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What is Appendix Skilled Worker?

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In this article, our Immigration Solicitors examine what Appendix Skilled Worker is and answer your sponsor licence and Work Visa queries about Skilled Worker Visa applications.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

What is Appendix Skilled Worker?

Appendix Skilled Worker is the section of the UK immigration rules on sponsorship of skilled workers on Work Visas. It is an Appendix that Sponsorship Licence Lawyers know well because if these rules are not followed a Skilled Worker Visa applicant won't get their visa. In addition, a UK sponsor licence holder could put their licence at risk if they do not follow the immigration rules when sponsoring a Skilled Worker Visa applicant.

Appendix Skilled Worker doesn’t just deal with the eligibility criteria for the Skilled Worker Visa. It also covers Skilled Worker Visa extension applications and settlement applications where a Skilled Worker Visa holder is applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The Appendix was last updated by the Home Office in May 2024.

Who cannot use Appendix Skilled Worker to apply for a Work Visa?

The Appendix says that a visa applicant applying for permission to stay must be in the UK on the date of their visa application and must not be in the UK or have last been granted permission on one of these types of visas:

  • Visitor Visa
  • Short term Student Visa
  • Parent of a child student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Domestic worker in a private household

In addition, the applicant cannot have been in the UK outside the Immigration Rules and go on to make a Skilled Worker Visa application under Appendix Skilled Worker.

If the Work Visa applicant is in the UK on a Student Visa there are rules on whether international students can or cannot apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. The international student must have a job offer from a sponsoring employer and:

  • Completed their studies or
  • The student’s course is full-time and degree-level or above with an educational institution with a track record of immigration compliance. The job must not have a start date before the course completion date or
  • The job won't start earlier than 24 months after a PhD student has started their course. This is subject to the visa applicant being a PhD student studying with an education provider with a track record of immigration compliance

Who can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa under Appendix Skilled Worker?

A visa applicant must meet the suitability and eligibility criteria.

The Skilled Worker Visa suitability criteria are:

  • The applicant must not be unsuitable for a visa under Part 9 of the immigration rules relating to grounds for refusal and
  • If the applicant is applying for permission to stay from within the UK, then the applicant must not be in breach of immigration laws ( unless the applicant is an overstayer and paragraph 39E of the immigration rules applies to them) or they are on immigration bail

The eligibility criteria are:

  • The applicant must be 18 or over on the date of the visa application
  • Have a TB certificate if required – depending on the country of application
  • Have 70 points to qualify as a skilled worker on the points-based immigration system
  • Have a job offer from a sponsoring employer who has allocated the visa applicant a certificate of sponsorship. The certificate of sponsorship must be dated within 3 months of the Skilled Worker Visa application
  • Meet the financial requirement where the visa applicant has been in the UK for less than 12 months. The financial requirement is unnecessary if the visa applicant has been in the UK for 12 months. To meet the financial requirement the applicant must have held funds of at least £1,270 for 28 days or their employer must certify that they will meet the financial requirement
  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Paid the visa application fee and immigration health surcharge

How do you get 70 points for a Skilled Worker Visa?

To get to 70 points, a visa applicant must get 50 required or mandatory points. The remaining 20 points are tradeable so there is some flexibility in how those 20 can be met - provided the visa applicant complies with the fairly complex points rules in Appendix Skilled Worker.

The mandatory points are:

  • 20 points for a genuine offer of employment in an eligible job from an employer with a sponsor licence and who has allocated the visa applicant a certificate of sponsorship
  • 20 points for a job at the required skill level with a standard occupational classification code which means the job falls with the Skilled Worker Visa. The skill level is set at RQF3 or above. RQF3 is equivalent to A-level skilled work
  • 10 points for meeting the English language requirement. For the Skilled Worker Visa, the English language requirement is set at level B1 (intermediate) on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in reading, writing, speaking and listening

The 20 tradeable points can be met in a variety of different ways. For example, if the visa applicant is paid the higher of the going rate for the job’s standard occupational classification code or the new minimum salary threshold of £38,700.

How can OTS Solicitors help you with your sponsor licence or Work Visa application?

Our Business Immigration Solicitors and Individual Immigration Solicitors can help you with all immigration law needs from applying for a sponsor licence for your business and providing a professional sponsor licence management service to guiding your business through certificate of sponsorship allocation to supporting a Work Visa applicant through the intricacies of their Skilled Worker Visa application or extension application.

UK Online and London-Based Immigration Solicitors and Sponsorship Licence Lawyers

For immigration advice call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


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