Apply For A UK Work Visa Tips and Requirements
Is a work visa easy to get in the UK? - No, most UK work visas are not more difficult to obtain than others, with different route-specific requirements. In many cases, the applicant will need to have the offer of a job meeting minimum skill and salary requirements from a licensed sponsor.
The United Kingdom is a fantastic place to live, work, and travel. With so many different cultures and lifestyles, there’s something for everyone. If you love exploring new places and meeting people from all walks of life, this may be the perfect place. If you’re looking to move to the UK permanently but aren’t sure how to go about it, keep reading to learn more about what you need to know before applying for a UK work visa.
However, if you’re not a citizen of the UK, you may have to get a work visa to work in the country legally. It’s not easy because there are many requirements and things that you need to keep track of. This article will explain what types of jobs require a work visa and give you tips on how to apply for your own.
What is Work Visa?
A work visa is a permit that allows non-citizens to work in the UK legally. A work visa is different from a tourist visa, which will enable you to visit the country temporarily only. Work visas allow you to stay in the country longer and work in a specific job. There are different types of work visas, depending on the job and the category under which you’re allowed to work in the country.
The most common work visas are an intra-company transfer (ICT), a Tier 1 (General) visa, and a Tier 2 visa. A Tier 1 (General) visa is the most common type of work visa. It allows you to work in any job authorized in the UK, including a skilled job. You can also take up additional training to qualify for the job.
What Does a Work Visa Allow?
Most work visas only let you work in specific jobs. To know what jobs you can apply for and what you’re allowed to do, you have to check the particular requirements of your visa. For example, if you have a Tier 1 (General) visa, you’re allowed to work in any job authorized by the UK government. That means you can work in almost any field, as long as the UK government authorizes it.
If you have a Tier 2 visa, you can work in a specific job type, such as a skilled job. In this case, you can also apply to change careers if you want to, but you can’t switch jobs very quickly in the UK. It’s best to choose the job you’d like to do, follow your dream, and stay with it.
UK Tier 1 (General) visa
A Tier 1 (General) visa is the most common type of work visa. It allows you to work in any job authorized in the UK, including a skilled job. You can also take up additional training to qualify for the job. A Tier 1 (General) visa is a long-term visa that lasts three to five years.
However, you may be eligible for an extension. You must provide evidence that you have a genuine reason to stay in the UK beyond the initial period. It’s also important to note that you can’t switch jobs once you’ve started working. You can only work in the position authorized by the UK government.
UK Tier 2 visa
A Tier 2 visa is for skilled workers within a job offer from a company in the UK. It’s a short-term visa, and generally lasts for three to five years. With a Tier 2 visa, you can switch jobs if you have a new job offer. You can also switch job types.
However, you can’t switch jobs very easily in the UK. You can also switch jobs with a Tier 2 visa, but you can’t switch employers. It’s best to choose the job you’d like to do, follow your dream, and stay with it.
Tier 3 of the points based Salary
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its report on salary thresholds and points-based systems on 28 January. We are grateful for its considered work.
Tier 4 of the points based Salary and skills thresholds
We accept the MAC’s recommendation on salary thresholds, including to lower the general salary threshold from £30,000 to £25,600. Migrants will still need to be paid the higher of the specific salary threshold for their occupation, known as the ‘going rate’, and the general salary threshold. However, as set out below, under the points-based system for skilled workers, applicants will be able to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a lower salary.
There will continue to be different arrangements for a small number of occupations where the salary threshold will be based on published pay scales. We will set the requirements for new entrants 30% lower than the rate for experienced workers in any occupation and only use the base salary (and not the allowances or pension contributions) to determine whether the salary threshold is met. Additionally, in line with the MAC’s recommendations, we will not introduce regional salary thresholds or different arrangements for different parts of the UK.
Tier 5 of the points based system
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) has five sub-categories:
- Creative and sporting - for people coming to the United Kingdom to work or perform as sports people, entertainers or creative artists for up to 12 months.
- Charity workers – for people coming to the United Kingdom to do voluntary work and not paid work for a charity.
These changes will ensure that a wide pool of skilled workers will be able to come to the UK from anywhere in the world and the process will be made simpler and quicker for employers. These are important changes signalling that the UK is open for business.
Tier 6 of the points based system
The points-based system will provide simple, effective, and flexible arrangements for skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK through an employer-led system. All applicants, both EU and non-EU citizens, will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor, that the job offer is at the required skill level, and that they speak English. In addition to this, if the applicant earns more than the minimum salary threshold then the individual would be eligible to make an application.
However, if they earn less than the required minimum salary threshold, but no less than £20,480, they may still be able to come if they can demonstrate that they have a job offer in a specific shortage occupation, as designated by the MAC, or that they have a PhD relevant to the job. In effect, applicants will be able to ‘trade’ characteristics such as their specific job offer and qualifications against a salary lower than the minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ in their field.
Other types of visas
Other work visas include the following:
- An intra-company transfer (ICT) visa allows you to work in a company in the UK that is owned by a parent company of yours.
- A student visa lets you study in the UK full-time.
- A temporary spouse visa lets you stay in the UK to live with your new spouse if you’re a citizen of another country. After two years of living together, you can apply for a permanent settlement visa.
Applying for a work visa
Now that you know what type of visa you need, and what you can do with it, it’s time to apply for your own work visa. There are many things you need to keep track of, but luckily it’s easy once you know what you’re doing.
Here are a few tips that could come in handy, especially if you’re a first-time applicant.
- Know your eligibility - First and foremost, you must know if you’re eligible for a work visa. You’ll have to check your eligibility with the UK Home Office. Once you know that, you can focus on the rest of the process.
- Apply early - The earlier you apply, the better. If you apply late, it’s likely that you’ll be rejected. The sooner you apply, the better.
- Apply online - It’s important to apply online. The online application process is simple, fast, and secure. You don’t want to risk getting your application rejected because it’s missing something important, like your documents.
Can I move to the UK without a job?
If you are exceptionally talented or wealthy or have a familial connection to the UK, you can move to the UK without a job. Instead, you can apply for one of the following visas: UK Ancestry Visa.
Can I get a UK-to-work visa without a job offer?
You don't need a job offer or sponsorship to qualify for the visa. You can go to the UK and set up as a self-employed or volunteer. This visa can only be granted once and will not be available to those who have already had the Graduate visa.
How much bank balance is required for the UK work visa?
Additionally, the applicant must have a minimum of £1,270 in their bank account to demonstrate that they can support themselves financially in the UK.
How can I get a job offer in the UK?
In order to apply for most work visas, you'll usually need to gain a job offer with sponsorship from an employer in the UK first. This employer must also be approved by the Home Office and be on its list of eligible employers.
How can I settle in the UK?
Browse: Live permanently in the UK
1. Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)
2. Prove you have the right of abode in the UK.
3. Apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person.
Getting a work visa is no easy feat. You must pass several difficult tests, and show that your intentions are genuine. The best way to get through this process is to take your time, apply early, and apply online.
Also, keep in mind that there are many requirements and things that you need to keep track of. It’s best to research and understand them before applying for a work visa.