What is the minimum salary or wages for COS and UK Skilled Worker visa

There are 6 different possible salary rate levels that sponsor employers need to consider when assessing what minimum salary must be paid for a particular job role to qualify for the Skilled Worker visa. We explain this in more detail further below.

Why it is important to pay the minimum salary for Skilled Worker visa

Minimum salary level is one of the key requirements that must be met for the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) and Skilled Worker visa to be granted. Meeting the minimum salary requirement is equally important as the minimum NQF Level 3 skill requirement and genuine vacancy test.

skilled worker minimum slaray wages requirement pay in the UK

How to assess minimum salary required for a Skilled Worker job role

What approach you should take when assessing the minimum salary for each job. First, check if any of the options 2-6 (B-F in the table below) apply to the specific job role and migrant chosen for the role to see if any discounted lower minimum can apply. If none of them apply, then you must pay the minimum salary from Option 1 (A in the table below).

Option 1 (‘A’ in the table below) minimum pay

This is a standard minimum salary, which has to be paid if none of the other option (B-F inclusive) apply for the specific job role. The salary has to be at least £25,600 gross base salary OR the going rate for the occupation code (Soc Code) for the role, whichever of the two is higher.

Option 2 (‘B’ in the table below) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker has a PHD in a subject that is relevant for the specific job role. The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £23,400 OR 90 % of the going rate for the occupation code, whichever of the two is higher.

Option 3 (‘C’ in the table below) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker has a PHD in a STEM subject relevant for the specific job role. The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £20,480 OR 80 % of the going rate for the occupation code, whichever of the two is higher.

Option 4 (‘D’ in the table below) minimum pay

This option can be used when a job you offer to a migrant worker is on a shortage occupation list  Immigration Rules Appendix Shortage Occupation List – Immigration Rules – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £20,480 OR 80 % of the going rate for the occupation code, whichever of the two is higher. You can read more about the Shortage Occupation list on our website here.

Option 5 (‘E’ in the table below) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker is a ‘new entrant to the labour market’. There are a number of different categories that qualify a migrant as a ‘new entrant’. Very common one is when a migrant is under 26 years old at the date of application or is a graduate from UK university who obtained a BA, Master’s or PHD degree. Another example is when a migrant is in the UK on Graduate visa.

The minimum salary for ‘new entrant’ has to be at least £20,480 OR 70 % of the going rate for the occupation code, whichever of the two is higher. The minimum salary at ‘new entrant’ level can be paid for a maximum of 4 years. You can read more about ‘new entrant’ category in our article here.

Option 6 (‘F’ in the table below) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in a listed health or education occupation.The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £20,480 OR the going rate for the occupation code, whichever of the two is higher.

OptionTradeable points requirements for each optionRelevant immigration rulesPoints
AThe applicant’s salary equals or exceeds all of the following:
• £25,600 per year;
• £10.10 per hour; and
• the going rate for the occupation code.
SW 8.1. to SW 8.5. and SW 14.1. to SW 14.6.20
BEducational qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds all of the following:
• £23,040 per year;
• £10.10 per hour; and
• 90% of the going rate for the occupation code.
In this entry, 10 points will be awarded for the educational qualification and 10 points will be awarded for the applicant’s salary.
SW 9.1. to SW 9.10. and SW 14.1. to SW 14.6.20
CEducational qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds all of the following:
• £20,480 per year;
• £10.10 per hour; and
• 80% of the going rate for the occupation code.
SW 10.1. to SW 10.6. and SW 14.1. to SW 14.6.20
DJob in a shortage occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds all of the following:
• £20,480 per year;
• £10.10 per hour; and
• 80% of the going rate for the occupation code.
SW 11.1. to SW 11.6. and SW 14.1. to SW 14.6.20
EApplicant is a new entrant to the labour market and their salary equals or exceeds all of the following:
• £20,480 per year;
• £10.10 per hour; and
• 70% of the going rate for the occupation code.
SW 12.1. to SW 12.7. and SW 14.1. to SW 14.6.20
FJob in a listed health or education occupation and the applicant’s salary equals or exceeds both:
• £20,480 per year; and
• the going rate for the occupation code.
An applicant with a job in a listed health or education occupation can only be awarded tradeable points from option F.
SW 13.1. to SW 13.7. and SW 14.1 to SW 14.6.20