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Work permit for skilled workers

Work permit for skilled workers

Work permit for skilled workers

According to Sections 18a and 18b (1) of the Resident Act – AufenthG), if you have finished higher education or qualified vocational training outside of Germany, you may be eligible to earn a resident permit, which will allow you to work as a qualified professional in Germany.

Please go to “Who Needs a Visa?” to see whether you need one to enter Germany.

What has to be done to be granted a work visa?

Either Germany must recognize your credentials, or they must be equivalent to those from a German higher education institution. It would help if you got a professional practice permit to work in regulated fields, such as the health professions. See Recognition for more details on the recognition procedure.

Have you had a formal offer of employment from a German employer? If so, confirming that you are qualified to do the work you are being employed for is critical based on your recognized credentials. This implies that you can work in allied fields.

 Are you traveling to Germany for the first time to find work, and are you older than 45? If so, you must provide evidence of sufficient old age pension provisions or your gross annual income for the post you want to take must be at least €48,180 (as of 2023).

Do you meet these prerequisites? Learn more about obtaining an entrance visa.

What prospects does a work visa present?

A visa or residency permit may be obtained for up to four years to find suitable work.

If certain conditions are met, you can be eligible to get a settlement permit if you have had a residence permit for work reasons for at least four years. In essence, this is a title to a permanent abode. See the section on Permanent Residency in Germany for additional information about this.

Would you and your family wish to reside in Germany? That’s what this residency permit lets you accomplish. The Family Life in Germany section has all the necessary information and prerequisites.

Information Box

Generally speaking, your application for a job must first be approved by the German Federal Employment Agency (BA). The Federal Employment Agency will determine if your working circumstances (pay, hours, etc.) are comparable to domestic workers as part of this procedure.

What is a skilled worker visa for the UK?

International employees who meet the requirements may work in the UK for approved UK businesses with the help of a UK skilled worker visa. By the end of 2020, the Tier 2 visa superseded the skilled worker visa. Those having skills in an appropriate profession at RQF Level 3 (equal to an A-level in the UK) or above are now eligible for the program.

The UK Skilled Worker Visa is a long-term work permit that may be issued for up to five years, subject to the length of time your Certificate of Sponsorship is valid. It is crucial to remember that you may only use your visa if your sponsoring company still employs you in the same position. You must apply for a new skilled worker visa if you want to switch jobs or companies

If you satisfy the five-year criteria via the Skilled Worker option, you may apply for indefinite permission to remain (ILR) and British citizenship one year later. Even better, you can extend your visa before it runs out. You need to get a job offer and verify that you meet the qualifications listed below before you can apply for a skilled worker visa in the UK.

If you are not a good fit for the Skilled Worker Visa, you have other options for employment. For further information, see our page on UK Work Visas.

Tier 2 versus the Skilled Worker Visa

When comparing the pre-2021 Tier 2 (General) work visa to the more recent skilled worker visa path, there are several noteworthy advantages and distinctions, such as:

Because of the reduced skill level required from RQF level 6 to RQF level 3, a more extensive range of jobs are now eligible for this path.

The required minimum wage was reduced from £30,000 to £26,200 (however, as discussed below, there are several circumstances in which one might be employed less and yet qualify for a skilled worker visa).

Fresh graduates and other market entrants are welcome to apply for the new Skilled Worker path.

The number of skilled worker visas granted in the UK is unlimited.

The absence of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) requirement for skilled worker visas makes hiring qualified foreign employees simpler and quicker.

The one-year waiting time for overseas employees to reapply for a work visa after leaving the UK, known as the “cooling-off period,” has ended.

Qualifications and Eligibility for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

Qualifications for a skilled worker visa include:

  • Get a job offer from a company in the UK.
  • Your employer has to be included on the Home Office-approved list of authorized sponsors1.
  • You must possess a current “Certificate of Sponsorship” from your company.
  • Your current position has to be listed among the acceptable occupations2.
  • The required skill level must be met by you, at least equal to RQF level 3.
  • You must earn at least £26,200 annually.
  • You need to be proficient in the English language.
  • You must demonstrate that you can sustain yourself in the UK by having £1,270 in your bank account.
  • The explanations of each of these qualifying requirements are provided below.

Have an offer of employment from a UK employer

It would help if you had a legitimate employment offer from an approved UK business before you apply for a skilled worker visa for it to be approved. For a position on the list of eligible vocations, this offer must be from an A-rated company on the licensed sponsor’s list and satisfy the minimum pay criteria. A current Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK employer is also required.

2. Your employer has to be included on the Home Office-approved list of authorized sponsors.

The company making the employment offer to you has to be on the Home Office’s list of authorized sponsors. It’s also crucial to confirm that your organization has an A-rated credit rating and is authorized to recruit foreign nationals via the Skilled Worker Route (licenses are granted based on the kind of visa needed). It is only possible for B-rated businesses to reissue fresh Certificates of Sponsorship if they fulfill the Home Office’s compliance standards and get an A rating. Verifying this before submitting is advised to minimize the possibility of a delay or rejection.

3. You must possess a current “Certificate of Sponsorship” from your company.

As previously mentioned, you must have a current CoS from your UK employer to apply for a skilled worker visa.

A digital document known as a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) includes details about the position you are being sponsored for, such as the role title and type, the start and finish dates of your employment, your gross compensation, your sponsor license number, and the expiration date.

4. The position you are working for has to be included in the list of acceptable jobs.

Only jobs listed as suitable professions will be granted a skilled worker visa by UK Visas and Immigration2. To perform in the position you are being employed in the UK, you must also possess the requisite training and experience. You may need to ask your employer for the standard occupation code (SOC) to confirm whether your line of work qualifies.

5. Comply with the necessary skill level

Candidates seeking a skilled worker position and visa must possess skills equal to RQF level 3, the UK equivalent of an A-level diploma. This indicates that your talents are on par with RQF level 3 or above, not that you must possess a certain degree of certification.

6. Minimum salary criteria for skilled worker visas

The minimum wage required for a skilled worker visa was £10.10 per hour or £25,600 per year, whichever was more significant. On April 12, 2023, the minimum wage increased to £26,200. But this isn’t always the case. If your profession has a higher “going rate,” your pay must also be more significant. For several vocations, the Home Office publishes a list of “going rates”3. The government establishes “going rates,” representing the typical salary for a certain profession or occupation. Your “going rate” will be determined by the national pay scales in the UK if you work in a healthcare or education-related field.

In addition, there are instances in which a lesser wage may qualify you for a UK work visa, provided that it does not fall below the threshold of £20,960 per year or £10.75 per hour. Less than £26,200 may be awarded to you if:

There is a scarcity in your line of work, or

If you are a student, recent graduate, doing professional training, or if you are under 26;

You possess a Ph.D. degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) that is relevant to your line of work or;

You work in higher education or science as a postdoctoral scholar.

7. Demonstrate your ability to sustain yourself in the UK by having £1,270 in your bank account.

A bank statement proving you have at least £1,270 for your first month in the UK will be required as proof. You may be able to get a letter from your employer attesting to their willingness to fulfill this obligation on your behalf in certain situations.

8. Language competency in English

To be granted a skilled worker visa, you must demonstrate that you know enough English. There are four methods to do this:

Completing an exam in English

If you pass the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) English exam from an accredited testing center, you will satisfy the language requirements in English. This has to be at least B1 regarding speaking, writing, reading, and comprehension.

Academic credentials

Having completed an English-taught degree or other academic program, you will also satisfy the English language requirements.

Exemption: If you meet the following countries’ standards for English language competence, you are exempt, and you will not be required to complete the English language proficiency requirements: The United States; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago;

If you are in your field of employment and have completed an English language proficiency test recognized by the appropriate authorized professional organization.

needed papers for a UK skilled worker visa

The following are some examples of the data and records you would need to provide with your application for a skilled worker visa:

  • Your passport (the blank page)
  • The reference number on your Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Your job title and yearly income
  • Code for the profession of your work
  • The sponsor license number and name of your employer, as shown on your Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Proof that you have enough money saved up to sustain yourself

For example, evidence of your marriage and birth certificates attesting to your connection with your partner and kids.

A certificate of criminal history (only required for jobs involving vulnerable persons, such as those in healthcare and education)

Proof of your fluency in the English language

Test results for tuberculosis (TB) (if you are from a country where this is necessary)

If your PhD is from somewhere other than the UK, provide an Ecctis reference or a UK PhD certificate.

Additionally, you will get instructions on providing your biometrics—such as your fingerprints and photo—for your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and demonstrate your identification. This may be accomplished by using the Home Office’s mobile app, “UK Immigration: ID Check,” or by having your fingerprints and picture taken at a visa application center in the nation where you now reside. Using the app, you may scan and submit your identification papers to the Home Office.

Owing to the intricacy of the paperwork required for the Skilled Worker visa, we advise consulting an employment immigration solicitor before filing your application. Our staff will ensure that UKVI receives all the evidence necessary for your application and that any mistakes or omissions are fixed. For assistance with your skilled worker visa, call us at 020 3744 2797.

Applying for a UK Skilled Worker Visa: A guide

Using the Home Office website, applicants outside the UK may submit an online application for a skilled worker visa. You can finish and submit your application as soon as you obtain your sponsorship certificate, employment offer, and supporting documents. You have the option to save your progress after completing a portion of the application so that you may finish it at a later time.

The following are the steps for applying:

Verify whether you qualify for a skilled worker visa.

Obtain a job offer from a UK sponsor with a license.

Get your sponsorship certificate from your UK company.

Prepare the paperwork to demonstrate your eligibility for a visa for skilled workers.

Fill out the online application form. Depending on whether you are applying from outside the UK or transferring from another visa while already in the UK, you will need to fill out separate forms.

Please pay the biometric fee, the application cost, and the healthcare surcharge (see below).

Upload any supporting papers that are needed for your application.

Make an appointment for biometrics so your picture and fingerprints may be captured.

If you submit your application outside of the UK, you should hear back from us within three weeks of the submission date. UKVI will contact you if further information is required to support your application.

Switching jobs while on a skilled worker visa

You must apply for a new visa if you currently have a skilled worker visa and want to switch employment. If you choose to:

Switch employers

Changing careers

Modify the job code.

Swap a profession on the shortage occupation list for one that is not.

You may apply from inside the UK if your existing work visa is still valid, and you can stay and work here while you wait for the Home Office to decide.

You must apply for a new visa if you accept a second job in a different industry with another company.

You have up to three months before your new employment start date to apply for a new job or employer. Using as soon as possible is crucial since it might take up to eight weeks to hear back on your application. You should wait to hear back from your new employer on the approval of your application before you begin working for them.

For additional details, please see our post about switching employers on a skilled worker visa.

Extension of Skilled Worker Visa

Suppose you are still working for the same sponsor or employer and maintaining the same profession (which must match the occupation code on your current visa). In that case, you may be eligible to renew your passport before it expires. It is impossible to continue your access if you want to change jobs or employers. Instead, you must apply for a new ticket. You can restore your passport as often as you wish.

Check out our guide on extending the skilled worker visa for more details.

Contact one of our employment immigration attorneys at 020 3744 2797 for help and guidance on the Skilled Worker extension procedure.

Visa for Skilled Worker to India

Suppose you want to remain in the UK permanently. In that case, one of the critical advantages of the skilled worker visa is that, instead of just extending your ticket, you may apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after five years and get permanent residence. To do this, you must fulfill the continuous residency criterion, which states that you can only have spent up to 180 days out of the UK during the previous five years. You won’t need to apply for a visa again or pay the immigration healthcare surcharge once you have indefinite permission to stay. After a year, you may apply to become a citizen of the United Kingdom.

The Representative of an Overseas Business visa, the Innovator visa, the Global Talent visa, the Tier 2 visa (Minister of Religion or Sportsperson), and the Tier 1 visa may all be used to offset the five years needed to be eligible for ILR. It is impossible to incorporate time spent on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur program.

Additionally, to be eligible for ILR, you must provide proof of:

You’ve completed the Life in the UK exam for those ages 18 to 65.

You continue to work for the same sponsor license holder.

You continue to make the required minimum pay.

You are proficient in the English language.

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