UK Visa and Work Permit Requirements
To work in the UK a valid visa is required. We have listed some of the most common below:
Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5)
Sponsors under the youth mobility scheme are the national governments of the participating countries. Participation in the scheme will be limited to those countries that can meet the criteria for the scheme which relate to level of immigration risk, returns arrangements and reciprocal opportunities for young United Kingdom nationals.
As the sponsors of their young nationals, the governments of participating countries will be saying that they:
- are nationals of that country; and
- are aged between 18 and 30 inclusive; and
- believe they will comply with the terms of the youth mobility scheme.
The post-study worker category allows the UK Government to retain the most able international graduates who have studied in the United Kingdom. It also enhances the United Kingdom's overall offer to international students.
Post-study workers are free to look for work without having a sponsor for the length of their leave.
The category provides a bridge to highly skilled or skilled work. If you are granted permission to stay as a post-study worker, we expect that you will switch into another tier of the points-based system as soon as you are able to.
Who can apply as a post-study worker?
You can apply under the post-study worker category now if you are:
- in the United Kingdom with permission to stay under the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme (SEGS), International Graduates Scheme (IGS) or Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme (FT:WISS); or
- in the United Kingdom as a student, which includes students, student nurses, students resitting examinations, and students writing up a thesis, and want to switch into the post-study worker category.
Highly Skilled Worker Catergory (Tier 1 General)
The highly skilled worker category is designed to allow highly skilled people to come to the United Kingdom to look for work or self-employment opportunities. Unlike work permits (soon to be replaced by sponsored skilled workers - tier 2), you do not need a job offer to apply under the highly skilled worker category. When you apply you are awarded points based on your qualifications, previous earnings, United Kingdom experience, age, English language skills, and available maintenance (funds).
You can apply under the highly skilled worker category now if you are:
- in the United Kingdom with permission to stay (known as 'leave to remain') in an immigration category that allows you to switch into the highly skilled worker category;
- already in the United Kingdom as a highly skilled worker and want to extend your permission to stay within your existing category;
- already in the United Kingdom under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, want to extend your permission to stay and are eligible to switch into the highly skilled worker category;
- applying for permission to enter the United Kingdom (known as 'entry clearance') under the highly skilled worker category.
UK Ancestry Visa
Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the United Kingdom may be eligible to come to the UK to work. If you arrive with a United Kingdom ancestry entry clearance you will be allowed to stay for five years.
Workers Registration Scheme
From May 1 2004, most nationals of the new member states who wish to work for more than one month for an employer in the UK need to register under the Worker Registration Scheme.
Nationals from the following new member states; Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic who find a job in the United Kingdom are required to apply to register with the Home Office under the new 'Worker Registration Scheme' as soon as they find work.
Bulgarian and Romanian nationals
From 1st January 2007 citizens from Bulgaria and Romania will not require leave to enter or remain to reside legally in the UK. All Bulgarian and Romanian citizens will have a right of residence in any EU Member State for the first 3 months of residence on an unrestricted basis and remain legally resident in that state as long as they wish, providing they are exercising a treaty right as a student, a self-employed person, or if they are self-sufficient. They will not, however, have an automatic right to reside as a worker (unless they are exempt from work authorisation requirements).
This visa may be applied for if a foreign national marries a British citizen, or person who has settlement status in the UK.
European Community law gives EEA nationals a right to live and work in the United Kingdom.