Applicants for a self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa need not satisfy a minimum funds requirement.
If you set up a new business in the U.K. or already own one, you may be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa through your own U.K. company via self-sponsorship.
Some key considerations about obtaining the self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa
You can be a director and shareholder of the U.K. company that sponsors your Skilled Worker visa.
If you sponsor yourself for a Skilled Worker visa you can be a Director and hold 100% of the shares in your company.
You need not have a minimum amount of investment funds to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa via self-sponsorship?
Self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa applicants do not need to meet an investment funds requirement and so no minimum amount of investment funds is required. However, the Home Office will need to be satisfied that your U.K. business is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the U.K. This may be easier to demonstrate if you can show that you have sufficient investment funds to grow your U.K. business and cover minimum salary levels.
Your U.K. business does not have to be innovative or unique
Unlike the Innovator Founder route, the Skilled Worker route does not require the sponsoring U.K. business to be innovative, viable or scalable. There is no requirement for the business to be endorsed by a Home Office approved endorsing body and there are no restrictions on the type of business activity that the company can engage in. Any business can qualify for the Skilled Worker self-sponsorship visa route.
A business plan to support your self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa application is not mandatory
A business plan is not mandatory. However, if you are looking to sponsor yourself as a Skilled Worker it will often be easier to satisfy the Home Office that your U.K. business is a genuine organisation operating lawfully in the U.K. if you have a detailed business plan for your U.K. business.
You will need to receive a salary while you are in the U.K. on a self-sponsorship Skilled Worker visa?
Self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa holders need to receive a salary from their company which must (subject to being able to rely on alternative tradable points) equal or exceed both a general salary threshold, the ‘going rate’ for the occupation (as set out in the relevant occupation code) and a minimum hourly rate (if applicable), whichever is higher.
The self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa route has an English language requirement
To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa via self-sponsorship you will need to demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to at least level B1 (intermediate).
Applicants applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a self-sponsored Skilled Worker will satisfy the English language requirement if they:
- Are a national of a majority English-speaking country;
- Have passed a Secure English Language Test;
- Have been awarded a degree taught in English;
- Obtained a GCSE/A Level or Scottish Highers in English while at school in the U.K.; or
- Have already shown they met the requirement, of level B1, in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.
Self-sponsorship Skilled Worker visas are valid for up to five years
If your application to sponsor yourself for a Skilled Worker visa is approved, you will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for a period ending 14 days after the end date of your Certificate of Sponsorship. This may be up to a maximum of 5 years after the start date of your Certificate of Sponsorship.
You can take on additional work in the U.K. while running your U.K. business
Self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa holders may also undertake supplementary employment provided that the employment meets the definition of ‘supplementary employment’ and they continue to work in the job for which they are being sponsored.
You qualify for indefinite leave to remain if you sponsor yourself for a Skilled Worker visa
Self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa holders can qualify for Settlement as a Skilled Worker, after spending a continuous period of 5 years in the U.K. You will need to satisfy a residence requirement and pass the Life in the U.K. test (unless an exemption applies).
Your U.K. business will still need to be a Home Office approved sponsor and require you to work for them for the foreseeable future. You will also need to be paid at least the general ILR salary threshold (which, for most applicants, is £26,200 per year) or the going rate for the occupation, whichever is higher.
For expert advice and assistance, please contact the Visa Kings Global’s team who will be happy to provide you with the latest information relevant to your requirements.
This is the last of four articles on obtaining a self-sponsored Skilled Worker visa.