The sixth-largest goods exporter in the world, along with millions of tourists visiting it, has made the UK one of the highly developed countries in the world. London has earned the second largest financial center in the world. The huge production in the UK needs workers. So many people try to move to the UK for better employment status and standard of living. To be able to work in this country, you might need a UK work visa. In this blog, we will explain if you need the UK to work visa or not, the requirements, application process, fees, validity, FAQs, etc.
The citizens of EU/EFTA countries have the right to live and work in the UK without a UK work visa. All the non-EU/EFTA citizens need a work visa to work in the country.
Basic Documents Required for Work Visas
- Valid passport or travel ID.
- Proving to have enough financial means to support your stay in the UK(bank statements or sponsor confirmation).
- Proof of English language fluency
- Proof of healthcare surcharge payment
- Your TB test, if you stay for more than six months and are from the countries listed in this blog.
Types of UK Work Visa
The UK work visa comes in four major groups:
- Temporary work visas.
- Long-term work visas.
- Investor, business development, and talent visas.
- Other work visas.
UK Temporary work visas
The UK temporary visa comes into the Tier 5 Visas. They also get called a short-term visa. The major categories for them include:
- Charity Worker visa in the UK (Tier 5). The people who are going to carry out voluntary work for a charity in the UK could apply for this one. The voluntary work must be unpaid.
- Creative and Sporting visa in the UK (Tier 5). The creative workers or sportspeople who have a job offer in the UK could apply for this visa. They must have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer in the UK.
- Government Authorized Exchange visa in the UK (Tier 5). You could apply for this visa if you want to visit the UK for:
- Get work training
- Obtain Work experience
- Do research
- Get an Overseas Government Language Program
- International Agreement visa in the UK (Tier 5). This visa is for:
- A private servant in a diplomatic establishment in the UK.
- People who have a contract to work for a foreign government in the UK
- Religious Worker visa in the UK (Tier 5). The people who are going to perform religious work in the UK can apply for this visa. It can include working in a religious order or preaching.
- Seasonal Worker Visa in the UK (Tier 5). The people who want to perform farm work in the UK could apply for this visa. They may only work for up to six months.
- Youth Mobility Scheme visa in the UK (Tier 5). Particular 18 to 30 British Nationalities from a few countries can apply for this visa.
UK Long-term work visas for the UK (Tier 2)
The UK long-term work visas come into Tier 2 Visas. The major categories are:
- General UK works visa. The non-EEA and Switzerland people who have a job offer in the UK can apply for this visa. A licensed sponsor must employ you to apply for this visa.
- UK Intra-company Transfer visa. You can apply for this visa if your overseas employer has offered you a role in a UK branch of the organization.
- UK Minister of Religion visa. If you have a UK job offer in a faith community and are non-EEA and Switzerland nationals.
- UK Sportsperson visa. If you are a qualified coach or elite sportsperson and your sport’s governing body recognized you as being at the highest level of your profession internationally, you can apply for this visa.
Investor, business development and talent visas
The UK has made some visa types for:
- talented people
- business developers
- foreign investors
The visa types for these groups:
- UK Innovator visa. If you want to start or run a business in the UK, this visa is for you.
- UK Start-up visa. In case you are going to set up a business in the UK and are non-(EEA) and Switzerland citizen, you should apply for this one.
- UK Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1). In case you have been endorsed as an emerging leader or a recognized leader, you can apply for this visa.
- UK Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1). The endorsed graduates who have have a worthy business idea could apply for this work visa.
- UK Investor visa (Tier 1). In case you are going to invest at least £2,000,000 ($2.6 million) in the UK, you can apply for this visa.
Other Types of UK Work Visas
Other than the mentioned UK work visas, their other types as follows:
- UK Ancestry visa. You can apply for this visa if:
- your grandparents (at least one of them) were born in the UK.
- you are a citizen of Commonwealth, applying from outside the UK.
- UK visa for Domestic Workers in a Private Household. Domestic workers who work in a private household that wish to visit the UK with their employer can apply for this visa.
- UK Representative of an Overseas Business visa. In case you are the only agent of one overseas company and want to open a UK branch, you can apply for this visa.
- UK Turkish Businessperson visa. Businesspeople from Turkey who want to start a new business in the UK.
- UK Turkish Worker visa. If you’re a Turkish national and had legal work in the UK for at least one year.
If you have found a job in the UK, but your visa does not let you work, you should get a work permit. Your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf. You can not get a work permit directly.
Your work permit period depends on the type of work you will do.
It takes 2-3 months for your work permit to get approved. You should also pay a healthcare surcharge.
You may only enter/work in the UK when:
- you got your right visa.
- you have entry clearance
The entry clearance gets issued after 1-2 weeks after the work permit. Security clearances for these countries might take longer:
- North Korea
- China (PRC)
In case you want to change your job in the UK, your new employer has to apply for your new work permit.
Who Doesn’t Need a Work Permit?
These groups don’t need a UK work permit:
- EEA citizens.
- The partners (not married legally but living together for two years) or spouses of EEA nationals.
- Spouses of:
- ancestry visas
- sole representatives
- holders of:
- training permits
- works permits
- Citizens of the commonwealth with Ancestry visas
- Asylum seekers with pending applications.
Applying for a UK work visa
You should start the application process in your home country. You can find the application centers on this list. The processing time depends on the visa type. The application center will inform you of further procedures.
Do You need to Get sponsored to apply for a UK Work Visa?
You have to get a job offer with sponsorship from an employer in the UK for most of the UK work visas. Yet, without sponsorship, you could apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa if:
- Meet all the requirements for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa.
- You are going to live and work in the UK for less than two years.
- You are 18 to 30 years.
- Have £1,890 ($2331.30) in savings
- Have particular types of British Nationality or are from:
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
Let’s sum up …
In this blog, we explained all you need to know about the UK work visa.
We covered if you need the UK work visa or not, requirements, application, validity, FAQs, etc.
You can check the visa library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.