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Skilled Worker route: Salary requirement


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The Skilled Worker route will replace the Tier 2 General route from 1 December 2020. Barar & Associates explains further salary requirement.

The Skilled Worker route will replace the existing Tier 2 (General) route from 1st December 2020. You can access more information on this category by reading our article. Barar & Associates explains further the requirement pertaining to the salary below.



As a sponsor (ie: an employer), you must ensure that all your Skilled Worker visa holders are paid the minimum salary threshold. This minimum salary threshold will mainly depend on the job, as there are different salary thresholds in function of the job, the relevant skills required and on whether the worker is a new entrant.

Therefore, in general, the minimum salary threshold will be the higher of the below:

  • £25,600 per year;
  • the minimum salary threshold for the relevant occupation code.

The minimum salary threshold can be reduced depending on whether the job is on the shortage occupations list, or PhD is needed for the job, or the migrant worker is a new entrant.

Contrary to Tier 2 (General) workers, the salary for Skilled Workers cannot include allowances, pay or benefits (even if they are guaranteed), other than the guaranteed basic gross pay. Thus, for example, pay which cannot be guaranteed because the nature of the job means that hours fluctuate, additional pay such as shift allowance, overtime, bonus pay, whether or not guaranteed, any allowances such as accommodation or cost of living allowances cannot be added to the guaranteed basic gross pay to meet the minimum salary threshold.

However, guaranteed allowances can be added to the salary if the worker is applying for permission to stay or settlement in the UK and their last visa was a Tier 2 (General) visa and the sponsor employer remains the same.

To calculate the salary for occupation codes listed in Table 1 of Appendix Skilled Occupations, it is based on a 39-hour week and will be pro-rated. Therefore, the minimum salary for the occupation code will be multiplied by the number of weekly working hours divided by 39.

The Home Office has provided the below examples:

  • an applicant who works 60 hours a week in an occupation code in Table 1 with a minimum salary threshold of £39,000 must be paid at least £60,000 (£39,000 x 60 ÷ 39) per year to meet the minimum salary requirement.
  • an applicant who works 30 hours per week in an occupation code in Table 1 with a minimum salary threshold of £39,000 must be paid at least £30,000 (£39,000 x 30 ÷ 39) per year to meet the minimum salary requirement.

New entrants

Their minimum salary threshold is the higher of the below:

  • £20,480 per year;
  • 70% of the minimum salary threshold for the relevant occupation code.

Who can be a new entrant? Anyone falling under one of the below situations:

  • The applicant is under the age of 26 on the date of the application
  • The job offer is a postdoctoral position in any of the following occupation codes:

o 2111 Chemical scientists

o 2112 Biological scientists and biochemists

o 2113 Physical scientists

o 2114 Social and humanities scientists

o 2119 Natural and social science professionals not elsewhere classified

o 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 application is being made in the UK and the applicant’s most recent permission was as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant
  • The applicant is a recent UK graduate, or is about to graduate

To qualify as a new entrant based on being a recent UK graduate, the applicant must meet all of the following conditions:

  • The applicant’s most recent visa must have been as a Student or Tier 4 (General) Student
  • This visa must have expired less than 2 years before the date of the Skilled Worker application
  • With this visa, the applicant studies either a UK bachelor’s degree, a UK master’s degree, a UK PhD, other doctoral qualification, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education
  • The applicant has either completed the course or is applying no more than 3 months before they are expected to complete the course or is studying a PhD and has completed at least 12 months’ study in the UK towards that PhD

The applicant will not qualify as a new entrant if their combined permission as a Skilled Worker, Tier 2 Migrant and/or Graduate, would exceed 4 years in total. This applies whether or not the 4-year period is continuous.


Should you wish to discuss this new Skilled Worker visa in more detail, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via


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