Human Resources

Skilled Worker visas: salary requirements and tradeable points

When sponsoring an individual under the Skilled Worker route, we must assign a Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) code to the job that they are being sponsored for. Each SOC code has a “going rate”, which determines the salary for any job under that SOC code.

A visa applicant must gain 70 points in order to be eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route. Some of these points are gained through being offered a job with a salary that meets either the baseline of £25,600, or the going rate for the SOC code, whichever is higher. The going rates are based on a 39-hour full time week, however we can pro-rate them for our 36.5/37.5 hour full time week.

If the salary offered is below the required amount, some applicants may be able to make use of the “tradeable points”, which allows them to gain the necessary points in other ways.

 

Points for sponsorship

The first 50 points are not tradeable and are gained as follows:

Requirement Points available
A valid Certificate of Sponsorship 20
Job at the appropriate skill level 20
English language skills at level B1 or higher 10

 

The final 20 points must be scored through combinations of salary and other attributes. These are known as “tradeable” points. The table below lists acceptable combinations which gain the necessary 20 points:

Option Requirements Points available

A: salary only

Full list of eligible SOC codes

Salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £25,600
  • Going rate for the SOC code
20 points for salary

B: relevant PhD

Full list of eligible SOC codes

PhD in a subject relevant to the job, and salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £23,040
  • 90% of the going rate for the SOC code
10 points for salary
10 points for PhD

C: relevant STEM PhD

Full list of eligible SOC codes

PhD in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) subject relevant to the job, and salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £20,480
  • 80% of the going rate for the SOC code
0 points for salary
20 points for STEM PhD

D: shortage occupation

Full list of eligible SOC codes

Job in a listed shortage occupation, and salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £20,480
  • 80% of the going rate for the SOC code
0 points for salary
20 points for shortage occupation

E: new entrant (see criteria below)

Full list of eligible SOC codes

Applicant is a new entrant to the labour market, and salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £20,480
  • 70% of the going rate for the SOC code
0 points for salary
20 points for new entrant

F: listed health or education occupation (see below)

Full list of eligible SOC codes (in Table 2)

Job in a listed health or education occupation, and salary equals or exceeds the higher of:
  • £20,480
  • Going rate for the SOC code
20 points for salary

 

New entrant criteria

In order to be classed as a "new entrant", the applicant must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • The applicant is a recent UK graduate, or is about to graduate, and meets the additional requirements below
  • The applicant is under the age of 26 on the date they apply for entry clearance or permission to stay
  • The job offer is a post-doctoral position in any of the following SOC codes:
    • 2111 Chemical scientists
    • 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists
    • 2113 Physical scientists
    • 2114 Social and humanities scientists
    • 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified
    • 2311 Higher education teaching professionals
  • The job offer is in a UK-regulated profession and the applicant is working towards a recognised professional qualification for that profession
  • The applicant is working towards full registration or chartered status with the relevant professional body for the job they are being sponsored for
  • The appication is being made in the UK and the applicant's most recent permission was as a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur migrant

Additional requirements for recent UK graduates:

  • The applicant's most recent permission must have been as a Student or Tier 4 Student
  • That permission must have expired less than 2 years before the date they apply for permission as a Skilled Worker
  • In that permission, the applicant was sponsored to study any of the following:
    • UK bachelor's degree
    • UK master's degree
    • UK PhD or other doctoral qualification
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Education
    • Professional Graduat Dipoma of Education
  • The applicant:
    • has completed the relevant course mentioned above
    • is applying no more than 3 months before they are expected to complete the relevant course above; or
    • is studying a PhD and has completed at least 12 months' study in the UK towards that PhD
Listed health or education occupations

The full list of eligible occupations is available in Table 2 of Appendix Skilled Occupations. A selection of codes relevant to the University are listed below:

  • 2211 Medical practitioners
  • 2217 Medical radiographers
  • 2219 Health professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2442 Social workers

 

SOC codes

Our most commonly-used SOC codes are 2119 (for research-based roles, eg Research Fellows) and 2311 (for teaching-based roles, eg Lecturers). The tables below show the going rates for these codes, along with the 90%, 80%, and 70% rates which can be used for some of the tradeable points options listed above.

Research roles – 2119:

  39 hour week 37.5 hour week
Going rate £33,000 £31,730.77
90% £29,700 £28,557.69
80% £26,400 £25,384.62
70% £23,100 £22,211.53

 

Teaching roles – 2311:

  39 hour week 37.5 hour week
Going rate £40,700 £39,134.62
90% £36,630 £35,221.16
80% £32,560 £31,307.70
70% £28,490 £27,394.23

 

SOC codes - ineligible roles

Some jobs will be ineligible for sponsorship even if they meet all the salary requirements. This is because they either don't meet the required skill level (only roles that are at least RQF level 3 can be sponsored) or because the Government has decided that jobs with certain SOC codes cannot be sponsored.

A complete list of all ineligible SOC codes is published here on the Gov.UK website - scroll to Table 5 at the bottom of the page. If a SOC code is included in this list, then it's not eligible for sponsorship.

When matching a job to a SOC code, in the first instance we are looking only for the code that best fits the job. Once we've established that code, we will then check to see if it's eligible for sponsorship. We will not falsely match a job to a code just so that we can offer sponsorship.

 


 

Please note: this page is intended for informational purposes only, to give a broad indication of the requirements that a job and an applicant must meet in order for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route to be possible. The information on this page is not intended as a guarantee of visa sponsorship and should not be taken as such.

For any enquiries about visa sponsorship, or to have a particular job role assessed for eligibility, please contact the HR Compliance team directly.