United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom - Work Skills & Ancestry - Work Permit (Skills Shortage List) Visa

This Work Permit is based on a UK job offer where the occupation appears on the published UK Skills Shortage list. A candidate who can demonstrate that they have the skills detailed on this list will have their Work Permit application fast-tracked, given that their skill is in demand in the United Kingdom.

The Work Permit still requires the candidate to be in possession of a valid job offer from an employer in the UK, but given the skills shortage, this should not be difficult to get. In the first instance, a prospective sponsor will apply to the UK Border Agency in order to be granted a license. When successfully licensed, a sponsor can apply for a number of certificates of sponsorship, which they can then present to the people whom they intend to sponsor.

Once a prospective employee has been allocated a certificate of sponsorship, he or she will be eligible to apply for UK entry clearance OR leave to remain in the UK. This Work Permit is based on a job offer from a UK-based employer who holds a sponsorship license. In addition to an offer of employment, you will need to score a minimum of 70 points to meet the criteria.

The requirement for this visa is to score a minimum of 70 points from the following three categories:

  • 50 points for sponsorship;
  • 10 points for English language; AND
  • 10 points for available maintenance (or funds)


The 50 points will be scored if you have been issued a certificate of sponsorship for an occupation that appears on the UK Skills Shortage List 2.


A mandatory 10 points is awarded if your level of English is deemed of an acceptable level. It is closest to level A1 of the Council of Europe's Common European Framework of Reference. There are three ways that you can score points for English language. You can:

- be a national of a majority English speaking country (they are Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United States of America); OR

- pass an English language test on the list of approved English language tests; OR

- hold a degree that was taught in English and is equivalent to a United Kingdom bachelor's degree or above.

You can also meet the English language requirement and score points without having to send further evidence if:

- you have been given permission to stay in the past under the highly skilled worker or entrepreneur categories; or

- you were given permission to stay under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme after 7 November 2006;

- you were given permission to stay in the past (and have already given us your evidence that you meet the English language requirement) and are applying to extend your stay;

- you are applying under the transitional arrangements;

- you are applying because you have changed jobs and have already given us your evidence that you meet the English language requirement; or

- you have been given permission to stay in the past as a minister of religion on or after 23 August 2004.


You will earn 10 points if you can show that you have enough funds in personal savings and are able to support yourself for the entire length of your stay in the United Kingdom. The 10 points will be awarded if you are applying for permission to stay in the United Kingdom (known as 'leave to remain') AND have:

  • £800 in available funds that you have had in your bank account for three months before the date you apply; OR
  • your certificate of sponsorship from an A-rated sponsor confirms that you will not claim benefits while in the United Kingdom. Your sponsor should send a letter saying they will maintain and accommodate you until the end of the first month you are here. Any dependents who want to join you must also give evidence that they have enough funds.


The Sponsored Worker (General) visa is issued for an initial maximum period of three (3) years. Upon successfully holding a Sponsored Worker (General) for a total of five (5) years, individuals may be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR entitles individuals to permanent residency in the UK, as well as visa-free travel to and from the UK. ILR holders may also be able to sponsor their non-British relatives into the UK and may also ultimately be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. Eligible dependents may also qualify to be included and upon obtaining the visa, may also work or study without any restrictions.


Ask Philip Gamble whether you (or your children) have a claim to British nationality.

Learn more about these routes to British Nationality:

WhatPassport.com is a specialist UK Nationality and British Citizenship site offering an online search and assessment. Claims to hold a British Passport can be complex and the site offers a quick, simple search to give you the answers. While many people qualify for the UK Ancestry Visa based on holding a Commonwealth passport with a UK born grandmother or grandfather, we have found that if you have a grandparent born in the UK, or if your mother is British or your father is British, then there are several scenarios where you can claim British Nationality and the right to hold a British Passport. This stems from Britain’s collection of British Colonies, British Protectorates and British Protected States in the middle of last century and the Nationality rules concerning what are now the countries of the Commonwealth.

WhatPassport.com is a subsidiary of Sable International.

Sable International offers a range of services relating to UK and Australian immigration. For over 20 years, we have been helping people with their UK and Australian visa applications. We assist with applications for Ancestry visas, spouse visas, work visas, Tier 1 visas, UK working holiday visas, UK dependant visas, Tier 4 visas, UK Visitor visas, sponsorship visas or UK permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain. We also specialise in UK visa extensions. If you’ve overstayed your visa, our Overstayer Status Trace service can assist to regularise your visa status.