Skilled Worker visa

Guidance for international applicants who are skilled workers with a suitable job offer at Goldsmiths.

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Eligibility for Skilled Worker visa is quite complicated, but we have it simplified below. More information on the Skilled Worker visa can be found here.

If you have any questions about applying for a Skilled Worker visa after your studies, you can make an appointment to talk to us.


In most cases you need to have completed your undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in order to be eligible to apply under the skilled worker route.

You will need either: the original certificate, the original transcripts, or an academic reference confirming that you have successfully completed your qualification with a UK institution.

If you are unable to get your certificate or transcript, contact us to discuss obtaining an academic reference that meets the visa requirements.

Skilled Worker visa’s can only be sponsored by organisations who are approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Always check whether your intended employer is on the UKVI's list of current sponsors.

Your job

You must meet all the following requirements to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa:

  • your job is eligible for this visa
  • you’ll be paid the minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing - whichever is higher
  • you’ll be working for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

Check if your job is eligible

Before you can find out if your job is eligible, you need to know its 4-digit occupation code.

If you already have a job offer, ask your employer for your occupation code.

If you do not know your code, you can search for your job in the ONS occupation coding tool.

Not every job title is included. If you cannot find your exact job title, try searching for similar jobs.

Make sure the job description matches what you’ll be doing. Some similar jobs have different codes, for example, chefs and cooks. Chefs are eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, but cooks are not.

When you know your occupation code, view the table of eligible jobs to see if it’s included.

The table is very large. It’s sorted in order of occupation code, with the smallest numbers at the top. You may be able to use your web browser to search for your code on the page.

Salary requirements

You’ll usually need to be paid at least £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour or the ‘going rate’ for your job (whichever is higher).

Each occupation code has its own annual going rate. Check the going rate for your job in the going rates table.


Your employer must issue you with a COS so that you can apply for your Skilled Worker visas. Your COS needs to list details of your job and your salary.

There are 2 types of COS; Undefined and Defined.

  • If you are issued with a Defined COS, you need to apply for your visa outside of the UK.
  • If you are issued with an Undefined COS, you can apply for your visa inside the UK.

You will need to meet the financial requirements by providing bank statements unless:

  • you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months
  • your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK, up to £1,270

Otherwise, you must have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK.

You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.

If you are applying with your partner and/or children, they will also need to prove they can support themselves while they’re in the UK.

If you are applying with dependents, and your employer certifies your finances, your dependents are also exempt from having to submit bank statements.

You can meet this by either presenting evidence that you are a national of a majority English speaking country, or you have a degree taught in a majority English speaking country, or you have taken an IELTS test.

GOV.UK has a list of majority English speaking countries.

The Skilled Worker visa status does permit study in the UK, so you’ll be able to study either part-time or full-time, as long as you can complete the course within the duration of your visa, or be able to either extend or switch visa categories to enable your course completion.

You would need to check with your employer if they would be fine with you studying whilst still being sponsored for your job and your education provider could well ask for written confirmation of this from your employer.