UK Work Permit Process

November 23, 2021
  • Work permit

    You cannot apply for a work permit directly. Your employer in the UK will need to apply on your behalf. The length of your permit will depend on the type of work you do and the sort of permit granted. If you have already found a job in the UK and been accepted to work, or you have a visa but it prohibits you from working, you may need to obtain a work permit.

    The work permit is for highly skilled and quality foreign workers who can add value to the growth and productivity of the UK. This visa category includes entrepreneurs, investors and exceptional talents.

    This category covers professions of the:

  • (Physicians);
  • Engineers;
  • Scientists;
  • Finance experts;
  • Innovators;
  • Entrepreneurs;
  • IT specialists;
  • Other

Types of Employment Permit:

  • Tier 2 (General) Visa:
You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if you have been offered a skilled job in the UK or you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. You need to have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor (i.e. potential employer) before you can apply to come to the UK to work, and the work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organization.

  • Tier 1 (General) Visa:
You can apply to switch from your current visa to a Tier 1 (General) visa if you have permission to stay (‘leave to remain') in the UK. You cannot apply for a Tier 1 (General) category visa if you are outside the UK, and you usually cannot switch to it from other immigration categories.

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa:
You can apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa if:

You have been endorsed as an internationally recognized leader or emerging leader in your field in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, arts or you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa:
You can apply to come to the UK as a representative of an overseas business if you're from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland and you're either:

The sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company

An employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organization posted on a long-term assignment to the UK

  • Domestic Workers in a Private Household Visa:
You can apply for a visa to visit the UK with your employer if you:

  1. are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  2. are a domestic worker in a private household
  3. have worked for your employer for at least 1 year
  4. meet the other eligibility requirements

The UK immigration points-based assessment system

The number of points you score on the UK points system determines your eligibility for a UK work visa. In the UK points system, points are awarded for the following:

  • Qualifications
  • Future expected earnings
  • Sponsorship
  • English language skills
  • Self-provided funds

If you are a non-EU/EFTA national wanting to work in the UK, you will need a work permit UK relating to the type of work that you are doing. Most of the UK work visas require sponsorships from the UK-based employer so you will need to have secured a suitable job and sponsorship before applying for the UK work visa.

Before you can apply, you must satisfy the following work permit requirements:

  • Have received a confirmed offer of employment from a licensed UK employer who will act as your sponsor; and
  • Be in possession of a Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your sponsoring employer; and
  • Pass the points-based assessment, details of which can be found on the category specific work permit pages listed below.

How long it will take to get a decision:

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks


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