Working in the UK

SKILLED WORKER VISA

  1. Do I need a sponsor to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa?
  2. What are the minimum salary requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa?
  3. What skill level does my job need to be for a Skilled Worker Visa?
  4. What English language requirements are there for a Skilled Worker Visa?

  5. How many points do I need to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa?
  6. How long does it take to process a Skilled Worker Visa application?
  7. Can I settle in the UK permanently with a Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker visa, now replacing the Tier 2 (General) visa, serves as the primary immigration pathway for non-UK resident workers.

For employers seeking skilled overseas workers and individuals applying for a sponsorship visa, understanding Skilled Worker visa eligibility and application requirements is crucial. This knowledge helps prevent issues or delays with the Home Office application and avoids losing the application fee in case of refusal.

Given the high stakes involved, skilled workers and their sponsors should prioritise seeking legal advice to thoroughly understand available migration options and confirm that the Skilled Worker visa is the appropriate route.

Do I need a sponsor to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, you must have a job offer from a UK employer with a valid sponsorship license to qualify for this visa. Your employer will provide you with a “certificate of sponsorship” as part of the application process.

Table of Contents

skilled worker visa

What is the Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker Visa is an immigration pathway in the United Kingdom that allows skilled workers from overseas to live and work in the country. 

The visa is available to individuals who meet specific criteria, including skill and salary level, English language proficiency, and holding a qualifying job offer from a UK sponsor. To qualify, applicants must accumulate 70 points. 

The Skilled Worker visa allows spouses, “durable” partners, and dependent children to apply and join the primary visa applicant in the UK. Moreover, it serves as a pathway to settlement and Indefinite Leave to Remain.

What are the Skilled Worker visa Requirements?

The Skilled Worker visa requirements include the following:

  1. Job offer: You must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer with a valid sponsor license.
  2. Skill level: The job offer must be for a position at the required skill level, typically at RQF Level 3 or above.
  3. English language proficiency: You need to demonstrate your English language ability at the required level. This is usually done through passing an approved English language test or having an academic qualification taught in English.
  4. Salary threshold: You must meet the minimum salary threshold for the specific job category or the “going rate” for the occupation, whichever is higher.
  5. Points-based system: You need to accumulate at least 70 points under the points-based system, which includes points awarded for factors such as having a valid job offer, meeting the skill level requirement, and meeting the English language requirement.

The applicable 70 points threshold for a Skilled Worker visa is made up of 50 points for mandatory or ‘non-tradeable’ criteria (i.e., the job offer, speaking English, and the requisite skill level for the job on offer) and 20 points for what’s classed as ‘tradeable’ criteria

Skilled worker requirement Points Mandatory or tradeable?
A genuine job offer from a licensed sponsor
20 points
Mandatory
Speak English to the required standard
10 points
Mandatory
Job offer is at a skill level of RQF3 or above
20 points
Mandatory
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)
0 point
Tradeable
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)
10 points
Tradeable
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)
20 points
Tradeable
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee
20 points
Tradeable
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job
10 points
Tradeable
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job
20 points
Tradeable

It is important to note that these requirements may be subject to change, so it is advisable to refer to the official UK government website or consult with an immigration expert for the most up-to-date information.

Skilled Worker Eligible Occupations

To confirm eligibility for a job for the Skilled Worker route, the sponsor must identify the appropriate Skill Occupation Code (SOC) corresponding to the role. The ONS occupation coding tool is typically utilised for this purpose. The job description should align with the position being filled as per the SOC list.

After identifying the relevant code, it is crucial to cross-reference it with the list of eligible jobs to ensure its inclusion and eligibility under the Skilled Worker route. Using an incorrect SOC code can result in the Home Office rejecting the visa application.

Healthcare professionals aiming to work in the UK health or adult social care sector should explore the Health and Care Worker visa. This specialised route provides advantages like a reduced application fee and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge, tailored specifically for health sector occupations.

Skilled Worker skill requirements

The Skilled Worker visa has skill requirements that need to be met by applicants. These requirements include having a confirmed job offer from a UK employer and the job being at the required skill level. Typically, the skill level is set at RQF Level 3 or above. It is essential to ensure that the job offer aligns with the specified skill level to meet the requirements for the Skilled Worker visa.

Although alternative immigration routes may be considered, there is no general work permit or immigration routes for ‘low-skilled’ workers or occupations below this level.

What are the minimum salary requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa?

The minimum salary depends on your job type. You’ll generally need to be paid at least £26,200 per year or £10.75 per hour, whichever is higher. However, if the “going rate” for your job is higher than both of these, you’ll need to be paid at least that amount.

Skilled Worker Minimum Salary Requirement

The Skilled Worker visa has a minimum salary requirement that applicants must meet. The specific salary threshold depends on various factors, including the occupation and the going rate for that particular job. Ensuring that the offered salary meets or exceeds the minimum threshold set by the UK government for the Skilled Worker visa category is important. 

The general minimum salary threshold for the Skilled Worker visa is £25,600 per year unless the specific role has a higher “going rate” assigned to its occupational code. It is necessary to ensure that the offered salary meets or exceeds this threshold based on the applicable going rate for the occupation in question.

When determining the salary level for the Skilled Worker visa, it is important to calculate it hourly, not just annually. The minimum pay rate should not be less than £10.10 per hour, regardless of whether the annual salary exceeds the required threshold. Taking the hourly rate into account ensures compliance with the salary requirements for the Skilled Worker visa.

In certain situations, applicants may still qualify for a Skilled Worker visa if the offered job pays below the general salary threshold or specific role requirement but not less than £20,480. This can be achieved by trading specific characteristics against a lower salary to accumulate the necessary points for eligibility.

If the applicant’s salary is a minimum of £20,480 per year, they may rely on a salary ranging from 70% to 90% of the relevant going rate for the job, provided one of the following conditions is met:

  • The job offer is in a specific shortage occupation.
  • The applicant holds a postdoctoral position in science or higher education.
  • The applicant possesses a science, technology, engineering, or maths (STEM) PhD relevant to the job (for other PhD qualifications, the salary must be at least £23,040).
  • The applicant is a ‘new entrant’ to the UK labour market.

A new entrant refers to individuals who, at the time of application, are under the age of 26 and are seeking a maximum period of 3 years’ leave as a skilled worker. It also includes those sponsored in postdoctoral research positions, engaged in professional training, pursuing professional qualifications, registration, chartered status, recent graduates, or individuals undergoing professional training.

For new entrants, the salary requirement is 30% lower than that for experienced workers across all occupations. However, it is crucial to meet the minimum threshold of £20,480. Furthermore, workers in certain health or education occupations may have separate minimum salary rules to consider

What skill level does my job need to be for a Skilled Worker Visa?

Your job must be on the UK government’s list of eligible occupations or on the “Shortage Occupation List.” Additionally, your job offer must be at an appropriate skill level for your chosen occupation.

Skilled Worker Visa: Shortage Occupations

To determine if your job is eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, consult the shortage occupations list for each area of the UK. If your occupation appears on the list, you may qualify for the visa by being paid 80% of the job’s usual going rate. It is important to review the specific requirements and guidelines outlined in the shortage occupations list to ensure eligibility.

The annual salaries for these jobs are calculated based on a standard 39-hour working week. However, if your employer has a different weekly working hours arrangement, the salaries must be adjusted proportionately to reflect the actual working pattern. It is important to ensure that the salaries meet the appropriate pro-rated calculation based on your specific working hours as specified by your employer.

There’s a different list of shortage occupations for some jobs if you work in healthcare or education. If you do not know your job’s occupation code, you can search for your job in the ONS occupation coding tool.

Occupation code Job types included on the shortage occupations list Areas of the UK where there is a shortage Annual salary (80% of the going rate)
1181
Health services and public health managers and directors – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £30,720 (£15.15 per hour)
1242
Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £21,360 (£10.53 per hour)
2111
Chemical scientists – only jobs in the nuclear industry.
Scotland only
80% of going rate: £21,360 (£10.53 per hour)
2112
Biological scientists and biochemists – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £23,760 (£11.72 per hour)
2113
Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the construction-related ground engineering industry: engineering geologist hydrogeologist geophysicist.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £29,200 (£14.40 per hour)
2113
Physical scientists – only the following jobs in the oil and gas industry: geophysicist geoscientist geologist geochemist technical services manager in the decommissioning and waste areas of the nuclear industry senior resource geologist and staff geologist in the mining sector.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £29,200(£14.40 per hour)
2114
Social and humanities scientists – only archaeologists.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £20,720(£10.22 per hour)
2121
Civil engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £28,000(£13.81 per hour)
2122
Mechanical engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,720(£13.18 per hour)
2123
Electrical engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £29,600(£14.60 per hour)
2124
Electronics engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £27,760(£13.69 per hour)
2126
Design and development engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £27,280(£13.45 per hour)
2127
Production and process engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,480(£13.06 per hour)
2129
Engineering professionals not elsewhere classified – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,160(£12.90 per hour)
2135
IT business analysts, architects and systems designers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £29,280(£14.44 per hour)
2136
Programmers and software development professionals – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,640(£13.14 per hour)
2137
Web design and development professionals – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £20,800(£10.26 per hour)
2139
Information technology and communications professionals not elsewhere classified – only cyber security specialists.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £25,440(£12.54 per hour)
2216
Veterinarians – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,000(£12.82 per hour)
2425
Actuaries, economists and statisticians – only bio-informaticians and informaticians.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £26,240(£12.94 per hour)
2431
Architects – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £28,000 (£13.81 per hour)
2461
Quality control and planning engineers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £24,400 (£12.03 per hour)
3111
Laboratory technicians – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £14,560 (£7.18 per hour)
3411
Artists – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £16,800 (£8.28 per hour)
3414
Dancers and choreographers – only skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies. The company must be endorsed as being internationally recognised by a UK industry body such as the Arts Councils (of England, Scotland or Wales).
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
80% of going rate: £23,840 (£11.76 per hour)
3415
Musicians – only skilled orchestral musicians who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras. The orchestra must a full member of the Association of British Orchestras.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £22,000 (£10.85 per hour)
3416
Arts officers, producers and directors – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £24,000(£11.83 per hour).
3421
Graphic designers – all jobs.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £18,800 (£9.27 per hour)
5215
Welding trades – only high integrity pipe welders, where the job requires 3 or more years’ related on-the-job experience. This experience must not have been gained through illegal working.
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.
80% of going rate: £18,240 (£8.99 per hour)

What English language requirements are there for a Skilled Worker Visa?

You must demonstrate a good level of English language proficiency. This can be done through approved English language tests, such as IELTS or TOEFL.

English Language Requirement

A minimum B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages scale is required for reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English proficiency. Meeting this language requirement is essential for the Skilled Worker visa application process.

Unless applicants have previously demonstrated their English language proficiency as part of a prior UK immigration application or are citizens of exempt countries, the majority of Skilled Worker visa applicants must provide evidence of meeting the English language requirement. This requirement applies to most applicants and is an important aspect of the visa application process.

To satisfy the language requirement, applicants must provide evidence unless they qualify for an exemption. Acceptable forms of evidence include having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher qualification in English. Alternatively, a degree-level academic qualification taught in English or passing an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) is also considered valid proof of language ability.

Applicants from the following countries are exempt from the English language requirement:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

Certificate of Sponsorship Requirement

A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a requirement for individuals applying for certain UK visas, such as the Skilled Worker visa. It is issued by a licensed UK sponsor, typically the employer, to confirm that they are sponsoring the individual for employment or other purposes. 

The CoS contains specific information about the individual, the sponsoring organisation, and the job role. It is an essential document that must be obtained before the visa application can be submitted.

Prior to submitting the visa application, the worker must obtain a valid Cetificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their UK sponsor. The CoS confirms that both the individual and the role meet the necessary eligibility criteria for sponsorship.

There are two main types of Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) in the UK:

  1. Defined CoS: This type of CoS is issued for skilled workers who are applying from outside the UK and are subject to the annual limit on the number of visas granted. These CoS are assigned through a competitive allocation process managed by the Home Office.
  2. Undefined CoS: This type of CoS is issued for skilled workers who are already in the UK or are exempt from the annual limit. Employers with a valid Tier 2 Sponsor License can issue undefined CoS to sponsor eligible individuals for employment.

Sponsors must apply for a designated CoS, submitting job-specific details and salary information as part of the application to the Home Office.

Sponsors can request a yearly allocation of undefined CoS in advance of April or be automatically allocated a quantity. They can also apply for additional CoS throughout the year.

The type of CoS needed varies based on factors such as location and visa category. Consult immigration guidelines to determine the appropriate CoS for specific circumstances.

How many points do I need to qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa?

You need to score a total of 70 points under the points-based system. 50 points, including your job, salary, and English language skills, are mandatory. The remaining 20 points are “tradeable” and can be earned through additional factors like qualifications and experience.

Financial Maintenance Requirement

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the financial requirement and have enough funds to support themselves, as they are not eligible for public funds or benefits.

Applicants must have a minimum of £1,270 in their bank account, available for at least 28 consecutive days within 31 days of the visa application. Proof of savings is required unless they have been in the UK for 12 months with lawful status or if their sponsor agrees to cover their expenses of up to £1,270 in the first month.

The sponsor should indicate on the Certificate of Sponsorship, specifically in the ‘Additional data’ section, that they will meet the financial requirement by certifying maintenance.

Additional funds will be required if dependants are submitting their applications.

Criminal Record Requirement

Applicants in certain occupations may be required to provide a criminal records certificate as part of their application.

How to apply for a Skilled Worker visa

To obtain a Skilled Worker visa, applicants must complete an online application, submit supporting documents, and pay the applicable fee. Additionally, they must provide biometric information at a visa processing centre, whether in the UK or abroad.

Applications can be submitted up to 3 months prior to the intended employment start date in the UK, as specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship.

The applicant must complete an online application within three months of receiving their certificate of sponsorship. They should include the unique reference number assigned to the certificate during the application.

In addition, they must schedule an appointment at a visa application centre to provide biometric information and submit supporting documents. The required documentation includes the following:

  1. Valid passport or travel documents for travel eligibility
  2. Expired passports or travel documents for travel history verification
  3. English language proficiency proof, if required
  4. Evidence of personal savings, if applicable
  5. Tuberculosis test results for applicants from listed countries
  6. Criminal record certificates from any country where they resided for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, specifically for UK education, health, or social care sector employment. 

The Home Office will evaluate the application by assessing the applicant’s points under the points-based system.

Having a valid certificate of sponsorship and a genuine job offer does not guarantee the approval of a Tier 2 visa. The applicant must meet all other criteria and pass the assessment. The Home Office will also review general grounds for refusal, which include assessing criminal history and previous immigration violations.

How long does it take to process a Skilled Worker Visa application?

The processing time can vary depending on your circumstances, but it typically takes around 3 months. You can apply for the visa up to 3 months before your start date in the UK.

How much does a Skilled Worker Visa cost?

The applicant is responsible for paying the visa application fee, ranging from £610 to £1,408, based on their circumstances and whether the job is on the shortage occupation list. They will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, whose main rate is £624 per year of the visa.

The exact costs apply to any dependants applying with the main visa applicant.

Application Type Application fee per Applicant
Applying from outside the UK

Up to 3 years – £610 per person.

More than 3 years – £1,220 per person.

Applying from inside the UK (switching, updating or extending)

Up to 3 years – £704 per person.

More than three years – £1,408 per person.

Shortage occupation roles, both in-country and out-of-country applications.

Up to 3 years – £464 per person.

More than 3 years – £928 per person.

A discounted fee of £55 will be applicable to the main applicant if they are a national of one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, or Turkey.

Please note that the discount only applies to the main applicant and not to any dependants.

Skilled Worker Visa Processing times

Under normal circumstances, skilled worker visa applications typically take around eight weeks to process if submitted from within the UK or approximately three weeks if applied outside the UK, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

In some cases, expedited processing options may be available for an additional fee, depending on the location where the application is being processed.

Can I settle in the UK permanently with a Skilled Worker Visa?

Yes, after meeting certain requirements, such as working in the UK for a specified period, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and eventually settle permanently in the UK.

How long does a Skilled Worker Visa last?

A Skilled Worker visa can last for a maximum period of 5 years and 14 days or the time specified on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), whichever is shorter. After this initial period, the visa can be extended for up to 5 years. The total duration of stay in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa category is typically capped at six years. 

However, there may be exceptions in certain circumstances, such as if the individual qualifies for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) before the 6-year limit is reached.

The Skilled Worker visa can be extended multiple times without any limitations as long as the visa requirements are consistently met. However, if the visa holder changes sponsor or jobs, a new leave period will need to be applied for

What are the Skilled Worker visa Requirements for Employers?

Employers intending to employ EU and non-EEA nationals coming to the UK to work will need to apply for a sponsor licence. This is the permission required for UK employers to recruit overseas migrants to work in the UK in a specific role in an eligible skilled occupation.

  1. Sponsorship License: Employers must hold a valid Sponsorship License issued by the Home Office in order to sponsor skilled workers.
  2. Genuine Vacancy: Employers must have a genuine vacancy that meets the skill and salary requirements for the Skilled Worker route.
  3. Resident Labor Market Test: In most cases, employers need to demonstrate that they have conducted a Resident Labor Market Test to prove that no suitable settled worker is available for the position.
  4. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): Employers must assign a valid Certificate of Sponsorship to the prospective employee, confirming the job offer and meeting the required skill level, salary, and other criteria.
  5. Compliance Obligations: Employers must comply with various immigration obligations, including record-keeping, reporting changes, and monitoring sponsored employees.
  6. Salary and Benefits: Employers must offer a salary that meets the minimum threshold set by the Skilled Worker route and provide appropriate employment terms and conditions.
  7. English Language Requirement: Employers should ensure that their sponsored employees meet the English language requirement unless they are exempt.

Employers need to familiarise themselves with the detailed requirements and guidelines provided by the Home Office to ensure compliance with the Skilled Worker visa requirements.

Introducing the Skilled Worker visa brings positive changes for non-EEA nationals and their employers, simplifying the previous UK visa process. While the core principles remain similar, the new visa requirements are generally less stringent than the points-based system’s previous Tier 2 visa. Notably, the Skilled Worker visa removes the cap on the number of skilled worker visas available and eliminates the need for a Resident Labour Market Test. These modifications make the process more streamlined and flexible for employers and skilled workers.

Implementing the Skilled Worker visa introduces new requirements for both EEA nationals coming to work in the UK and UK employers who previously employed EEA nationals under the EU freedom of movement rules. This change signifies uncharted territory for these individuals and organisations. Employers seeking to hire skilled workers, whether EEA or non-EEA nationals, must obtain a sponsorship licence to sponsor migrant workers. Only after the sponsorship is secured can individuals proceed with their visa applications. This shift in regulations underscores the need for employers and workers to navigate this new landscape and fulfil the necessary sponsorship obligations.

It is important to highlight that EEA nationals who were already living in the UK by 11 pm on 31st December 2020 must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021. This application process is crucial to ensure they secure either settled or pre-settled status, safeguarding their legal status and right to continue residing and working in the UK, including in skilled roles. EEA employees who were in the UK by 31st December 2020 have until 30th June 2021 to complete their registration under the EU Settlement Scheme. This deadline is essential for protecting their rights and ensuring their ongoing eligibility to live and work in the UK.

To obtain a Skilled Worker sponsor licence, the organisation must provide evidence of being a genuine and lawful entity operating in the UK and demonstrate its suitability to sponsor skilled migrant workers. The suitability assessment by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) considers the following factors:

  1. Genuine Employment: The organisation must offer legitimate employment opportunities in the UK that meet the required skills threshold of RQF3 or above. Additionally, the salary offered should be at least £25,600 per year or the going rate for the job, whichever is higher.
  2. Sponsorship Duties: The organisation should demonstrate its capability to fulfil the sponsorship duties. This involves having adequate HR systems and practices and competent key personnel who will operate the sponsor management system (SMS) and ensure compliance with sponsor obligations.
  3. Honesty and Reliability: The organisation, its key personnel, and management should possess a history of being honest, dependable, and reliable. Any past immigration violations or relevant unspent criminal convictions of those involved in the day-to-day operations or the key personnel named in the sponsor licence application could impact the organisation’s ability to sponsor overseas workers.

It’s important to note that immigration policies and requirements can change over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult the official UK government sources or seek professional advice to obtain the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the Skilled Worker Visa.

Skilled Worker Visa FAQs

No, Tier 2 and the skilled worker visa are not the same but are related. Tier 2 was a visa category under the previous UK immigration system, which has been replaced by the skilled worker visa under the new points-based immigration system. The skilled worker visa is part of the new system introduced in December 2020, whereas Tier 2 was part of the previous system.

The skilled worker visa operates under a points-based system and has different criteria and requirements compared to Tier 2. However, the skilled worker visa can be considered a successor to Tier 2, as it also allows skilled workers from overseas to come and work in the UK. The skilled worker visa simplifies and streamlines the immigration process for skilled workers, making it easier for employers to hire overseas talent.

A skilled worker typically possesses the qualifications, expertise, or experience in a specific occupation or profession. The criteria for classifying someone as a skilled worker may vary depending on the immigration system or country. In the UK's immigration system, a skilled worker is someone who meets the required skill level, English language proficiency, and job offer criteria specified by the Home Office. The UK's points-based immigration system assigns points to different factors such as job offer, skill level, salary, and English language ability to determine eligibility for a skilled worker visa.

As of 1st January 2021, EU nationals generally need a visa to work in the UK. With the end of the free movement of people between the UK and the European Union, EU nationals are subject to the same immigration rules and requirements as non-EU nationals. They will need to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa or immigration status in order to work legally in the UK, depending on their specific circumstances and the type of work they intend to do. Various visa options are available, such as the Skilled Worker Visa, which EU nationals can apply for to work in the UK.

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