What is the minimum salary required for a Skilled Worker?

Sponsor companies approved by the Home Office and wishing to hire migrant workers must meet certain requirements including a minimum salary level offered to sponsored employees. The Home Office refer to SOC codes (Standard Occupational Classification codes) in order to identify different roles and attribute requirements specific to each type of occupation. However, there are multiple factors affecting the minimum salary required for each individual and some of the most common examples are provided below.

  1. Going rate

The going rate of a SOC code is the average annual salary level attributed by the Home Office in the immigration rules to individual roles, and the salary on offer must generally equal or exceed the specific going rate level, or £25,600 per year, or £10,10 per hour, whichever is the highest. The general going rate is based on a 39-hour working week and must be pro-rated for other working patters, as stated in the individual’s Certificate of Sponsorship. This applies to job roles under SOC codes which are not on shortage nor under any other exceptions, some of which are included below.

  1. Shortage occupations

Job roles which fall under the SOC codes listed as shortage occupations in the immigration rules at the time of application, are required to meet 80% of the going rate of the role, or £10.10 per hour, or £20,480 per year, whichever is the highest. The shortage occupation list is subject to frequent changes and sponsors must refer to the latest updates to ensure the job role still falls under this option.

  1. New entrants

Candidates who are new entrants to the labour market are eligible to apply as a New Entrant, which means the salary requirements are also lower. Their salary must meet £70% of the going rate, or £10.10 per hour, or £20,480 per year whichever is the highest. Definitions of a New Entrant include candidates under the age of 26, or those in the UK whose last visa to the UK was as a Student or Graduate, subject to other requirements and definitions.

  1. Health & care

A candidate whose job role is under a Health & care SOC code, is eligible for a salary which meets a lower rate of £20,480 per year, or the going rate for their SOC code, whichever is the highest. This requirement also applies to certain educational occupations subject to other requirements and definitions.

Our Services

We assist our clients with assessing the job role on offer, its definition and ensure the correct SOC code is selected. These details are imperative when confirming the salary package meets the requirements for the Skilled Worker visa. The individual’s circumstances will also affect salary calculations and we offer a holistic approach to each application in order to advise sponsors on the most viable options for their businesses. We provide assistance with the full process of requesting and assigning Certificates of Sponsorship, which are used in the Skilled Worker visa application.

Retainer services

We also have a retainer service available where we can be added an authorised user to your company’s licence and act as your legal representative in all actions required. This also includes scheduled compliance checks and advise sessions. We can perform duties directly on your behalf which include the request and assignment of CoS, which facilitates and expedites the sponsorship process. This service can be tailored to your company’s specific needs.


Branch Austin McCormick are corporate immigration specialists in assisting organisations and workers. For further information on the Skilled Worker route and licence applications, please contact Sofia Marques Anaya or the Corporate Immigration Team.

For further information on the issues raised, please contact Sofia Marques Anaya at:


Branch Austin McCormick LLP
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