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UK Residency Benefits

The initial visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months (3 years if processed in the UK). After this time, applicants can apply for a 2 year extension provided they meet the eligibility criteria. If an applicant has spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK, they can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Accelerated routes to settlement can be sought after 3 years if investments total £5 million, or 2 years if investments total £10 million. Knowledge of the English language is not a requirement for the initial visa but is required for subsequent ILR applications.


Investment has to be in active and trading UK registered companies, by way of share capital or loan capital. 

What is the UK Skilled Worker Visa?

UK Skilled Worker Visa is a work visa that enables international workers with the necessary skills to work in the UK for licenced UK employers. The skilled worker visa replaced the Tier 2 visa at the end of 2020. The scheme now is open to those with skills at RQF Level 3 (this is equivalent to A-level in the UK) or above in an eligible occupation.

UK Skilled Worker Visa is a long-term work visa and will be initially granted for a period of up to five years (this will depend on the duration of your Certificate of Sponsorship). It is important to note that your visa is only valid as long as you remain in the same role with your sponsoring employer. If you wish to change roles or employer, you will need to apply for a new Skilled Worker visa.

Under the Skilled Worker route, it is possible to extend your visa before it expires, and after a qualifying period of five years, apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and British citizenship one year later. If you are considering applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa, you will need to secure a job offer and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, as outlined below.

If the Skilled Worker Visa is not suitable for you, there are alternative work routes you can explore.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Eligibility and Requirements


Skilled worker visa eligibility requirements are:

  • Have a job offer from a UK employer

  • Your employer must be on the list of licenced sponsors approved by the Home Office

  • Your employer must have issued you with a valid “Certificate of Sponsorship”

  • The job for which you are being employed must be on the list of eligible occupations2

  • You must meet the skill level requirement: at least equivalent to RQF level 3

  • You must meet the minimum salary requirements: £26,200 per year

  • You must meet the English language requirements

  • You must have £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK

Skilled Worker visa to ILR


One of the main benefits of the Skilled Worker Visa is that if you do plan to stay in the UK permanently, rather than just extending your visa, you can acquire permanent residency by applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after 5 years. To do so, you must meet the continuous residence requirement, meaning that you must not have been outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any of the 5 years. Once you have indefinite leave to remain, you will not need to make any more visa applications or pay the immigration healthcare surcharge, and you will be able to apply for UK citizenship after 12 months.

It is important to note that the 5 years required to qualify for ILR can be made up of time on a range of visas, including the Representative of an Overseas Business visaInnovator visaGlobal Talent visa, Tier 2 visa (Minister of Religion or Sportsperson), or a Tier 1 visa. Time spent on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur scheme cannot be included, however.

In addition, to qualify for ILR, you will need to provide evidence that:

  • You have passed the Life in the UK test (for those between 18 and 65)

  • You are still employed by the same sponsor licence holder

  • You still meet the minimum salary requirements

  • You have sufficient English language skills

  • You must have £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK

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