UK Skilled Worker Visa

Foreigners must first have to a job offer from a UK company that is a licensed sponsor company and this company must be registered with the UK Home Office.

South Africans can apply for this visa if a licensed sponsor company has issued them with their unique Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) number. The Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), contrary to its name, is not a paper document but rather a virtual document which carries a specific reference number. This reference number is specific to you and the job that you have been offered so can only be used once.

Since the 1 January 2021, the UK employer is no longer required to conduct a resident labour market test. This test previously required the UK employer to show that no 'settled worker' is available for a particular job vacancy.

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, you must:

  • work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • have a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ (COS) from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do


Other UK work visas for example include the Health and Care Worker visa and Intra-Company routes but there are also other visa types.

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa:

  • you’re a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • your job is eligible for this visa
  • you’ll be working for a UK health and care sector employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • you’ll be paid the minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing - whichever is higher


There are 2 Intra-Company routes:

  • Intra-Company Transfer: this is for established employees who are being transferred by their overseas employer to do a skilled job for a linked employer in the UK
  • Intra-Company Graduate Trainee: this is for employees taking part in a structured graduate training programme who are being transferred by their overseas employer to a linked employer in the UK


Please be aware: Not just any UK company can offer you employment therefore first check with Visa Box as there are lots of fake offers of employment (scams).

How to spot a scam:

  • You have been offered a job without a face to face or telephonic interview
  • the remuneration offered doesn't match the type of job you will be doing
  • the offer of employment doesn't specify your name and the signature on the document often doesn't match the name of the signatory
  • often these offers of employment will have a stamp on them which is clearly not real
  • offers often come from big firms like Chevron, Sony etc
  • they may request that you pay money to further the process. You should never have to pay to get a job
  • The job offer is to fill a position that you have no prior experience in.



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