How to find work in the UK in 2022

 In DIY UK News & Blogs

Working in the UK can change not just your life but your whole family for generations. But how easy is it to obtain that dream job in the UK?

The UK economy needs foreign nationals to work in the UK. In-wards investment through the new skilled worker route will be worth billions of pounds to the UK economy in the coming years.  Are you looking to move to the UK to work? Perhaps you want to live and work in the UK on a long-term basis but don’t know where to start.

If any of the above conditions apply to you and you have questions like: How do I know if I’m eligible for a visa? How can I find a job and convince an employer to sponsor me for work? What’s the point system, and how can I earn enough points to qualify?

Thankfully, this DIY UK blog aims to simplify the process required to gain a skilled worker visa.  We will explain, step by step, what exactly a skilled worker visa is, how to know if you’re eligible, what to expect with respect to the application process, and alternate routes you can explore if a skilled worker visa isn’t the right path for you. Let’s dive in!

What is a skilled worker visa?

A skilled worker visa allows an employee to reside in the UK for up to 5 years (available for extension) with a certificate of sponsorship from an approved UK employer. Generally, this visa is appropriate for foreign workers who are either incredibly talented and invaluable in their trade or those who have skills in a profession or industry high in demand in the UK, such professions can be found on the UK Shortage Occupation List.

The UK Shortage Occupation List is exactly what it sounds like: a list of jobs facing a shortage of available workers in the UK. This spans a multitude of sectors, including (but not limited to) healthcare, engineering, software development, education, art, and science. Applicants who apply via this route will enjoy a discounted visa application fee (though this is often paid by employers) and less stringent eligibility criteria but may be paid a reduced salary depending on the job.

Applicants will need to find a job before applying for the visa, given that a certificate of sponsorship is required from an approved employer to complete the application process.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the visa?

To receive a skilled worker visa, you must fulfill varied criteria before you can even apply. The most important? As mentioned above, you must already have an established job offer.

An eligible job will:

  1. Be included on the list of eligible occupations
  2. Be offered by a UK employer approved for sponsorship by the Home Office
  3. Meet or exceed the required skill level of RQF 3 (or A-level qualification)
  4. Come with a “certificate of sponsorship” from an approved employer
  5. Pay you a minimum salary that’s typically at least £25,600/year, £10.10/hour, or the current going rate—whichever is higher

To aid your job search, check out all the available organizations currently approved for sponsorship. The registry is broken down by location, type/rating (worker vs temporary worker) and visa worker route for your convenience. Here is the link: UK approved sponsors list.

Many applicants visit the UK on a standard visitor visa also known as a tourist visa and apply for jobs whilst they are in the UK. The benefits of doing this are that they can arrange a face to face interview or meeting with the potential employer to gauge whether they would want to work for that particular employer. 

We can help you with your visa application. We can provide one of our legal packs that contains everything you need to make your own visa application. Below is the web page where you can buy the legal pack. Use this code DIYUK60 to get 60% off the normal price.


Beyond employers, the job itself must be included on the “eligible occupations” list. Any job falling outside this list will not meet the criteria and will not therefore be approved.

If the job you’re interested in or received an offer for is on the eligible occupations list, but the employer is not currently approved for sponsorship, said company can apply for a sponsor license. In the majority of cases, the license application will be processed within 8 weeks (though a quicker turnaround is possible for an additional home office processing fee).

Point based system

Unfortunately, finding an employer willing to sponsor you isn’t the only hurdle to overcome when applying for a skilled worker visa. With the exception of Irish citizens, applicants must also meet various requirements according to a points-based immigration system. Each requirement affords you a set number of points, the sum of which will qualify you for a visa upon reaching a specific threshold: 70 points, to be exact.

Below is a list of requirements, both mandatory and non-mandatory, and how many points each one provides in your quest to reach the magic number (70):

Mandatory requirements:

  • Job offer from approved sponsor: 20 points
  • Job meets required skill level: 20 points
  • English-speaking skills equal to or exceeding CEFR level B1: 10 points

Non-mandatory/additional criteria:

  • Salary of £23,040-£25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate (whichever is higher): 10 points
  • Salary of at least £25,600+ or the going rate (whichever is higher): 20 points
  • Job is on the Shortage Occupation List (designated by the Migration Advisory Committee): 20 points
  • Applicant holds a Ph.D. in a subject related to the job: 10 points
  • Applicant holds a Ph.D. in a STEM subject related to the job: 20 points

Upon fulfilling the mandatory requirements, the applicant will need an additional 20 points
afforded by non-mandatory criteria to qualify for the skilled worker visa.

What’s involved in the application process?

Most visas typically dictate a long and arduous application process, and the skilled worker visa is no exception. Let’s break down exactly what you need and the precise steps you need to take to help smooth out the process.

What you’ll need to apply

Before initiating your application, make sure you have all of the following information/documents in hand:

  1. Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number, which you’ll receive from the employer willing to sponsor you
  2. The name of the employer and or company sponsoring you, as well as their license number (which you can find on your Certificate of Sponsorship)
  3. Proof of your English level, which you can provide by:
    1. passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
    2. possessing a GCSE, A-level, Scottish National Qualification level 3 or 5, or Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English from a UK school attended prior to the age of 18
    3. possessing a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. in a subject taught in English
  4. A valid passport or other document verifying your identity and nationality
  5. Your job title and annual salary
  6. Your job’s occupation code

Other required documents might include (on a case-by-case basis):

  1. Evidence of sufficient savings to support yourself financially while living in the UK (exceptions exits) 
  2. Proof of your relationship with your significant other and/or children, if they’re applying as well
  3. Tuberculosis test results if you hail from any of these countries
  4. A criminal record certificate (applicable for certain jobs)
  5. A certificate from any country you’ve lived in previously (depending on your age and how long you resided in each country)

While you’re required to submit your application online, how you apply ultimately depends on three circumstances: whether you’re coming to the UK from a foreign country, already inside the UK and extending your current visa, or already inside the UK and switching from a different visa.

Finally, before applying, check with your employer to ensure you obtain any other documents that may be required for your application.

Application fees and other charges

The current application fee can range from anywhere between £610-£1,408, depending on how long you plan to stay in the UK. Nevertheless, if you apply for a job on the Shortage Occupation List, these costs drop to a range of £464-£928—with some applicants from eligible countries also enjoying reduced application fees as well.

Keep in mind that you’ll also need to pay the IHS healthcare surcharge, which is currently around £624/year, and prove you have enough money to support yourself (typically around £1,270) upon arrival in the UK OR confirmation that your employer will support you instead.

What if the skilled worker route isn’t for me?

Unfortunately, the skilled worker visa isn’t for everyone; but this isn’t your only chance to work in the UK! Thankfully, there are plenty of other long-term and short-term visa routes you can apply for to help secure a fulfilling job and life in the United Kingdom.

If you’re unable to secure a job after graduating from a UK institution, you can apply for a Graduate visa to remain in the UK for up to 2 years (3 years for graduate students) while taking steps to embark on your career.

If you’re someone who works in a creative field, such as acting or music, consider applying for a Temporary Work – Creative Worker visa.

If you work in the food industry performing labor such as pork butchery, food transportation, or seasonal fruit/vegetable picking, you can apply for a Seasonal Worker visa.

Someone with no prior experience looking to establish a new business can apply for a Start-up visa, while their more seasoned counterparts with the same goal can apply for an Innovator visa.

Finally, if you’re a leader (or rising star) in academia/research, arts and culture, or digital technology, you can apply for a Global Talent visa.

In short, there are plenty of other avenues you can take if you want to live and work in the UK, but know that related application requirements are each a little bit different and moderately challenging—but not impossible! The DIY UK team is fully committed to helping you start the process by visiting the UK in order to seek work. Click here to buy your UK tourist visa legal pack.  We’re here to help!


Are you looking for work in the UK?

Did you know you can enter the UK as a visitor to meet potential employers and attend job interviews?  Most people find it easier to find an employer to sponsor them once they are in the UK and can meet and talk to them face to face. We can help you with your visa application.  We can provide everything you need to make your own application. We will guide you through the whole application process step by step.  Remember teamwork makes the dream work!

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