UK Visa Work Permit 2023: Best Guide

Do you know you can’t work in the UK if you don’t have UK visa work permit? This typically necessitates obtaining a UK visa work permit to get a job in UK.

There are a variety of pathways to get a UK visa work permit with most of them centered on high-skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors.

However, no general work visa or permission exists for casual or unskilled jobs

First, you need to figure out which category best fits your situation, make sure you meet all requirements, and learn all you can about the application process, its costs, and its processing time.

This article summarizes UK visa work permit including who each visa is for, how long it lasts, what it enables, the basic eligibility criteria, the cost of applying, and if a certain route would lead to settlement.

More details on UK visa work permit

If you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area nation, you will need a UK visa work permit to be legally allowed to work (EEA). According to the applicant’s situation and the nature of the application, the procedure of obtaining a UK visa work permit can be either complicated or simple.

Therefore, workers who are moving to the UK by their present employer or because they have received a formal job offer from a qualified UK employer with the necessary sponsorship license usually need a work permit.

On the contrary hand, the UK government may grant you a visa if you possess a skill that is in high demand there and there are few qualified candidates for the available positions.

Also, it depends on your circumstances, you may be eligible for one of several Work Visas that will allow you to legally work in the United Kingdom.

Your eligibility for UK visa work permit will be determined by many variables, including your occupation, the availability of your desired position, and the anticipated duration of your employment in the United Kingdom.

If you are expanding your business into the UK, it demands a qualified workforce. Knowing the ins and outs of the UK visa work permit systems is essential, whether you have a tried-and-true workforce at your parent firm willing to relocate and work in the UK or you’re opening up opportunities to people across the world.

Generally, Many companies expanding usually don’t have time to make research UK visa work permit while still coordinating a global expansion.

Let’s talk about the different UK visa work permit available. Are you ready? Keep reading!

uk visa work permit

Types of UK visa work permit

The Points-Based System is the primary immigration policy in the United Kingdom (PBS). It all starts with migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) applying to one of five categories depending on if they want to work, study, trade, or train in the country.

They have to score high on a points-based test that considers each tier’s conditions, benefits, and admittance requirements.

To enter or remain in the United Kingdom, applicants must achieve a minimum number of points determined by their age, qualifications, language, income, and money.

There are visas in each of the five categories:

  • Tier one visas are for highly skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, and graduate students outside the EU and EEA. In other words, a job offer is not required to apply for these positions.


  • People from outside the EEA who are skilled workers, professional athletes, or clergy members with the ability to fill positions in the local labor market may qualify for a Tier 2 visa if they have a job offer in hand.


  • Third-tier visas were created for seasonal workers with minimal skills. However, the government has decided not to issue tier-three visas to foreign nationals who are not European Union citizens.


  • Non-EEA nationals over the age of 16 who wish to enroll in an educational institution in the United Kingdom must apply for a Tier 4 visa.


  • Temporary employees in Tier 5 include those in the arts and sports, those in the nonprofit and religious sectors, and students on work-study or other types of short-term visas.


How do you know the UK visa work permit you need?

Foreign nationals can apply for temporary or permanent residency in the United Kingdom to find good employment through several different immigration paths under the UK’s points-based system.

After the UK and EU conclude free movement, all EEA and non-EEA people who are not settled employees or who do not otherwise have permission to work in the UK would need a UK visa work permit, with the exception of Irish citizens.

Visa for Skilled Workers: UK visa work permit

The Skilled Worker visa is a type of employer-sponsored work visa in the United Kingdom (UK) for foreign nationals who wish to fill a position in a skilled occupation with a company that has been approved by the UK’s Home Office.

Under the previous regulations, the Tier 2 (General) visa was substituted by the Skilled Worker visa.

The Skilled Worker application fee might vary from £610 to £1408, depending on the applicant’s situation.

Citizens of the European Economic Area will receive a £55 discount on this cost. If the position is in short supply, the compensation will be smaller.

To apply, applicants must additionally pay a fee known as the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Immigration Skills Charge is a fee paid by a sponsoring organization to the government when a skilled migrant worker is hired.

The sponsorship certificate will specify the amount due based on the employer’s size or status as well as the employee’s duration of service.

The first year costs £364 for small or nonprofit sponsors, and each subsequent six months costs £182. The initial investment for a small or large sponsor is £1,000, with a further £500 required every six months.

Furthermore, a legitimate job offer from a UK-approved sponsor that matches the minimum wage and skill standards is required to apply for a Skilled Worker visa.

Nevertheless, the new rules still require a certificate of sponsorship from an employer authorized on this route, lowering the wage and skills threshold and making it easier for UK businesses to attract talented foreign employees.

In addition to meeting language and proficiency requirements, the applicant must demonstrate that they will be able to support themselves financially once they arrive in the United Kingdom.

If you apply for a Skilled Worker visa and get it, you can stay in the country for up to five years. If the applicant continues to satisfy the requirements under this route, the visa can be extended an unlimited number of times.

Once a Skilled Worker has been in the UK legally for 5 years through this route, he or she is eligible to apply for permanent residency.

The Global Business Mobility Visa: UK visa work permit

Since its introduction on April 11, 2022, the Global Business Mobility route has offered five distinct visa classifications to accommodate a wide range of professional backgrounds.

Even though none of these options result in permanent residency in the UK, they do make it easier to bring in skilled people quickly and easily for temporary assignments in support of projects or businesses.

The ICT visa has been replaced by the Senior or Specialized Worker visa, making it easier for senior and specialist employees to travel between both the UK and international headquarters.

Unless a high earner, candidates must be working overseas for the sponsor and have done so for at least 12 months.

Graduates from abroad who are enrolled in a training program at a UK-based employer and who are seeking experience in a specialized job or senior management position are eligible to apply for a Graduate Trainee visa.

This path can improve cooperation between international offices by allowing graduate trainees from foreign organizations to acquire experience in UK operations.

As of March 29, 2016, the Sole Representative Business visa has been replaced by the UK Expansion Worker visa, which will allow international companies to send numerous representatives to the UK to set up and grow activities in the UK.

Those who provide services under contract or who are self-employed and located abroad may apply for a Service Suppliers visa. In cases where a company needs to hire a contractor with unique, specialty expertise or for a very specific project, this is the way to go.

Workers from overseas who are sent to the United Kingdom as part of a high-value contract or investment are eligible for the GBM route’s fifth subcategory, the Secondment Workers visa.

uk visa work permit


Visa for Health Care Workers: UK visa work permit

The Health and Care Worker visa is a funded UK work visa for expert medical professionals to work in an approved job function with the NHS or NHS supplier, or adult social care.

This visa is under the Skilled Worker category but has far more affordable application fees to attract foreign medical specialists to the United Kingdom.

The Health and Care Worker visa application fee is between £232 and £464 (with a reduction of £55 for most European nationalities) from within or outside the United Kingdom, depending on the duration of stay.

Sponsoring employers will still be subject to the Immigration Skills Charge, but qualified candidates will not.

To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa in the United Kingdom, you must be a specialist, nurse, or health or active social care worker working for a UK-licensed firm that is willing to pay at least the minimum wage.

The ability to maintain oneself financially and communicate well in English are also prerequisites.

A Health and Care Worker visa holder can apply for a maximum of 5 years of stay per application, the same as with any other Skilled Worker visa.

If you are granted a visa and stay in the country for 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency.

Students who have graduated are eligible for a special visa

Graduate visas are a type of UK work visa that allows international graduates to remain in the country for a period of up to two years after receiving their degrees in order to work or hunt for employment without sponsorship.

Doctoral students have this time limit extended to three years. Graduate visa applications cost £700, with a £55 fee waiver for qualified candidates.

The Immigration Health Surcharge must be paid by the applicant in addition to any applicable fees charged by the government or the business.

Successful completion of an undergraduate degree program or one of the limited professional credentials is required to apply for a Graduate visa at a designated higher education institution.

A minimum number of years spent studying in the UK is also required, and they must be present in the country with active Student visa status at the time of application.

The pathway was established in 2021 as part of the UK’s points-based system to facilitate the transition from academic study to professional job experience in the country.

It will also allow businesses in the United Kingdom to tap into the vast international graduate talent pool.

This visa is unsponsored, meaning applicants can work in any industry at any skill level. Visa holders with a graduate level will have more freedom to work part-time, freelance, or start their businesses.

The graduate visa cannot be renewed after the initial 2- or 3-year grant of leave has expired, but the holder may be eligible to apply for a different visa, such as a Qualified Workers visa if they match the criteria for that visa.

If this happens, it will pave the way for resolution.

Temporary Worker Visas

You can get a UK visa work permit for a shorter period if you have someone sponsor you, in contrast to the many unsponsored and lengthy sponsored employment options.

A foreign individual may be sponsored for entry into the United Kingdom by one of six Temporary Worker routes: Creative Worker, Charity Worker, Religious Worker, Government Authorized Exchange Worker, International Agreement Worker, or Seasonal Worker.

A certificate of sponsorship from a sponsor authorized to operate in the United Kingdom is required of all applicants.

Additionally, they need to keep up with the costs of operation and meet additional standards that are unique to each route. Maximum stay periods range from six months to two years, depending on the type of visa and the entry point.

uk visa work permit

Alternative for intelligent Individuals: UK visa work permit

Graduates from outside the UK may be eligible to participate in graduate recruitment initiatives thanks to the High Potential Individual Route.

When it opens on May 30, 2022, this visa will make it possible for international graduates of selected overseas universities to move to the UK without a job offer or a degree from the UK.

However, they will still need to meet other eligibility requirements, such as having earned their degree within the previous five years.

Visa holders are permitted a maximum stay of 2 years in the UK, or 3 years if they hold a degree or certificate equal to a UK Ph.D.

A temporary visa that, like the Graduate route, permits holders to move to a longer-term worker route, such as the Skilled Worker visa, if they match the conditions for that route.

The Global Talent Visa: UK visa work permit

The Global Talent Visa is a UK work visa for established or aspiring leaders in the sectors of education, research, the arts, and/or digital technology, and it does not require a sponsor.

Meanwhile, you’ll need to pay £608 to apply for this visa (after a £55 discount, if eligible) plus the healthcare fee.

A Global Talent visa applicant can skip the endorsement process if they have already won a qualified award, but they must first apply for an endorsement to demonstrate that they are a leader or potential leader in their specialized field.

The Global Talent visa allows the best qualified foreign nationals to work in the United Kingdom for up to five years at a time without being restricted to one employer’s agenda.

Therefore, the United Kingdom will gain access to its special set of talents and information.

It also provides expedited settlement procedures, including fast-tracked routes, no-limit extensions, and more. The bearer of a Global Talent visa may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom after only three years, however, this depends on the applicant’s occupation.

Startup/Innovator visas: UK visa work permit

For those who want to start a business in the UK but need to work to earn money themselves, the Start-up visa is indeed an unsponsored UK work visa.

The Innovator visa is for entrepreneurs with at least £50,000 investment and industry expertise who can spend their time on their business endeavors, or those migrating from the Start-up visa who are advancing their venture and have daily engagement.

The Start-Up visa costs £363 and the Innovator visa costs £1021 if you’re applying from outside the UK.

However, if you’re already within the UK and want to convert to the Start-Up route, you’ll have to pay £493 and £1277, respectively (with a £55 discount for eligible European applicants). Healthcare surcharges apply to visa applicants.

The Start-Up and Innovator visas require endorsement from a UK higher education establishment or a firm that has supported UK entrepreneurs.

The endorsing bodies will evaluate each proposal to verify the firm or idea is innovative, viable, and scalable. Finance maintenance and English proficiency are required.

A successful Start-Up applicant can stay in the UK for two years and convert to an Innovator visa. The 3-year Innovator visa can be renewed indefinitely. Settlement is possible after 3 years.

uk visa work permit

Conditions for Obtaining UK visa work permit

Workers’ needs in terms of visa type and tier will determine the specific requirements for entering the United Kingdom to work.

Tier two contains the vast majority of long-term visas, except those requiring an “exceptional and kill,” as defined in Tier 1.

The standard UK work visa under tier two is used by employers to bring in workers from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

All applicants for general work visas require a licensed sponsor or an employer. The most typical requirements, however, they differ depending on the kind of work permit, and are as follows:

  • Application form
  • Two recent color pictures in the past six months
  • An authentic passport
  • Evidence of financial capacity to afford living expenses in the UK
  • Evidence of accommodations
  • A complete travel schedule
  • Results of the TB test
  • A biometric profile
  • If the traveler will be staying with friends or family, they will need an invitation letter to get a visa.
  • Paid for a UK visa.
  • All documents not written in English or Welsh must have a certified translation.

Application procedure for UK visa work permit

An employee seeking employment with you in the United Kingdom must apply for a visa no later than three months before their desired start date.

Visa processing can take up to three weeks, so it is better if you apply early at an application center or online through the UK Home Office Visas and Immigration Services website.

Make sure your staff is aware of what is required of them to apply for each tier in the PBS system, as the criteria and evaluations will vary.


How do I get UK visa work permit?

You can apply for a UK visa work permit online, where you’ll also pay the application cost and any applicable healthcare premium.

An appointment time may also be required for you to provide your biometric data.

Is it hard to secure a UK visa work permit?

Many factors make it more challenging to get some types of UK work visas than others.

The applicant must often have a work offer from a licensed sponsor that meets the minimal requirements for skills and remuneration.

To get a UK visa work permit, how much do you need to have saved up?

The cost of obtaining a work visa in the United Kingdom varies with each case and visa category.

Applicants may additionally have to show proof of sufficient funds and pay an Immigration Health Surcharge.

Do I need a job offer to apply UK visa work permit?

High Potential Individual visas, Graduate route visas, and Global Talent visas are all types of UK work visas that do not necessitate an offer of employment from a UK-approved sponsor.


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