UK Visas: Part 3
Under the UK’s new visa rules, "skilled" workers can only get a UK work visa if they earn 70 points.
More importantly, before migrants earn any points, their job must pay a bare minimum of £20,480 a year.
For example, to get 50 points, an applicant must fulfil all of the following non-negotiable criteria:
· Have a job offer from a licensed sponsor (20 points)
· Speak English to an acceptable standard (10 points)
· Ensure their job offer is at skill level RQF3 (A-level equivalent) or higher (20 points)
They must then also earn 20 extra "tradeable" points - such as by having a higher salary, working in a shortage job, or having a PhD.
Applicants can get these top-up points by:
· Earning at least £25,600 or the “going rate” for the profession, whichever is higher (20)
· Having a job offer in a “shortage occupation” (20)
· Being a “new entrant” to the labour market (20)
· Having a PhD in a relevant STEM subject (20)
· Having a PhD in a relevant non-STEM subject (10)
The good news is that TP/tax professionals with at least 2 years’ full-time post graduate experience, will earn more than the upper threshold of £25,600 so the extra 20 tradable points should not be a problem to obtain.
So how much will it cost you for the privilege of plying your TP/tax skills in the UK?
Skilled workers will pay a £610 application fee - or £1,220 for stays of more than three years - if applying for a visa from outside the UK.
This falls to £464 or £928 for stays over three years for shortage occupations.
They must also pay the Immigration Health Surcharge to use the NHS, which is rising to £624 per year.
Meanwhile, employers must also pay an "immigration skills charge" of £1,000 per worker per year.
The key thing to bear in mind here is that some employers will cover these costs for you – others won’t - and some offer a hybrid (interest free loan upon commencing your employment with costs deducted monthly from your salary until reimbursed) – you need to understand what your options are as part of your package negotiations to understand what you have to pay and what your new employer will cover.
It is also important to note that time spent in the UK whilst on a SWV, will count towards the indefinite leave to remain eligibility criteria – that is, settlement in the UK as a Permanent Resident.