Skilled Worker Visa: What Is the Procedure?
Hola amigos!! This is Dr Tarun Puli, an IMG from India. I have recently cleared my PLAB 2 examination and registered with GMC. I am an aspiring Paediatrician to be, yet to start my role as a Clinical Fellow in the Academy of Surgery at the Barking, Havering, and Redbridge University Trust, Romford. Today, the elephant in the room is how to acquire a Skilled Worker Visa.
First of all, Congratulations. You are successful in securing a job in the NHS. Kudos to your efforts. Time for celebration in your own way!!
What is a Skilled Worker Visa?
This is a Visa that you'd require to practice as a doctor in the UK after attaining GMC Full Registration with Licence to Practice and securing a job in the UK.
Is it as hectic as Visitor Visa?
Not really; it's a pretty straightforward process. You'll get a better idea as we discuss it further below.
Does it have another name ?
Yes, it is now called Health & Care Visa. But you won't find an option named as such; when you enter your COS number, it will be recognized as Health and Care Visa.
What documents are required?
1. Certificate of Sponsorship ( COS) – Most important document, you need to fill in the details given in it in the Visa application.
2. Police Clearance Certificate/Police Check from your home country and the countries where you've stayed for 12 more months in the last 3 years.
3. Tuberculosis Clearance Certificate ( If your country is listed among the TB endemic countries list by the UK, Check https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk whether your country is listed or not)
4. Your passport ( original)
The documents mentioned above are mandatory. The ones listed below are optional, but it's better to submit them to make your application look transparent.
5. GMC Registration Certificate
6. Your country's medical council Registration Certificate
7. OET /IELTS Score sheet (not necessary, you can submit this if it's still under the validity period)
8. COVID Vaccination Certificate ( Better to submit this to state that your vaccination is up-to-date)
9. A Cover letter explaining everything briefly (Not necessary, but if you wish to, you can formulate one)
Of all the documents mentioned above, you just need to apply for Police Check & TB certificate (if needed). COS will be given to you by your Trust. You will be having the rest with you already. That's why I mentioned in the beginning that it's a straightforward process. In India, I had to apply for the Police Check Certificate from my City's Passport Office.
For a TB certificate, you need to search for laboratories that give reports which are accepted by the UK Visa office. To find a laboratory accepted by the UK, you can search in the https://www.gov.uk/ website's search bar with your country's name. For example, "TB labs approved in India".
What are the steps?
1. Initially, you need to fill out the application form for Skilled Worker Visa at https://www.gov.uk/ (Please place the website link here) website under visas and immigration.
2. You will be asked to create a password. Then, you'll receive a mail with the link to log in whenever you need to fill out the application.
3. You will be asked for demographic details, family members, information regarding your Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), your stay in the UK, addresses where you've lived for the last 3 years, travel history to the UK and other countries, criminal convictions, to read the terms& agree to the declaration, make the payment (I paid 247£ as my Visa was under 3 years).
4. Be careful while checking the declaration, as you can't edit the application once you agree to it.
5. There's no compulsion to complete the application in one go!! You can come back later with the link that was mailed to you. You just need to remember the password.
6. Now, when you open the link, you'll be given the option to view and download the Documents Checklist and Filled Visa Application Form along with a link to book a slot for biometrics through Visa Application Centre (VAC) from your respective country. Mine was VFS IN INDIA.
7. Book a slot for your biometrics. You can scan & upload the documents by yourself or choose the document scanning assistance service, if available at the UKVAC.
8. Now it's your biometrics day, be on time. Submit the required documents if you choose scanning assistance and give the biometrics. DO NOT FORGET YOUR DOCUMENTS CHECKLIST PRINTOUT.
9. After everything's done, be patient until you receive your Passport and check whether there's a vignette inside it or not. If yes, that's your confirmation for approval of the Skilled Worker Visa.
COS is valid for 3 months from the date it is issued. You have to apply for a visa before the COS expires. Ideally, the Visa will be given for 3 months; you should enter the UK and collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) from the post office you chose while filling out the visa application form. This BRP will be your Visa for the duration of your stay in the UK.
Now, I will leave a sample of my cover letter for you guys to have a better idea:
The Entry Clearance Officer
UK Visa and Immigration
Reference: Application for entry clearance with Tier-2 (skilled worker visa)
I am Tarun Sai Krishna Puli, seeking entry clearance with a Tier-2 visa (SKILLED WORKER VISA)
NAME: TARUN SAI KRISHNA PULI
PASSPORT NUMBER: XXXXXXXXX
VISA APPLICATION NUMBER: GWF1234
QUALIFICATIONS & GMC REGISTRATION:
I am a fully qualified doctor. I graduated from medical school (KONASEEMA INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES AND RESEARCH FOUNDATION, KIMS & RF) in Amalapuram, India. I am registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) with registration number- 1111111,
and I have a licence to practice medicine in the UK. I am also registered as a doctor with a licence to practise in India with registration number: ZZZZ
Documented evidence of the above has been attached for your kind consideration.
TIER-2 SKILLED WORKER DETAILS:
I have now secured the following job:
JOB TITLE: Write the title given in your COS
GROSS SALARY: XYZ GBP per annum (Write the amount according to the details given in your COS)
This job is listed in the shortage occupation list. My sponsor, ABCDE NHS Trust (Mention your trust name exactly as it is given in your COS), is listed as a fully approved (A-rated) sponsor according to the list published on gov.uk by the Home Office. I have been provided Sponsorship and Maintenance by the Trust.
SPONSOR NAME: ABCDE NHS Trust (Mention your trust name exactly how it is given in your COS)
SPONSOR LICENCE NUMBER: NNNNNNNNN ( This will be given in your COS)
CERTIFICATE OF SPONSORSHIP NUMBER: MMMMMMMMMMM ( This will be given in your COS)
MY TRAVEL HISTORY:
On the 10th of February, 2022, I was granted a six-month C-Visit Visa to the UK. I traveled to the UK on the 11th of February and returned to India on the 26th of July. During this time, I appeared for and passed my PLAB-2 test and got registered with the GMC.
I have also done a clinical observership for 6 weeks at The Queen's Hospital, Romford, to get a better insight into how things work in the NHS. It is not considered employment, as I was neither paid nor got hands-on with the patients. It was done in line with rules and regulations set down by the UKVI, in that no public funds were utilised. While I was in the UK, I initially stayed in Manchester in an accommodation booked via Airbnb until April 7th.
Later, I went to my Family friend, Mr. XYZ (Family friend's name) house in Reading. I stayed there until May 26th. During this time, I visited places like Bath, Bristol, and Cardiff by train as they are a couple of hours travel from Reading by train to explore tourist locations there.
Then I moved to Romford on May 26th, where I was offered an observership at The Queen's Hospital in the Academy of Surgery from June 13, 2022, to July 24, 2022, and stayed there during the rest of my stay in the UK in an accommodation booked via SpareRoom with a tenancy agreement.
KNOWLEDGE OF ENGLISH:
TITLE OF QUALIFICATION: OCCUPATIONAL ENGLISH TEST (OET)
AWARDING BODY: Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment Trust (CBLA)
OVERALL GRADE: B
GRADE OF EACH SUB-CATEGORY: B
DATE OF EXAM: DD/MM/YYYY
VALIDITY: 2 years
I have attached a copy of my OET test results for your kind reference.
TB CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE:
India being a listed country for Tuberculosis testing, I was tested for TB in a UK government recognised and designated lab (Name of the Laboratories) on DD/MM/YYYY. I have been issued a TB clearance certificate with No. VVVV, which shows that there is NO evidence of active pulmonary tuberculosis.
CRIMINAL RECORD CERTIFICATE / POLICE CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE:
Apart from the time stated when I was in the UK for the PLAB-2 test (<6 months), I have been staying in Vijayawada, India, the entire time. My PCC file no. YYYYY dated: DD/MM/YYYY shows there is NO adverse information against me on record.
I am fully vaccinated with two doses of the Covishield vaccine.
I have attached my vaccination certificate for your reference.
To conclude, I am looking forward to working in the NHS and utilising the opportunity to make myself a better doctor. I have always obeyed the rules and regulations of the UK Border Agency. I am well aware of the consequences of doing anything illegal.
I would like to take this opportunity to request you kindly grant me the VISA.
Thank you for considering my application.
DOCUMENTS I HAVE ATTACHED:
1. Certificate of Sponsorship (COS)
2. Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)
3. TB Clearance Certificate
4. OET Test results (proof of English proficiency)
5. GMC Registration Certificate
6. APMC Registration Certificate (INDIA)
7. Covid-19 Vaccination certificate
8. My Passport
Need More Help?
Please let me know how in the comments how your day went by and how did you feel before and after the exam. If you have something to speak out about, you can reach us on trewlink.com. You can register using this link: https://trewlink.com/?referrer=tar630001
You can also help your colleagues by sharing the article.
There are articles about GMC Registration step-wise: "GMC registration - 7 essential steps to make your application successful" and Visitor visa-"Getting to the UK: How to Get a Visa for PLAB 2 Successfully", which are quite Informative and helpful. Please do have a look.
I would love to hear your stories on how it went for you! Do let me know in the comments. If you find our blogs helpful, we will hope you share them with your fellow IMGs so that we can be of help to as many people as possible.
Wishing you success!