Teaching Fellow needing a Skilled Worker Visa

Ananya is an Indian national who's been working at another UK university for 2 years.  She's applied for a 3 year fixed term Teaching Fellow post in the School of Mathematics. 

What's the main consideration?

To gain the required 20 tradeable points based on salary alone, Ananya would need to be paid at least the higher of £25,600 and the going rate for the job (as a teaching role, this is £40,700 based on a 39 hours week, which we can pro-rate down to £39,135 for a 37.5 hour week).  In recognition of Ananya's experience, she's been offered a salary in the top half of grade 7 (£38,017). Despite this, it's not enough to earn the required 20 points for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Does that mean we can't appoint?

Not necessarily; depending on Ananya's circumstances, she may be eligible for a salary concession.

Firstly, does she qualify as a New Entrant to the UK labour market? We need to ask the following questions: 

1. Will the contract be for more than 4 years? No, so...

2. Is she in the UK already? Yes, so...

3. Does she already hold a Tier 2 or Skilled Worker visa? Yes, so...

4. Will this Skilled Worker Visa take her total combined time on Tier 2 and Skilled Worker over 4 years? Yes - Ananya has been in the UK on a Tier 2 visa for 2 years, and we're offering a 3 year contract.  This automatically disqualifies Ananya from being eligible for a New Entrant concession. 

What now?

There are two other possible salary concessions:

1. a job in a shortage occupation, or

2. a PhD which is relevant to the job.

The Teaching Fellow role is not in a shortage occupation.

However, Ananya does have a PhD in Financial Mathematics, and the hiring manager can provide an explanation of how this is relevant to the job. Because this is a STEM PhD, we can reduce the going rate for the job by 20% - the minimum salary we need to pay Ananya is now £31,308. So we can appoint her.

Had the job/qualification been in a non-STEM area/subject, the going rate could have been reduced by 10% to £35,222.

Relevant rules

Skilled Worker Visa

To qualify for a Skilled Worker Visa, a job/applicant must accrue 70 points from a number of criteria. The first 50 points are from mandatory criteria:

  • a job offer at an appropriate level from an approved sponsor
  • proof of knowledge of English to an appropriate standard

The remaining 20 points must be accrued through 'tradeable' criteria:

  • salary level (0 - 20 points depending on amount, plus one of the following if required):
  • eligibility as a New Entrant to the labour market
  • a job in a shortage occupation
  • a PhD which is relevant to the job

Right to work

If someone's already in the UK, they can work for their existing employer until the work start date we quoted on their Certificate of Sponsorship. However, they can't start working for us until they receive their new Biometric Residence Permit - there can be a gap here.

Follow-up right to work checks are required whenever permission to stay expires.