Skilled Worker Visa
Conditions of Stay
Once you obtain your Skilled Worker visa, it will be for employment with the specific employer and role for which the Certificate of Sponsorship was issued. If you wish to change to a role in a different SOC code or a new employer, you will be required to apply for a new visa and meet the requirements for this.
There are some limited circumstances in which you can undertake additional paid work on the Skilled Worker visa:
You can work up to 20 hours a week in a job that’s either:
- In the same occupation code and at the same level as your main job; or
- In a shortage occupation
- The work must take place outside of the normal working hours for which your CoS was assigned
You are permitted to undertake voluntary work for a charitable organisation, but this cannot be a contractual obligation and you must not receive payment or other remuneration for the work (other than reasonable expenses).
If you undertake additional employment that does not meet the criteria above, you will be in breach of your conditions of stay. It is therefore important to carefully consider the above before undertaking any additional work.
No access to public funds
If you have immigration permission in the Skilled Worker category, you may not claim most state benefits or tax credits or access homelessness or housing assistance from the government. This condition is referred to as ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF). Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-funds
If you are a national of a country in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules, you will be required to register with the police within 7 days of arrival in the UK. You will also be required to report any changes of address and further extensions of your permission to the police. Your visa vignette (sticker in your passport) will state if you need to register with police, as well as your visa decision letter.
You will receive a police registration certificate from the police, you must keep this safe as you will be required to show this certificate when asked, for example when you apply to extend your permission in the UK or return to the UK from travelling abroad.
Further details on this requirement and your obligations can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/register-with-the-police
Absences from the UK
Whilst you have valid leave on the Skilled Worker visa, you may travel outside of the UK and back whilst your permission is valid. Any absences from work must be recorded in the University’s CoreHR system, this includes authorised absences.
If you wish to apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the future following 5 years on Skilled Worker leave, you must declare all your absences from the UK in the 5-year qualifying period prior to the application. Please see the ‘Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)’ section for more information.
Dependants - Conditions of Stay
The grant of leave for a dependant will be valid in line with the leave of the main Skilled Worker visa holder, i.e., the permission will expire on the same day of the permission of the main Skilled Worker visa holder.
Furthermore, the grant of leave will be subject to certain conditions which include the following:
- No recourse to public funds
- No employment as a Doctor or Dentist in Training (unless the exemptions under the immigration rules apply)
- No employment as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach)
- Nationals of countries listed in Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules, might also be required to register with the police. This will generally be indicated on the visa vignette in the passport and/or visa decision letter.
If your contract of employment is extended by the University of Glasgow, you can apply to extend your Skilled Worker visa provided that you remain in the same role, or within the same SOC code as your current role. You will also need to continue to meet the conditions and requirements of your visa.
You will be assigned a new Certificate of Sponsorship in an extension category to enable you to apply for your visa extension online.
Those who were granted permission in the Tier 2 (General) category, will be able to extend their permission under the Skilled Worker visa route.
You must ensure that you apply for your visa extension prior to the expiry date of your current Skilled Worker (or Tier 2 General) visa.
Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
After completing 5 years on a Skilled Worker visa, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This is also referred to as ‘settlement’ and is subject to meeting eligibility requirements.
Indefinite Leave to Remain allows you to live and work in the UK as a settled person, meaning that you will have no time restriction on your stay in the UK, and no longer require to be sponsored by an employer in order to work in the UK.
Your salary must meet or exceed the general salary requirement or the going rate requirement for your role and SOC code, whichever is the higher.
Life in the UK Test
The Life in the UK test is required to be taken and passed by settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) applicants between the ages of 18-64. Information on how to book the test and exemptions from the requirement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test
Continuous residence requirement
You must have been living in the UK for 5 years and your absences from the UK must be no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months.
You can combine the time spent on both the Tier 2 (General) and Skilled Worker visa categories.
Absences from the UK should not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period in order to meet the ‘continuous residence’ requirement under the Immigration Rules. These absences are counted on a rolling basis.
Please note that for any absences from the UK before 11 January 2018, the applicant must not have been outside the UK for more than 180 days during any consecutive 12-month period, ending on the same date of the year as the date of the application for settlement.
There is an exemption in the Immigration Rules for Skilled Worker visa holders undertaking research activity which was approved by their sponsor and where the applicant was sponsored for a job in one of the following occupation 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
- 2150 Research and development managers
- 2311 Higher education teaching professionals
Absences which meet these criteria will not be counted towards the 180-day absence limit.
Please note that for this exemption to be applicable, the University must be able to confirm that:
- The purpose of the absence was for research
- The University agreed to the absence
- The absence directly related to the Skilled Worker employment in the UK
It is therefore crucial that work-related absences are discussed with your line manager and recorded in CoreHR even if your line manager is aware of your absence due to work-related research.
Detailed information on the continuous residence requirement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/indefinite-leave-to-remain-calculating-continuous-period-in-uk
Letter from Employer
As part of the Indefinite Leave to Remain application, you will be asked to submit a letter from your current employer confirming your employment, SOC code, salary and absences from the UK (including confirmation of any research-related absences).
Please contact the P&OD (HR) team within your College/University Service in order to request this letter: https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/humanresources/contact/
If you were previously employed with another sponsoring employer during your qualifying period, you will also be required to obtain a letter from your previous employer confirming your employment and absences from the UK.
Further information on settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) can be found here.