Step 1: Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the Skilled Worker Visa. You’ll need a job offer from a UK employer that’s on the list of approved sponsors and a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) from your employer.
Step 2: Job Offer and Sponsorship: Your UK employer must be a licensed sponsor to hire foreign workers. Once they’ve offered you a job and provided you with a COS, they will give you a reference number that you’ll need for your visa application.
Step 3: Gather Documents: Collect the necessary documents, which may include your passport, COS reference number, proof of English language proficiency, and evidence of your qualifications and experience.
Step 4: Apply Online: Create an account on the UK government’s official visa application website. Complete the online application form, providing accurate information and uploading the required documents.
Step 5: Pay Fees: Pay the relevant visa fees, which will include the application fee and the healthcare surcharge. The healthcare surcharge gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Step 6: Biometric Appointment: Book and attend a biometric appointment at a Visa Application Center. You’ll need to provide your fingerprints and photograph.
Step 7: Attend an Interview: In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview at a UK embassy or consulate in your country.
Step 8: Decision and Visa Issuance: After your application is processed, you’ll receive a decision on your visa application. If approved, you’ll receive a vignette (sticker) in your passport that allows you to travel to the UK.
Step 9: Travel to the UK: Once you have your vignette, you can travel to the UK. You’ll need to enter the UK within a specific time frame mentioned on your vignette.
Step 10: Collect Biometric Residence Permit (BRP): Upon arrival in the UK, you’ll need to collect your BRP within 10 days from a designated Post Office location. This card confirms your right to work and stay in the UK.
Step 11: Register with the Police (if applicable): If your visa requires you to register with the police, you’ll need to do so within seven days of arriving in the UK.
Step 12: English Language Proficiency: You might need to prove your English language proficiency by taking an approved English language test. Check the UK government’s list of approved tests and the required scores.
Step 13: Maintenance Funds: You might need to show evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself (and any dependents) in the UK. The amount required will depend on your individual circumstances.
Step 14: Dependants: If you’re bringing dependents (spouse, children) with you to the UK, you’ll need to include their information in your application. Each dependent will need their own separate application and will need to pay the relevant fees.
Step 15: Visa Processing Time: The processing time for your visa application can vary based on factors like your home country, the time of year, and the complexity of your case. It’s a good idea to apply well in advance of your intended travel date.
Step 16: Start Working: Once you’re in the UK and have your BRP, you can start working for your sponsoring employer. Make sure to follow the terms and conditions of your visa, including working only for the sponsor and in the job mentioned in your COS.
Step 17: Job Changes or Extensions: If you change jobs or your job details change, you’ll need to inform the UK government and your sponsor. If you want to extend your stay in the UK, you can apply to extend your Skilled Worker Visa.
Step 18: Settlement and Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): If you wish to settle in the UK permanently, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you’ve lived and worked in the UK for a certain number of years under the Skilled Worker Visa. The requirements for ILR can differ based on various factors.
Step 19: Citizenship: If you’re interested in becoming a British citizen, you can explore the option of applying for British citizenship after obtaining ILR and meeting the citizenship eligibility criteria.
Step 20: Stay Informed: Keep yourself informed about any changes to immigration rules and regulations. The UK government might update visa requirements, fees, and procedures, so regularly checking their official website is essential.
Remember that immigration rules and procedures can change, so it’s important to refer to the official UK government website or consult legal experts for the most up-to-date information before you begin the application process.