essential for applicants and sponsors to understand these nuances to ensure compliance with the UK Skilled Worker Visa’s salary requirements.

8. Minimum Hourly Rate


The minimum hourly rate requirement for the UK Skilled Worker Visa, effective from April 6, 2021, is set at £10.10 per hour. This mandate ensures that skilled workers are compensated fairly according to UK labor standards, potentially exceeding the going rate for certain occupations.

Skilled Worker Visa Minimum Salary: Key Aspects of Hourly Rate

  • Hourly Rate Requirement:
    • The minimum hourly rate is £10.10, applicable even if it exceeds the occupation’s going rate.
  • Weekly Hours Calculation:
    • Total weekly working hours are considered for this calculation, excluding overtime.
  • Example Scenario:
    • A senior care worker with an annual salary of £21,000 and 42 weekly working hours must meet the £10.10 rate.
  • Applicability:
    • Applies to occupations in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations (Options A to E).
  • Transitional Arrangements:
    • Exempts certain Tier 2 (General) migrants and Skilled Workers who had permission before April 6, 2021.
  • Settlement Applications:
    • This hourly rate does not apply to settlement applications under the Skilled Worker route.

Summary

The minimum hourly rate of £10.10 for the Skilled Worker Visa represents a commitment to fair compensation for skilled workers in the UK. It’s essential for both applicants and sponsors to be aware of and adhere to this requirement, along with other salary regulations, for successful visa processing. This rate underscores the UK’s dedication to maintaining equitable labor standards for its skilled labor force.

9. Scoring Tradeable Points


For applicants of the UK Skilled Worker Visa, especially those who were previously Tier 2 (General) migrants, understanding the transitional arrangements and how to score tradeable points for the visa salary is crucial. These points are pivotal in meeting the minimum salary threshold required for the visa.

Scoring Tradeable Points: Skilled Worker Salary UK

Transitional Arrangement under Paragraph SW 14.5(b):

  • Application Date: Submission before 24 May 2023.
  • Continuous Permission: Continuous permission under Tier 2 (General) and/or Skilled Worker routes since receiving a CoS before 24 Nov 2016.
  • General Threshold: Salary meeting or exceeding £20,800.
  • Going Rate: Salary meets the full pro-rated going rate for the job.
  • Mandatory Points: 20 points for sponsorship and 20 points for a job at the appropriate skill level.

Scoring Tradeable Points (For those not covered by the transitional arrangement):

Salary Criteria and Possible Outcomes:

  • At least £25,600, £10.10/hr, full pro-rated going rate:
    • Scores 20 points for salary alone (Option A).
  • At least £23,040, £10.10/hr, 90% of pro-rated going rate:
    • Scores 10 points for salary with a relevant PhD (B).
    • Scores 20 points if the job is in a shortage occupation (D) or for new entrants (E).
  • At least £20,480, £10.10/hr, 80% of pro-rated going rate:
    • Scores 20 points with a relevant STEM PhD (C), for shortage occupation (D), or new entrants (E).
  • At least £20,480, £10.10/hr, 70% of pro-rated going rate:
    • Scores 20 points for new entrants (E).
  • Less than the above:
    • Visa application refusal under option F for ineligible occupation.

Salary Criteria and Outcomes for Health or Education Jobs:

  • At least £20,480 and full pro-rated going rate:
    • Scores 20 points for salary (Option F).
  • Less than the above:
    • Possible scoring for nurses/midwives under specific conditions (SW 13.4. to SW 13.5.).

10. FAQs: Salary Skilled Worker Visa


  1. What is the minimum salary requirement for the UK Skilled Worker Visa?

    The standard minimum salary is £25,600 or the occupation’s going rate, whichever is higher. However, there are tradeable points options that can lower this threshold under certain conditions.

  2. How is the ‘going rate’ for a job determined?

    The going rate is the minimum salary required for specific occupation codes, detailed in the Appendix Skilled Occupations. Applicants must meet either the full going rate or a percentage of it based on their tradeable points option.

  3. Can overtime pay be included in the salary calculation for the visa?

    No, fluctuating pay such as overtime, shift, or bonus pay, even if guaranteed, is excluded from the salary calculation for the visa.

  4. Can allowances and benefits be included in the salary calculation for the UK skilled worker visa?

    Only guaranteed basic gross pay can be included in the salary calculation. Benefits such as overtime pay, bonuses, allowances, and in-kind benefits cannot be included in the salary calculation.

  5. What is the minimum hourly rate for the Skilled Worker Visa applicants?

    From April 6, 2021, the minimum hourly rate is £10.10. This rate must be adhered to even if it exceeds the specific occupation’s going rate.

  6. Are there any exceptions to the salary requirements for new entrants?

    Yes, new entrants must earn at least £20,480 annually and a minimum of 70% of the going rate for their specific occupation code. This status is valid for a maximum of four years.

  7. What are the transitional arrangements for Tier 2 (General) migrants?

    Tier 2 (General) migrants have specific transitional arrangements that allow them to include certain allowances in their salary calculations under specific conditions.

  8. How are tradeable points scored for the Skilled Worker Visa salary?

    Applicants can score tradeable points based on their salary, qualifications, and occupation type. They cannot combine different tradeable options and must first meet mandatory points for sponsorship and skilled job.

  9. Is there a special consideration for shortage occupations?

    Yes, jobs on the shortage occupation list are specially considered, with potential contact to the sponsor for clarification. These roles may have different salary requirements.

  10. Can an applicant score points if their occupation is removed from the Shortage Occupation List?

    If an applicant is continuing the same job with the same sponsor, they can still score points for it even if the occupation is removed from the list.

  11. Where can I find the most updated requirements and guidelines for the UK Skilled Worker Visa?

    Always consult the official UK government website and the latest version of the Appendix Skilled Occupations for the most updated requirements and guidelines.