Student Immigration Service

Skilled Worker

The Skilled Worker visa is the main immigration route for migrants who wish to work in the UK.


The Skilled Worker visa is the main work route under the Points Based Immigration System. It was introduced on 1 December 2020 and has replaced a visa previously known as Tier 2 (General). 

The Skilled Worker visa is a sponsored visa. Your visa can be sponsored for the length of your employment, up to 5 years. You can extend it as many times as you like, but after 5 years you may be eligible to apply to settle permanently in the UK. 

You can check the GOV visa page for a brief Skilled Worker overview and about how much it costs.

Eligibility criteria 

The Skilled Worker visa is a points-based visa. To be eligible, you must score a minimum of 70 points in total (50 points toward mandatory or 'non-tradeable' criteria and 20 points toward 'tradeable' criteria). 

Mandatory points requirements 

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must obtain 70 points (50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points). You must also meet other mandatory requirements. 

Tradeable points requirements 

In addition to scoring 50 points for the above criteria, you must also score 20 'tradeable' points based on your salary and other criteria if necessary and applicable (for example, relevant academic qualifications you hold or because you are a ‘new entrant' to the UK’s labour market).  

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes are assigned to each role that can be sponsored under the Skilled Worker route.  

Appendix Skilled Occupations 

Other requirements

When to apply  

Further information 

We do not provide a checking service for Skilled route applications. You’ll find full information about Skilled route by reading the resources listed on this page.  However, if there is anything you do not understand about this information, we are happy to answer general enquiries.

You can find further information about the Skilled worker route from the following sources: 

Immigration Rules Appendix Skilled Worker  

Gov UK: Guidance for applicants  

UKCISA: Skilled Worker information 

Skilled Worker visa information for University staff members sponsored under the Skilled Worker visa (only sponsored workers at the University may use the Staff Immigration Service)