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UK Skilled Worker Visa for Spaniards

While Spanish citizens enjoyed visa-free travel to the UK for many years while both countries were members of the European Union, this is no longer the case. Now, Spanish nationals who wish to work in the UK must obtain relevant work visas to do so.

Total Law’s team of specialist immigration lawyers help businesses and individuals alike apply for UK work visas successfully. Call our team for advice on your application today. We’re contactable on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.

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    Introduction to Skilled Worker Visas in the UK

    Since 1st January 2021 (when the UK’s ‘Brexit’ transition period ended), any EU citizen residing outside of the UK who wishes to work within it must obtain a valid work visa to do so – and this includes Spanish citizens.

    The British Skilled Worker Visa allows for employees of an ‘approved employer’ to work for that employer either on British soil or in UK waters. It replaces the previous Tier 2 General Work Visa (often known as just the ‘T2 Visa’).

    A Skilled Worker Visa for Spanish citizens can be valid for up to a five-year period and may be extended or updated then providing the eligibility criteria is still met. After five years, the employee may be able to apply for permanent settlement in the UK (known as Indefinite Leave To Remain).

    Spain remains a member of the European Union so Spanish citizens looking to work in other EU states may do so without a valid work visa.

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    Skilled Worker Visa: restrictions and allowances

    The Skilled Worker Visa is designed to attract skilled employees to the UK, so does hold some restrictions in its activities for visa holders. While in the UK, Spanish citizens holding work visas of this type may:

    • Work in the eligible and approved job they have been offered
    • Study
    • Bring with them family members (dependants) if eligible
    • Do voluntary work
    • Leave the UK and return

    However, it does not allow the holder to:

    • Apply for or claim any benefits paid from public funds
    • Apply for or claim the UK State Pension
    • Transfer to another job role – unless this is declared to the immigration services and the Skilled Work Visa transferred to the new role

    If you’re a Spanish citizen working in the UK and are unsure if your Skilled Worker Visa still applies once you transfer to a new role, contact Total Law for work visa advice on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    Eligibility Criteria to be considered for a Skilled Worker Visas in the UK

    Not all Spanish citizens are eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa. There are set visa requirements that must be met for all applicants, and these are as follows:

    • The applicant must work for a UK employer that has been approved by the British Home Office for overseas recruitment
    • The applicant must hold a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from the approved employer detailing the role the employee would work in, in the UK, and confirming they have been formally offered this role
    • The applicant must be intending to work in a role that considered an ‘eligible occupation’ by the Home Office
    • The applicant’s role must pay a minimum salary (either £38,700 as of April 2024 or the ‘going rate’ of your job)
    • The applicant must be able to prove their knowledge of the English language

    Application Process for UK Skilled Worker Visa

    Spanish citizens apply for the Skilled Worker Visa online once their employer has offered them a job and supplied a Certificate of Sponsorship. The process is as follows:

    Job offer made

    The employer makes a job offer for the applicant to work in the UK for up to five years.

    Certificate of Sponsorship created

    The employer creates a Certificate of Sponsorship online through the online system for UK Visas and Immigration. This generates a Sponsorship Licence for UK Visas and Immigration to examine and a Sponsorship Number for the employer to provide to the employee.

    Online application form filed

    The applicant fills out the online visa application form and includes copies of supporting documentation (including identification documents, details of a valid Spanish passport and the Sponsorship Licence number). The Home Office reserve the right to request more information from Spanish citizens once this form has been filed.

    Biometric Residence Permit information provided

    The applicant books and attends an appointment at their local UK Visas and Immigration Service Centre. At this appointment, a photograph and fingerprints are taken. If the visa is successfully granted, this information will be used for a Biometric Residence Permit.

    Visa decision made

    The applicant and their employer will be notified of the visa decision in writing. If granted, the visa holder is free to travel to the UK as soon as it is valid. If not, there may be recourse to appeal. Total Law can help navigate the appeals process if needed – call us on number +44 (0)333 305 9375 for guidance.

    Our experienced immigration team can help with your UK skilled worker visa application. Contact Us

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      UK Skilled Worker Visa Fees

      The fee to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa is dependent on the circumstances of the role being applied for. Not sure which applies to you? Call 0333 305 9375 to speak to an immigration solicitor at Total Law to clarify your position.

      Spanish citizens applying from outside of the UK are subject to a ‘standard fee’. This is:

      • £719 per person for a stay up to three years
      • £1,420 per person for a stay of over three years

      Spanish citizens applying to extend or switch their visa from within the UK must pay a renewal fee. This is:

      • £827 per person for a stay up to three years
      • £1,500 per person for a stay of over three years

      If the role in which the visa holder will be working is on UK Work Visas ‘Shortage Occupation List’, lower fees are payable. These are:

      • £551 per person for a stay up to three years
      • £1,084 per person for a stay of over three years

      The application fee is paid at the time of application; and may be paid by employee or employer, dependent on their individual circumstances and any professional agreement made.

      UK Skilled Worker Visa Process Timing & Tracking

      A Skilled Worker Visa application is processed within three weeks for applicants outside of the UK. It does, however, take up to eight weeks for processing if the applicant is already within the UK – including Spanish citizens.

      Employers may be able to apply for expedited decision making in the case of urgent job roles; particularly if they appear on UK Work Visas’ Shortage Occupation List. Total Law can help advise – contact our office on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more.

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      How Can Total Law Help?

      Total Law are a firm of specialist immigration solicitors working day in day out to help individuals and businesses obtain the visas they need to import professional talent into the UK.

      We aim to communicate jargon-free, ease the stressful application and appeal processes and simplify complex immigration law for all. Our team are contactable on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, for a free chat with no obligation to proceed to discuss your circumstances. There’s no job too big or too small, so get in touch and let us explain how we can help.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Now that the UK has left the EU, there is no longer the immediate right for Spanish citizens to work in the UK. This means that they must apply for a relevant class of UK work visa to be able to do so.

                Applicants need not just a valid job offer in place but also a Sponsorship Licence number. A Sponsorship Licence is generated by the employer online. The role being offered must be eligible and by an ‘approved’ employer.

                All citizens of non-English speaking countries must prove their English language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and comprehension through the production of a certificate on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to at least a skill level of B1. Any skill level above this will be accepted.

                Only the Sponsorship Number needs to be provided by the visa applicant. The information on the Certificate of Sponsorship itself will be accessed by immigration services themselves.

                The Skilled Worker Visa does allow for the entry of eligible dependents; including a spouse and any children aged under 18. For more information on applying for your family members to join you in the UK, contact Total Law on 0333 305 9375. You will need to provide identification for your family members alongside your own, and a fee must be paid for each applicant.