The steps to apply for a work visa to work in the UK

What should I do before I apply for the Skilled worker or how to move to the UK on a work visa if you have a UK sponsor?

Step 1 is to make sure that you meet eligibility criteria and you either have a UK Degree or have successfully passed English Language test to prove that you meet Language requirements. Please not that not all test providers are approved by the Home Office. Full list of approved English Test requirements can be found here

Step 2 is to find a company that is ready to offer you a job in the UK. It is important to note that the company has to have a Sponsor Licence to be able to sponsor you on a Skilled Worker visa whether you are coming from outside the UK or are located inside the country on a different visa.

*If, however you have been offered a job by the company that has not yet applied for Sponsor licence please read our guidance on Sponsor licence step by step guide.

Step 3 is to ensure that your job position is on the list of eligible occupations including shortage occupation positions that can be checked online at

Step 4 is when a UK company (your sponsor) has to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship (also known as CoS) on your behalf. CoS is a unique reference number that you usually use within your visa application form, it contains the detailed information about your employment including your start date, job position, your salary, hours and location of work.

Step 5 is to gather all the required documents. You need to gather all evidence including your biometric Passport and other documents to establish your identity, proof of English, bank statement showing you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses and support yourself in the UK, CoS and other relevant documents. We offer a document check service where we forward you a list of required documents based on your unique personal circumstances, you send these documents back to us to check and we further advice you if anything else is required before submission.

Step 6 is a visa application stage. You complete the application form on the Home Office’s official website which is then submitted to the Home Office after you paid for the application and IHS fees.

*It is important to note that you are able to bring your family members as your dependents. This includes your spouse/unmarried partner as well as child/ren under the age of 18. You have to complete separate application forms for each applying member of your family and provide proof of financial means.

Step 7 is to attend a biometric appointment: Once you have applied for the visa, you will need to attend a biometric appointment to provide your fingerprints and a photograph. Once everything has been submitted you have to wait for 3 weeks if applied from outside the UK or 8 weeks if you switched to a Skilled worker from inside the UK.

Step 8 is to collect your visa once it has been granted. You can choose to collect it from a Visa Application Centre or have it delivered to your address. Once you have your visa, you can start planning your move to the UK. Don't forget to book your flight and arrange your accommodation in advance.

It is also recommended to familiarize yourself with the UK's customs and culture, as well as any necessary health and safety precautions. You may also want to consider opening a UK bank account and registering with a doctor.

Remember that your Skilled Worker visa is tied to your employer, so if you change jobs, you will need to apply for a new visa. You may also be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after a certain period of time in the UK.

If you need any further assistance with your Skilled Worker visa application or have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at Emigral. We are here to help you every step of the way.