Reasons for Skilled Worker visa rejection and the next steps you should take – SEOLP

What are the reasons for Skilled Worker visa rejection?

Learn about the reasons that can lead to your preferred candidate’s Skilled Worker visa getting rejected and what you can do next.

If you’re looking to recruit international talent for your organisation, the Skilled Worker visa route is your best option. It allows you to recruit internationally for a wide range of jobs.

That said, onboarding your preferred candidates can be a long and complicated process, especially if your candidate’s Skilled Worker visa application gets rejected.

So what can lead to Skilled Worker visa rejection and what steps should be taken post refusal?

The reasons for Skilled Worker visa rejection

Before knowing how to reapply or appeal a rejected visa application, understanding the reasons for rejection can help you and your candidate rectify the shortcomings in the application.

Here are some of the most common reasons the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may refuse your candidate’s Skilled Worker visa application.

The job doesn’t meet the minimum salary requirement

You have to pay at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher, if you’re looking to hire through the Skilled Worker visa route.

While certain jobs allow you to pay less than £25,600 per year, given they’re on the shortage occupation list, the salary should still be above £20,480 per year and at least £10.10 per hour. Your candidate’s visa application will get rejected if the job doesn’t meet these requirements.

The information that has been provided is incorrect or insufficient

Since employment is one of the primary drivers of undocumented immigration, the UKVI has strict rules that require applicants to provide accurate and sufficient information to support their visa application.

If your candidate has missed questions on the application or hasn’t provided evidence when requested, the UKVI may reject their application.

The candidate doesn’t meet the skill requirements

Depending on the job you’re offering, your candidates must meet minimum skill requirements to be eligible for sponsorship (they must have at least Regulated Qualifications Framework [RQF] Level 3 skills).

Even if they have passed the interview and have a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), the UKVI can still refuse the application if it has reason to believe your candidate doesn’t have the required skills to perform their job.

The candidate has
non-compliance offences

If your candidate has a track record of non-compliance with UK immigration laws previously, the UKVI might believe that they’re not a genuine candidate and reject their visa application.

The UKVI may also refuse a visa application if the presence of the applicant isn’t conducive to public good due to their conduct, character, associations, or other reasons.

If the applicant has received a custodial prison sentence of 12 months or longer or if they’re a persistent offender or committed an offence that caused harm, this can also lead to visa refusal.

The candidate doesn’t have adequate funds

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa, applicants must prove that they have at least £1,270 in their bank account for 28 days or more before they apply for the visa. This requirement is in place to ensure that the applicants have adequate financial resources to support themselves when they arrive in the UK.

If your candidate can’t provide evidence they have the required amount, the UKVI will refuse the visa application.

The documents provided are in the wrong format

Candidates applying for a Skilled Worker visa need to provide a range of documents to support their application. The Home Office has published specific guidelines on what format supporting documents need to be submitted.

If the applicants fail to submit the documents in the right format or don’t provide certified documents when they’re requested to, this can lead to Skilled Worker visa rejection.

How to avoid Skilled Worker visa application rejection

You and your preferred sponsorship candidate can take several actions to ensure that the visa application doesn’t get rejected.

As well as ensuring the above eligibility requirements are met, your candidates application must also be valid.

Once a visa application is submitted, Home Office caseworkers will evaluate each application on three criteria: suitability, eligibility, and validity.

You and your candidate can ensure that they meet these criteria by:

Checking the validity of the application

The UKVI may refuse visa applications even if the candidate is 100% eligible but the application isn’t valid.

For a valid application, the applicants must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Have paid the application fee
  • Have had their biometric information scanned
  • Have provided identification documents (passport/ID)
  • Have provided a CoS no more than three months before applying

Working with immigration experts

Speaking with immigration experts can help determine if your preferred candidate is suitable and eligible for a Skilled Worker visa. They will help you identify possible grounds for application refusal and recommend the best course of action to avoid it.

What to do after a Skilled Worker visa rejection

While your candidate won’t be able to appeal the original decision, they can:

How can Nation.better help you meet your compliance duties?

Our team of immigration and sponsorship experts at Nation.better have extensive experience in helping employers and visa applicants with their Skilled Worker visa application needs.

We’ll help ensure that your candidate’s application meets the Home Office's validity criteria and that the candidate is fulfilling their eligibility and suitability criteria.

Enjoy Skilled Worker visa application support with Nation.better

Frequently asked questions

The visa application fee will not be refunded to the applicants. That said, applicants may get a refund if they cancel their application before a decision is made by the UKVI.

Currently, it takes, on average, four weeks to get a response from the Home Office on Skilled Worker visas. Applicants can get a faster response if they opt for the ‘priority service’ or the ‘super priority service’.

While there are no additional fees to reapply for a Skilled Worker visa after an initial refusal, applicants need to pay the visa application fee when they’re reapplying.

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