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UK Skilled Worker Visa for South African Citizens

The UK government recently announced an increase in the minimum income requirements from £18,600 to £38,700. This comes into effect in Spring 2024.  Get in touch with us now for up-to-date information on how this could impact you.

If you are a skilled worker from South Africa and you want to work in the UK, the UK Skilled Worker visa may be appropriate for you.

You can seek the help of IAS UK immigration attorneys. Call us on 0333 305 3612 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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    UK Skilled Worker visa for South African citizens

    Those who are from South Africa or any other country outside the EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland and have been offered a skilled job in the UK, can apply for a UK Skilled Worker Visa.

    To be eligible, you need to be employed by a UK-based sponsor, that holds a valid Sponsorship Licence. When reviewing your case, the Home Office will check if you have been hired for a job you qualify for.

    If you are a South African citizen applying for a Skilled Worker visa, you can get in touch with IAS’ UK immigration experts. One of our attorneys will be happy to review your case and follow you through each stage of your application. Call us today to find out more.

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    Requirements to apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa from South Africa

    To be eligible for a UK Skilled Worker visa as a South African national, you must:

    • Have a valid certificate of sponsorship and job offer for your role
    • Demonstrate that you are being paid an appropriate salary for your position (around £38,700 as of 2024 or the equivalent ‘going rate’)
    • Prove your English language skills
    • Have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK
    • Provide details about your travel and immigration history over the last 5 years
    • Provide a valid criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the 10 years prior to your application.

    UK Skilled Worker visa from South Africa application fees

    Up to 3 years

    Who you are applying for Application from outside the UK Application from within the UK
    You £625 £719
    Your dependents £625 (per person) £719 (per person)

    More than 3 years

    Who you are applying for Application from outside the UK Application from within the UK
    You £1,235 £1,423
    Your dependents £1,235 (per person) £1,423 (per person)

    Not that all fees are correct as of February 2023. You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application, plus an additional fee of £19.20 to have your biometric information collected.

    How to meet the English language requirement

    If you are applying for a UK Skilled Worker Visa from South Africa, you will need to prove your English language level. You can meet this requirement by either:

    • Passing an approved English language test to at least level B1
    • Having an academic qualification which was taught or researched in English. The UK NARIC must also recognize it as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher.

    Based on your personal circumstances, you may be exempt from meeting this requirement. Speak with one of our UK immigration attorneys in South Africa to find out more.

    Skilled Worker visa supporting documents

    To demonstrate your eligibility, you must provide the following documents, along with your application forms:

    • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number, which your employer can provide
    • Bank statements or letters showing that you have enough personal savings
    • Proof of your knowledge of English
    • Your current passport or any travel document, with your recent travel history
    • Any other expired passports or travel documents
    • A criminal record certificate
    • Your tuberculosis test results (if applicable)

    All documents which are not written in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation. Discuss your case with one of IAS’ UK immigration lawyers to find out more.

    Applying for a UK Skilled Worker visa from South Africa

    You can submit your UK Skilled Worker visa application online. One of IAS’ UK immigration attorneys will be happy to assist you with each part of your application forms.

    Once your application is submitted and your fee paid, you will need to have your fingerprints and photography taken at your nearest visa application centre.

    If your application is successful, you will be summoned to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days from the date you intend to enter the UK.

    How to extend your UK Skilled Worker Visa

    If you already have a UK Skilled Worker Visa and wish to end it, you can apply for a visa extension before your current permit expires. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Have the same job as when you were issued your first UK Skilled Worker Visa
    • You are still working for the same employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship
    • You are still earning an “appropriate salary”

    Get in touch with IAS’ UK immigration lawyers in South Africa to seek professional assistance with your application.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to work in the UK. Contact us

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                You can apply for a UK Skilled Worker visa 3 months before the date you are due to start work in the United Kingdom.

                If you have submitted your Skilled Worker visa application from South Africa, you should get a decision from the Home Office within 3 weeks.

                Your certificate of sponsorship holds all your personal details and information about the job you are going to do once in the UK.

                The certificate of sponsorship is an electronic record, and there is no paper evidence of it. Your sponsor will provide you with the reference number to add to your application. This number can only be used once, and within 3 months after getting it.

                If you want to change your job with a different employer, or if your role changes to a different standard occupation classification (SOC) code, you may need to submit a new visa application.

                Get in touch with our UK immigration experts to have your case professional reviewed and receive professional assistance.

                To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, you must be paid at least £25,600 per year, or the “going rate” for the role you are going to have in the UK.

                Besides this, you must have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 days before your application. This is essential to demonstrate that you can sustain yourself and your family while in the UK, as you won’t be allowed to seek public funds.

                The Skilled Worker visa is valid for up to five years. You can then apply to extend your visa if you still meet the eligibility requirements. Or, you may want to then apply for settlement or Indefinite Leave to Remain for South African citizens.