How Can I Meet the Salary Requirement for a Skilled Worker Visa?

How Can I Meet the Salary Requirement for a Skilled Worker Visa?

Feb 28, 2024
Last Updated on Apr 09, 2024

Under the current immigration rules, Skilled Worker visa applicants must meet the minimum salary requirement for sponsorship.

**Important: the minimum salary for the UK Skilled Worker visa is due to rise significantly on 4th April 2024 (see below for more details); hence, it is important for prospective applicants who are due to apply to check which requirement must be met on the date of application.**

In this article, we will explain how you can meet the salary requirements for a UK Skilled Worker visa.

What is the minimum salary requirement for a Skilled Worker visa?

As of February 2024, Skilled Worker visa applicants must have an offer of a job from an approved UK employer with a salary of at least £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour, or the ‘going rate’ for their type of employment (whichever is the higher amount). 

**From 4th April 2024, the minimum salary for Skilled Worker visa applicants will rise from £26,200 to £38,700. This planned increase does not apply to Health and Care Worker visa applicants.**

What is the ‘going rate’?

The Home Office provides a list of annual going rates for each eligible Skilled Worker visa occupation code. Most going rates are based on the salary level that would be expected of a person in each eligible role, assuming a 37.5 working week. Going rates for education and healthcare are based on national pay scales in the UK. 

For example, the going rate for occupation code 1115 (Chief executives and senior officials) is £59,300 or £30.41 per hour. For occupation code 1121 (Production managers and directors in manufacturing), the going rate is £35,000 or £17.95 per hour. 

If you have an offer of a job with an occupation code of 1115 and if the salary you have been offered is £59,300 or £30.41 per hour or more, then you will be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa. 

To check which going rate applies to your occupation, you will need to ask your UK employer for the occupation code that applies to your role type.

If you have an offer for a job that is not for 37.5 hours per week, you will need to work out the correct going rate using a pro-rata calculation. For example, if you have a job for which the going rate is £38,000, and you will be working 30 hours per week, the calculation is £38,000 / 37.5 hours x 30 hours = £30,400. This means that because you will only be working 30 hours per week, you must have a salary that exceeds the pro-rated going rate of £30,400 per year. Also note that education and healthcare occupations in Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations are worked out on the basis of different hours per week, meaning that the pro-rata calculation is slightly different. 

If you are unsure if you meet this requirement or how to calculate the applicable going rate based on your weekly hours, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can advise you.  

Lower salary requirements

The salary requirement you need to meet may be lower if you:

  • Have a job in a shortage occupation (currently only requires 80% of the going rate however this is due to change later in 2024)
  • Are under the age of 26 (only requires 70% of the going rate)
  • Have a UK student or graduate visa, or in professional training (only requires 70% of the going rate)
  • Have a PhD in a STEM subject (science, technology, engineering or maths) that is relevant to your job in the UK (only requires 80% of the going rate) or
  • Have a postdoctoral position in science or higher education (only requires 70% of the going rate) – this applies only to those in the following occupation types:
    • 2111: chemical scientists
    • 2112: biological scientists and biochemists
    • 2113: physical scientists
    • 2114: social and humanities scientists
    • 2119: natural and social science professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as research fellows and sports scientists
    • 2311: higher education teaching professionals

If you are considering applying for a Skilled Worker visa in the UK under the ‘new entrant’ provisions or under a postdoctoral position route at 70% of the usual going rate, bear in mind that your total stay must not exceed 4 years. This includes any time already spent in the UK on a Skilled worker and/or Graduate visa.

How can I prove that I meet the minimum salary requirement?

When you apply for your Skilled Worker visa, you will be asked to provide evidence that you meet all of the requirements, including your salary. You must prove that you meet the minimum salary requirement by providing your Certificate of Sponsorship which contains details of your salary, working hours, job title, occupation code, and the reference number for your certificate of sponsorship. If the minimum salary you need to meet has been reduced to 70%, 80% or 90%, then you may need to provide additional evidence such as your valid student or graduate visa, STEM PhD certificate, or a letter confirming that you are on a qualifying professional training course.

Meeting the minimum support requirement

In addition to the minimum income requirement, as a Skilled Worker visa applicant, you must have at least £1,270 to support yourself during your first month in the UK. These funds must have been held in your bank account for at least 28 days. If you don’t have these funds, your employer can cover them for you. In this case, your CoS must include the words ‘sponsor certifies maintenance’. 

Final words

An immigration solicitor can ensure that you meet the salary requirements for your visa and that the evidence provided meets the Home Office’s criteria. By ensuring that you meet the salary requirements for your Skilled Worker visa and by providing the necessary evidence, you will significantly boost your chances of receiving a positive decision the first time and realising your dream of working in the UK.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with work visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

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