Visa's and Immigration

Applying for a Skilled Worker visa

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An overview of the application process for a Skilled Worker visa (for Doctors)


The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. We’ve written this blog to help you better understand the application process for this visa.


Which documents are needed to apply?

Once you have received your job offer and CoS, you will need to apply for your Skilled Worker visa. To do this, you will need to gather a number of documents.

Prior to reading on further, we recommend taking a look at our article which details the documents that you’ll need to apply for your Skilled Worker visa.

The application process

To apply for a Skilled Worker visa, you must have a job offer and CoS. The earliest that you can apply for this visa is 3 months before you’re due to start work in the UK. This date will be listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

The visa application process will differ depending on whether you’re applying from outside the UK and are coming to the UK, inside the UK and extending your current visa or inside the UK and switching from a different visa. This article is tailored to those applying from outside of the UK and are coming to the UK.

1) Your visa application must be applied for online so, once you have gathered all of the relevant documents for your visa application, scan them – You’ll need to upload them during your application.

2) Once you have started your application, you’ll be required to:

  • Input your personal details. This will include your name, passport/ID details and contact information (numbers, email address, postal address etc).
  • Detail your CoS reference number, employers name, your employers sponsor licence number and your job information (including your job title, your annual salary, your job occupation code and whether you’re eligible for the Health and Care visa).
  • Provide evidence of your English Language proficiency
  • Specify your travel itinerary, including details of where you’ll be staying. If you have not yet booked your flights and accommodation, there is a text box which allows you to explain your travel and accommodation plans further.
  • Input your family details, reasons for entering the UK, travel history, any previous visa refusals and any criminal convictions. 

3) Once you have inputted all of the required information, you will be asked to pay your visa application fee and upload your supporting documents.

4) Once all of your supporting documents have been uploaded, you will be asked to book an appointment at a visa application centre near to your location. You should only proceed to book your appointment once all the required documentation has been uploaded. 

5) Once you’ve booked your visa appointment, you’ll be sent a confirmation email and further instructions. You’ll also need to select a location in the UK to pick up your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

6) Submit your application.

Attending a visa application appointment

Once you’ve booked your visa application appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation email with further information about the documents that you will need to take with you.

It’s important that:

  • you take all of the documents requested with you.
  • you check whether you are required to take original copies of the documents, or if photocopies are accepted.

Typically, at your appointment you will need to confirm your identity by bringing your passport, as well as having your fingertips scanned and photograph taken for a Biometric Resident Permit. 

Click here to find the details of the visa application centres near to you.

Visa application fees

Health and Care professionals who are eligible for the Health and Care visa will have reduced visa application fees and will be exempt from paying the IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge). This also applies to their dependants.

The Health and Care visa fees are:

  • A visa for up to three years will cost £232.
  • A visa for more than three years will cost £464.

For more information about the Health and Care visa, read our blog by clicking here.

Tracking your visa application

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks (if you’re your applying for the Health and Care visa).

If you need to go to an appointment, you may be able to pay for a faster decision. How you do this depends on whether you’re outside the UK or inside the UK.

How long you can stay

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

A biometric residence permit is a card that will hold your name, date and place of birth, facial image, fingerprints, immigration status and the entitlements that you are eligible for whilst you are in the UK.

You’ll get a biometric residence permit (BRP) if you:

  • Apply to come to the UK for longer than 6 months
  • Extend your visa to longer than 6 months
  • Apply to settle in the UK
  • Transfer your visa to a new passport

If your visa application is approved, you’ll automatically get a Biometric Residence Permit. 

When you arrive in the UK, you will need to pick this up from the location that you selected during your visa application. As such, it is recommended that this is sent to a post office branch nearby to the hospital that you will be working in. 

For further details about the Biometric Residence Permit, view our blog by clicking here.


Health and Care Visa

If you’re eligible for the Health and Care visa, you’ll benefit from fast-tracked processing times together with reduced visa fees and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

To read more about the Health and Care visa and to check whether you’re eligible, click here.


The visa application process will differ depending on whether you’re applying from outside the UK and are coming to the UK, inside the UK and extending your current visa or inside the UK and switching from a different visa. This article is a guide for those applying from outside of the UK and are coming to the UK. Each individuals circumstances are different and therefore you may be required to provide more information that specified above.