The skilled work visa route is for those migrants with a job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor and if they meet certain other criteria like skill level, English language proficiency, and earn a minimum salary threshold. The UK government has announced a new Points Based Immigration route for skilled workers starting from January 2021, which essentially replaces the current route as detailed further below. The new system will come into force for applications submitted after 9 AM on 1 December 2020.
Current PBS Route
Tier 2 visa route is currently the most preferred route for skilled migrants to come to work, remain, and settle in the UK. To be able to apply for entry or leave under the Tier 2 visa route, applicants must be in possession of a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship commonly known as ‘CoS’ from a UK employer who holds a Tier 2 sponsor license. Besides that, applicants must fulfill the requirements of the Tier 2 sub-category for which they are applying.
- Tier 2 General
- Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer
- Tier 2 Sports Person
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion
Tier 2 General
In order to be eligible under this category, applicants must score a total of 70 points. They can meet these criteria if they have a certificate of sponsorship issued by a licensed Tier 2 sponsor (30 points), an appropriate salary (20 points), Knowledge of the English language (10 points), and savings of £945 in their bank account for 90 days prior to the application or their maintenance certified by their ‘A-rated sponsor (10 points).
Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer
This route is for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred by an overseas employer to a skilled job in a UK-based branch of the organization.
There are two different categories of the Intra Company Transfer visa:
for skilled employees who are to be transferred to the UK branch of their organization for a longer period than 12 months to fill a position that cannot be filled by a new worker from the resident workforce. Applicants must have worked for the company for over 12 months or be paid £73,900 or more a year to work in the UK.
this route allows the transfer of recent graduate employees to a UK branch of the same organization, as part of a structured graduate training program, which clearly defines progression towards a managerial or specialist role. This route requires a minimum of 3 months of prior experience with the applicant’s employer overseas.
Tier 2 Sports Person
This is for elite sportspeople and coaches whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level. In order for a Certificate of Sponsorship to be issued, the sponsor will need to obtain an endorsement from the appropriate governing body of the relevant sport.
Tier 2 Minister of Religion
This category is for those people coming to fill a vacancy as a Minister of Religion, Missionary or Member of a Religious Order. In order to claim points, applicants must have a valid CoS and meet other requirements of the route. This route is commonly used for Priests and Pastors who may regularly or on a one and off occasion perform their religious duties in the UK.
New PBS Route
The details of the new points-based skilled worker pathway, which will begin on January 1, 2021, have been released by the UK government. The main requirements are that the applicants have a job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor, that they meet the required skill level of at least RFQ 3, that they speak English fluently and that they earn a minimum salary threshold, or that they have a Ph.D. relevant to the job or that the job is in a shortage occupation. The higher the set pay threshold for their occupation (‘the going rate’) or the general salary threshold must be met as the minimum salary. The general salary barrier will be established at £25,600 per year. Some of the required features can be traded in order to fulfill the overall point requirements.