Getting into a university in the United Kingdom has long been an aspiration for international students due to their world-class, top-notch excellence. There’s...
If you’re looking to work in the UK and you have a confirmed job offer in place, you may be eligible to apply for the UK Skilled Worker visa. But how easy is the process, and can you apply from India?
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about applying for the UK Skilled Worker visa from India. This includes some details about the visa and who is eligible for it, plus a step-by-step guide to the application process.
We’ll even throw in a handy tip to help you manage your money when you do eventually arrive in the UK. Open a Wise multi-currency account online and you can send, spend, convert in 50 currencies and receive in 10, including Indian rupees (INR) and British pounds (GBP).
But for now, let’s get that visa application sorted for you.
The UK Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. To be eligible to apply, you must meet the following criteria¹:
- Have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer approved by the UK Government Home Office
- Have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your new employer, detailing the role you’ve been offered
- Be starting a job that’s on the approved list of eligible occupations - check the full list here.
- Be paid a minimum salary - this depends on what job you’ll be doing, but it’s usually at least £25,600 a year (or £10.10 per hour)².
If your application is successful, you can stay for up to 5 years¹. After that, you may be able to extend it.
Before you start your application, it’s a good idea to get your documents together. Here’s what paperwork and information you’ll need to have ready³:
- A valid passport, or another document proving your identity and nationality
- A copy of your certificate of sponsorship from your UK employer - in particular, you’ll need the reference number from this for your application
- The name of your employer and their sponsor licence number
- Your new job title and annual salary
- Proof of your knowledge of English - you can prove your proficiency in English by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider. Alternatively, you’ll have a GCSE, A-level or degree-level qualification from a UK educational institute⁴.
You might also be asked for evidence that you have enough money to support yourself during your time in the UK. For example, a recent bank statement.
If you’re bringing a partner and/or children with you, you’ll need to supply proof of your relationship.
To apply for the Skilled Worker visa outside the UK, you’ll need to complete your application online at the UK Government visa website.
Here’s what to do:
- Check that you have all the required documents to hand, and that you fit the eligibility criteria
- Head to the UK Government visa website, scroll down to the ‘Apply for a Skilled Worker visa’ section and click ‘Start now’.
- Follow the on-screen steps, entering your information when prompted.
- Pay the visa application fee (see below for more on this)
- Check your details carefully and submit your application
- Prove your identity through one of two methods (you’ll be told which to use when you apply). The first is to have your fingerprints and photo taken at a visa application centre in your country, to get your biometric residence permit. The other option is to use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app, for which you’ll need a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account⁵.
- Once you’ve verified your identity and submitted your documents, all you need to do is wait for your visa application to be processed.
- If successful, you’ll be given details on how to get your visa and biometric residence permit.
As part of your application, you’ll need to pay a fee. This varies depending on your circumstances, but it ranges from £625 to £1,423. If your new job is on the shortage occupation list, you’ll usually pay a lower visa application fee⁶.
If you’re applying from India (or elsewhere outside the UK), the fee you’ll pay depends on how long you’ll be staying.
If it’s up to 3 years, the fee is £625 per applicant. This rises to £1,235 per person for stays of more than 3 years⁶.
There’s also something called the healthcare surcharge to pay, at the same time as your visa fee. This is £624⁶ for every year of your stay in the UK, and it gives you access to free healthcare treatment with the National Health Service (NHS). You must pay this even if you’ve arranged private health insurance cover.
The processing time for UK visa applications can vary, and there can be delays if you’re asked for more documents or to attend an interview.
But on average, you can expect a decision on your visa application within around 3 weeks if you’re applying from outside the UK¹. Don't forget to check out our comprehensive guide on how to move to the UK from India.
While you wait for your visa application to be processed, it’s a good time to think about how you’ll handle your finances while in the UK.
Check out the Wise multi-currency account, which lets you spend, send, receive in 10 currencies and convert in 50.. This includes INR and GBP, so you can use your Wise account in both India and the UK.
With your Wise account, you can send money back home to India for low fees⁷ and the mid-market exchange rate.
You can even spend on your own Wise debit Mastercard, which works in 175 countries.⁸ It automatically converts currency at a fair exchange rate, so you don’t have to worry about carrying cash around.
Hopefully after reading this guide, you’ll have a better idea of how to apply for the UK Skilled Worker visa from India.
The online application process seems to be pretty straightforward, and you shouldn’t have to wait long for a decision. Good luck!
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa - Jobs
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa - Documents you must provide
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa - Knowledge of English
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa - Apply from outside the UK
- Gov.uk - Skilled Worker visa - How much it costs
- Country restrictions apply. Visit ‘Where can I use my Wise card’
Sources last checked on date: 14-Feb-2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
When dreaming about higher education, many students have the United Kingdom in mind due to its prestigious universities and world-class academic programs....
Whether you’re commuting to work, planning a weekend getaway, or embarking on a grand adventure, Trainline offers a convenient and hassle-free way to book...
A guide to the residence permit in the UK, including what it is, who is eligible, how to apply and how much it costs.
Your essential guide to importing a car from the US to the UK, covering the costs, documents and procedures to follow.
The essential guide for foreigners buying property in the UK. Learn about fees, taxes, where to find property and a step-by-step guide to the process.