Skilled Worker route vs Tier 2 (General) route

The Skilled Worker route replaces the Tier 2 (General) route.

The Skilled Worker route lowered the skills threshold from RQF (Regulated Qualifications Framework) level 6 to RQF level 3. Level 3 qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are: A level, access to higher education diploma, advanced apprenticeship, applied general, AS level, international Baccalaureate diploma, level 3 award, level 3 certificate, level 3 diploma, level 3 ESOL, level 3 national certificate, level 3 national diploma, level 3 NVQ, music grades 6, 7 and 8, and tech level. Qualifications outside England, Wales and Northern Ireland use different level systems. You can compare your European qualifications or contact the UK National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) to compare a UK qualification with any non-UK qualification.

The number of Skilled Workers that can use this route is not capped, which is good news for both prospective employers and prospective employees. As it is the fact that the Resident Labour Market Test has been removed. This test required the employer to advertise the job and try first to fill the role with a worker settled in the UK, and to make a job offer to a prospective immigrant only if the position has not been occupied by a settled applicant.

The 6-year maximum stay in the UK under the Tier 2 (General) route has also been scrapped. The Skilled Worker route leads to settlement. After 5 years in the UK, the Skilled Worker may settle (may be granted “indefinite leave to remain”).

If you are an existing Tier 2 (General) worker, you can apply under the Skilled Worker route for extension of your leave, change of your employment, or for settlement (as the Skilled Worker route leads to settlement in the UK).

If you want to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa and need my specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.