Frequently Asked Questions for Overseas Applicants Applying for the Skilled Worker Visa

If you have been successful receiving a job offer from the University of Liverpool, and meet the Skilled Worker Visa eligibility criteria you may require a visa to enable you to take up your appointment. Find out more about this process in this area.

The visa application process

Within three months of your start date our HR Team will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for you, once assigned by the Home Office, you will be issued with a virtual Certificate of Sponsorship refence number which you will need to make your visa application.

Please see the guidance below regarding the visa application process.

When should I apply for the visa?

Once the Certificate of Sponsorship virtual reference number has been received, the applicant can start to apply online for a visa. As part of the application they will be asked for an intended travel date to the UK. The visa will then be valid from that travel date, which can be a maximum of 14 days before the employment start date as declared on the CoS. It will not be possible to enter the UK before the start date as recorded on the visa.

Please note,  applicants should not travel to the UK without receiving their entry clearance/visa/vignette,  as this will cause problems with immigration at the border.

How do I apply for the visa?

You must apply online via the government website.   

Where can I apply for my visa?

The visa application must be lodged in the country where you currently reside. This does not have to be your country of origin, but can be any country in which you are living/working/studying. You cannot be a ‘Visitor’ in that country.

Can the University help with my visa costs?

It’s been agreed that the University will offer support  in terms of paying the Visa and NHS surcharge costs for some employees. For those employees with a start date of 1 May 2021 onwards:

  • A new temporary scheme will be introduced, separate from relocation policy, that pays for the cost of a visa for new employee’s to the University
  • UoL will cover the costs for the skilled worker visa (only) and NHS surcharge for all employees who have a contract of employment for 2 years or more
  • The scheme will cover these costs for employees only, however the university will offer an interest free loan to cover the visa costs for partner/spouse and children under 18
  • UoL will cover the cost of a skilled worker visa for a maximum visa period of 3 years.  If the individual is here for longer than 3 years, they will pay for any extension themselves once the 3 years is up.
  • If an employee leaves during the initial visa period, the cost of the visa is will be repayable to the University
  • Extensions to a visas will not be included in the scheme and can be paid for by the employee
  • The applicant will pay for their visa at the time of application then claim this back via expenses, the cost of the NHS surcharge will be paid via the payroll as this is subject to tax and NI.

If you are eligible and meet the criteria please contact

What is the University’s Sponsor Rating?

The University of Liverpool is an A-rated Sponsor.

How do I meet the English language requirements?

Please see the guidance on English language requirements. 

How much will the visa cost?

Please see up-to-date guidance on visa fee costs. 

How long will the application process take?

Out of country visa applications are currently taking approximately 3-4 weeks to process.  However this will vary depending on the country in which you submit your visa application. Please see the guidance on location specific timeframes

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?

The payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is mandatory for all non-EEA nationals who are issued a visa of more than six months in length. It is an additional charge, over and above the visa fee and must be made up-front at the time of the visa application. Payment of the surcharge will ensure that you have full access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent UK resident. For further guidance, please see the UKVI webpages

What is the application process for my dependants?

Your dependants can apply at the same time as you to enter the UK. Alternatively, they can wait until you have entered the UK and started work before they apply. Your dependants must apply via the government website.

What documents do I need to submit?

After you submit your application online, you will be provided with an information sheet which confirms which documents you need to submit.

What happens after the application is granted?

If your application is granted, the visa you initially receive inside your passport will be valid for 90 days. This is known as an ‘entry vignette’ and will facilitate your entry into the UK. You must enter the UK before the vignette expires or you will have to re-apply for your visa. 

Within ten days of your arrival in the UK, you are required to collect your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from a UK Post Office. The BRP will state the full length of leave you have been granted and will supersede the entry vignette. Full details of how you arrange collection of your BRP will be provided to you by UKVI at the point your application is approved. For further guidance, please see the UKVI webpages. 

What happens if my application is refused?

You must notify your department immediately if your visa is refused.

If you are refused, there is no separate appeal process, but you may be able to lodge what is known as an ‘Administrative Review’. Please see any correspondence from the Home Office that accompanies your refusal letter.

Where can I find information about relocating to the UK?

The University provides comprehensive guidance on common issues and topics regarding relocating to the UK, including accommodation, healthcare, schooling, banking, tax, travel and more. 

What are the conditions of holding a Skilled Worker Visa?

Please see the UKVI webpages.   

What happens on my first day?

Your Department/School will contact you in advance of your arrival to make arrangements for your first day.  Under UK legislation as an employer we are required to check that your hold permission to live and work in the UK before you start work.  You can evidence this with your passport and your 30 day vignette or your BRP.  You must therefore contact HR so we can make the necessary checks.  If you have not yet collected your BRP before your first day, you can start work on the basis of your 30 day vignette provided it is still valid. You then must obtain your BRP from the Post Office as soon as possible and present this to Human Resources. 

You can also visit our New Starters area (staff intranet) to find more information about your first day.

Can I extend my Skilled Worker Visa?

You can hold an unlimited number of Skilled Worker Visas with as many employers as you wish, with no maximum limit

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