Does a Skilled Worker Visa grant you permanent residency in the UK?

17 Jan 2023, 06 mins ago

The Skilled Worker visa route is the UK’s main work visa route. It allows employers to sponsor workers to come to the UK and take up employment, or to switch into this visa category if they are already in the UK under a visa that allows switching. 

The Skilled Worker visa is designed for sponsored workers to fill a full-time, permanent role in the UK. In that respect it differs from many other work routes, which are considered to be temporary, such as visas issued under the Global Business Mobility (GBM) umbrella.

The most important difference between the Skilled Worker visa and the GBM visas is, that the GBM ones do not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, whereas migrants who have continuously lived in the UK on a Skilled Worker visa for 5 years may become eligible for ILR. This, however, does not mean that the Skilled Worker visa should be thought of as a “permanent-residency visa” from the outset. The Skilled Worker visa is a form of immigration permission which carries time limitations (i.e. the visa does have an expiry date) and also imposes conditions on the employee (including restrictions who they work for), as well as the employer (including supervision and reporting duties). A Skilled Worker visa holder can become a permanent resident in the UK (in the sense that no time limits are imposed on one’s leave) only after ILR is obtained.

ILR allows the holder to remain in the UK indefinitely and it loses its validity only if the holder leaves the UK for 2 years in one stretch. After obtaining an ILR, it is then possible to apply for British nationality, and finally a UK passport. It is important to ensure that the applicant’s country of origin permits the ILR status, and the obtaining of a second nationality.

There are a number of other UK visas that lead to ILR, such as the Scale-up and Innovator visa, the Global Talent visa and the Ancestry visa. 

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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