Since the UK left the EU, finding a new role isn’t a simple process as it used to be. However, it’s still possible. As your Career Partner for Life, we are here to help you find the perfect role for you, therefore we got all the information we could together to make it easier to decide whether it’s something possible for you.
A work visa – or a work permit – is a document that allows foreign national permission to work legally in the UK. In order to be eligible to apply for one, you as an applicant must meet criteria that outlines the UK’s point-based immigration system.
Am I eligible to work in the UK?
You are eligible to work in the UK without a visa if:
- You are a British citizen
- You are an European Economic Area (EEA) citizen (see list of countries below) who worked in the UK before 31st Dec 2020
EEA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.
3. You are a Swiss national who worked in the UK before31st Dec 2020
If option 2 or 3 applies to you, you’ll need to apply for the settled status in the UK. This will avoid any future issues regarding employment.
For more information related to EU, EEA and Commonwealth citizens and your rights to working in the UK, check the gov.uk website here.
What if I don't have the right to work in the UK.
If you are not from the countries listed above and if none of the other parameters apply to your situation, you may still be able to work with the UK with a visa. The UK has a long list of different types of visas that will mainly depend on the type of job you are looking for.
Also known as temporary workers visas, short-term visas form part of Tier 5 Visas. These are:
- Charity Worker visa: for unpaid voluntary work for a UK charity.
- Creative Worker visa: only creative workers can apply for this visa.
- Government Authorised Exchange Visa: For individuals who want to come to the UK for training, work experience, research, an Overseas Government Language Program, or a fellowship with a government approved exchange scheme.
- International Agreement visa: For individuals who are contracted to work for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic household.
- Religious Worker visa: For individuals who want to come to the UK on a short-term basis for religious work, like preaching or working in a religious order.
- Seasonal Worker visa: For individuals who want to travel to the UK to perform farm work for up to six months.
- Youth Mobility Scheme visa: This visa is for young people aged 18-30, who have certain types of British nationality or who are from specific countries.
- Graduate visa: allows graduates to stay in the UK after completing a course in the UK for up to two years.
The main categories that fall within long-term work visas (Tier 2 Visas) are:
- Skilled Worker visa: This allows an individual to come/stay in the UK to do an eligible job with a Home Office approved employer.
- Intra-company visa: For individual whose overseas employer has offered them a job in a UK branch of the company.
- Health and Care Worker visa: For medical professionals to come or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or adult social care.
- Minister of religion visa (T2): For people who have been offered a job (by an approved employer) within a faith community.
- International Sportsperson visa: Elite sportsmen or coaches whose governing body has recognised them as being at the top of the profession internationally can apply for this visa.
Investor, business development and talent visas
The main categories of visas under this category are:
- Innovator visa: For individuals who want to set up and run an innovative company in the UK.
- Start-up visa: For individuals who want to set and run an innovative company in the UK. You must be endorsed by an authorised body.
- For both the Innovator visa and the Start-up visa, the company must be different to anything that’s already on the market
Other visas include these:
- Global Talent visa: For anyone who is a leader in academia or research, arts and culture, and digital technology.
- Investor visa (Tier 1): For investors who want to invest at least £2,000,000 or more in the UK.
- UK Ancestry visa: For individuals who want to work in the UK, who are a
- A commonwealth citizen,
- a British overseas citizen,
- a British Overseas Territories citizen,
- a citizen of Zimbabwe,
- or one or more of their grandparents were born in the UK
- Frontier Work permit: For individuals who want to work in the UK but live in another country
- Exempt: individuals who wouldn’t usually have to apply for a visa because they’re exempt from immigration control (a diplomat for example).
- British National Overseas (visa): If you’re from Hong Kong and a British citizen, this visa allows you to live and work in the UK.
- Overseas Domestic Worker visa: For domestic workers in a private household who want to visit the UK with their employer.
- Representative of an Overseas Business visa: For sole representatives of an overseas company who wish to set up a subsidiary in the UK.
- Turkish Businessperson visa: With this visa, Turkish nationals have permission to stay in the UK can continue to run their business in the UK, start a new one, or help to run an established business.
- Turkish Worker visa: For Turkish nationals who already have permission to stay in the UK, who wish to extend their visa as a Turkish Worker.
- Service providers from Switzerland visa: For individuals who work for a company based in Switzerland but whose employer wants them to work on a contract in the UK.
Work Visa Requirements.
Every visa has its own criterial so it’s very important that you check all of these before applying. We recommend you using the gov.uk website as it has an extensive explanation of all the visa requirements.
However, most of the UK work visas require you to:
- Be doing a job that’s on the eligible list of occupations.
- Work for a UK employer that’s on the Home Office approved list
- Be paid a minimum salary.
- Have a certificate of sponsorship from your approved UK employer that details the role you’ve been offered in the UK.
Applying for a work visa can be a complex and stressful process. Here are some tips to help your application:
- Your time frame: the application process will take at least three months. Have this in mind when agreeing a start date with your employer or when you start to get your documents ready.
- The paperwork: make sure you have all the up-to-date, correct information to support your application. This will depend on the type of visa, but will most likely include at least a valid passport and a certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
- Translation costs: any documents that are in your native language will have to be translated into English. Bear this in mind as it may be an extra cost
- Details: double check you complete your visa application fully and correctly. Missing information will delay the process.
For more information and extra support check the gov.uk website he re here and for more advice check our Careers advice page here.