The UK is a great place to work. There are many opportunities in a every job sector. You may have already carried out your job search, tailored it to the UK job market, and even overcome the job interview process. Can I now start my new job in Great Britain?
Well, that depends on what country you’re from. Citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have the right to come to the UK to live and work. However, if you do not fall within this category, it is necessary to obtain a visa so you are able to work legally in the UK.
Types of UK Visa
You may be able to apply for work in the UK if you are married to someone who owns a British passport. You will receive a 2 year visa if you have been married for less than four years. After this period you have the option to apply for an indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and eventually a British Passport. If you have been married for more than four years, you will immediately receive an indefinite leave to remain certificate.
In a relationship between two adults where one of the couple owns a British passport, the other may apply to work and live in the UK. You must have been in the relationship for more than two years and must be living together in the UK.
You must bring a signed confirmation letter from the company who is recruiting you to work. Moreover, you must prove that you can financially support yourself.
‘High Value Migrant’ Visa
Investors, entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented people can apply to enter the UK and stay without a job offer. You will, however, need to pass a points-based assessment.
‘Skilled Workers’ Visa
You can apply to enter the UK for work if you have been offered a skilled job and your prospective employer is willing to sponsor you. You must also pass a points-based assessment before entering the UK.
‘UK Temporary Workers’ Visa (Tier 5)
To be able to apply for a visa under Tier 5 categories, you must have a job offer from prospective employer, and you must pass a points-based assessment. This type of visa includes various types of workers; creative & sporting, charity, religious, government authorised exchange, international agreement, and youth mobility workers. Read more about the specific requirements of each type of temporary worker on the UK border agency website.
With this visa you are not permitted to seek out a career or climb the corporate ladder. You are in the UK to financially support yourself whilst temporarily experiencing life in Britain. You may work part time during the two years of your visa or you may work full time for part of your visa.
You will need to supply 3 months worth of bank statements when applying for your visa. The financial evidence must show that you are able to live and work abroad comfortably.
‘Commonwealth citizens with UK Ancestry’ Visa
If your grandparent was born in the UK and you are a Commonwealth citizen then you have the right to claim a UK Ancestry visa, which gives you the right to work for up to five years in the UK.
To apply for an Ancestry Visa you need a few important documents.
- You will need your parents and grandparents Birth Certificate and your own Birth Certificate.
- You will need a letter confirming your intention to work from the prospective employer in the UK.
- You must provide 3 months worth of bank statements to prove you have sufficient funds in your bank account and to show you are financially stable to support yourself before receiving an adequate income.
After the five years on this visa you can apply for an indefinite leave to remain certificate, and eventually obtain a British passport.
Other Useful Information
When to apply for your visa
An important note to remember is that you must apply for your visa before you arrive in the UK. The Visa application process can take between 3-12 weeks to be processed and you will need to give in your passport with your application; during the application process your international travel is limited.
Also, make sure you have already carried out the job search and tailored it to finding work in the UK before you apply for a visa. In most cases, you must have a job secured before arriving in the UK. If you would like to read more general information about documentation to work abroad then please visit our designated page.
If you have a British Passport you have the right to work and live in the UK as if you were a British Citizen. There are no limits to the amount of travel you do, nor any limitation to the period of time you live and work in the UK.
You don’t need a permit to work in the UK if you are any of the following:
- a British citizen
- a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen
- a Swiss national
If you do not fall within the categories outlined on the list above you will need a work permit before you can work in the UK.
You can’t apply for a permit yourself – your prospective employer in the UK has to apply for you. How long your permit lasts depends on the work you do and the type of permit.
If you would like to find out more information concerning work in the UK and the specific requirements for Visas there, please visit the UK Border Agency website.
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