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 2-11 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’).

Option 1 (‘A’) 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 £38,700 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’) 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 £34,830 AND 90 % of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation code.

Option 3 (‘C’) 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 £30,960 AND 80 % of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation code.

Option 4 (‘D’) 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 £30,960 AND 100 % of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation code. You can read more about the Immigration Salary list on our website here.

Option 5 (‘E’) 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 £30,960 per year & 70 % of the going rate for the occupation code. The minimum salary at ‘new entrant’ level can be paid for a limited duration only. You can read more about ‘new entrant’ category in our article here and in the UK immigration rules.

Option 6 (‘F’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Tables 2 and 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations. The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £29,000 AND the full pro-rated going rate for the SOC2020 occupation code.

Option 7 (‘G’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Tables 2 and 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations and applicant have a relevant PhD.The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £29,000 AND 90% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation code.

Option 8 (‘H’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Tables 2 and 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations and applicant have a relevant STEM PhD.The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £23,200 AND 80% of the pro-rated going rate for the occupation code.

Option 9 (‘I’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Tables 2 and 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations and the job on the Immigration Salary List (ISL). The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £23,200 AND the full pro-rated going
rate for the SOC2020 occupation code for the occupation code.

option 10 (‘J’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Tables 2 and 2a of Appendix Skilled Occupations and the applicant is a new entrant. The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £23,200 AND 70% of the pro-rated going rate for occupation code.

option 11 (‘K’) minimum pay

This option can be used when your migrant worker’s job offer is for a job in Occupation codes in Table 3 of Appendix Skilled Occupations. The minimum salary in such circumstances has to be at least £23,200 AND 100% of the pro-rated going rate for occupation code.