Skilled Worker Visa

With effect from 1 January 2021, the Skilled Worker Visa replaced the Tier 2 Visa. The Skilled Worker visa route enables non-UK/ Irish nationals to undertake a particular skilled role for the University. The visa allows the individual along with their family members (partner and children under 18) to live and work in the UK. The route can lead to settlement after five years which enables them to stay permanently in the UK.

Points based system

Under the new system, most workers entering the UK must hold a job offer from the University of Liverpool before they can apply for a visa. To be eligible for a visa, these jobs must pay at least £25,600 and require skills at A-level or equivalent.

Under the new rules, individuals can only receive a Skilled Worker Visa if they earn 70 points in total. 

The individual must score 50 points in the Mandatory section and 20 points in the Tradeable section.

Please see below how the points are calculated for each section.

Mandatory points:

  1. Have received a job offer from a licensed sponsor (20 points)
  2. Speak English to an acceptable standard (10 points)
  3. Ensure the job offer is at skill level RQF3, A-level equivalent or higher (20 points)

Tradeable points:

  1. Earning at least £25,600 or the “going rate” for the profession, whichever is higher (20 Points)
  2. Having a job offer in a shortage occupation (20 Points)
  3. Being a ‘new entrant’** to the labour market (20 Points)
  4. Having a PhD in a relevant STEM subject (20 Points)
  5. Having a PhD in a relevant non-STEM subject (10 Points)

**New Entrant Definition
An applicant will be considered to be a 'New Entrant' if:
a) they are switching into the Skilled Worker route from a Student or Graduate visa
b) they will be under the age of 26 when they are submitting their Skilled Worker visa application
c) they are working towards recognised professional qualifications
d) they are moving directly into a postdoctoral position in some SOC codes 2111, 2112, 2113, 2114, 2119 or 2311 (see the table below).

Appointment must be less than four years


**For a full comprehensive guide to SOC codes, please click on the link in our Guidance section.

SOC Code

Occupation Code

Going Rate Minimum Salary (Based on a 35-hour week)

Relevant Minimum Salary

Eligible for PHD Points

Shortage Occupation








Higher education teaching professionals






Lab Technician






Office Manager





Switching from a Tier 4 or Student Route visa into the Skilled Worker Route

There are special provisions under the Skilled Worker category for applicants who are currently here on a Tier 4/student visa, the applicant will be considered as a new entrant.

The applicant must have been sponsored to study one of the following courses:

  • a UK bachelor’s degree
  • a UK master’s degree
  • a UK PhD or other doctoral qualification;
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education
  • a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education

Applicants can switch into the skilled worker route at any time, however must apply within three months of their current visa end date.

Frequently asked questions

Please find a list of FAQs regarding the Skilled worker visa process.


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