What is a Work Visa? - If you want to come to the UK to work, to set up a business and pursue your career, to invest, or to live and work as an entrepreneur, then you may wish to consider a work visa. This can lead to settlement. See the settlement in the UK page.

A 'working visa' is a generic term and the correct type of visa depends on your age, English language ability, qualifications, previous and future salary, work experience and maintenance funds.

What types of Working Visa are There?

The following are the available categories of Visa available to overseas workers wishing to migrate to the UK.

Highly Skilled Worker - Tier 1 — Work and Live in the UK

This category is now closed for new applicants from within the UK and from Overseas

The Highly Skilled Worker Tier 1 (General) visa category is designed to attract highly skilled workers to live and work in the UK. This visa category is suitable for qualified individuals who wish to seek employment, attend job interviews or establish a business in the UK.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate they have the required English language ability, maintenance (funds) and a recognised qualification to be eligible to qualify under this visa category. In addition, applicants must meet the minimum point's requirements on an assessment for attributes including age, previous earnings and any UK experience.

Successful applicants will be granted temporary residence under the Tier 1 (General) visa category, which will permit them to live and work freely in the UK for an initial period of three (3) years after which an extension can be applied for. Settlement can be gained subject to requirement after 5 years leave in such a category or with a combination of accepted categories.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 1 Entrepreneur — Get a Visa to Establish a Business in the UK

This category is for migrants wishing to establish, join or takeover one or more businesses in the United Kingdom. For the purposes of this category a business means a sole trader, partnership or company registered in the United Kingdom.

Entry Clearance is not mandatory as individuals can switch into this category from within the UK, depending on which existing category an applicant falls into.

Following recent Government announcements allowing accelerated route to settlement in this category, contact us to see whether you are eligible to apply.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur)

A new category comprised of those wishing to develop a business idea immediately upon graduating, and who have been identified by UK universities as having developed world-class innovative or entrepreneurial skills, but who are not at the time of their graduation ( and, presumably at the time of the expiry of their leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General Student ) in a position to meet the full requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route. Additionally from 6 April 2012 graduates from outside the European Area who have studied in UK educational institutions and who have been identified by their college as having ''world class innovative ideas'' are entitled to switch from Tier 4 into Tier 1.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)

For "exceptionally talented individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering and the arts".

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 1 Investor — Get a Visa to Make Investments in the UK

This category is for migrants wishing to make substantial investments in the United Kingdom.

If successful the applicant will be granted Entry Clearance for an initial period of 3 years.

An applicant can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in this category after a period of 5 years.

However, following recent Government announcements allowing accelerated route to settlement in this category, contact us to see whether you are eligible to apply.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 1 Post-Studies Work — Get a Work Permit After Completion of Studies in the UK

This category is now closed.

This category is for graduates who have studied in the United Kingdom to remain here and take on highly skilled work upon completion of their studies.

Upon completion of 2 years in this category, the applicant will need to switch into another Tier 1 or Tier 2 category or return to their home country.

This category is now closed for new applicants from within the UK and from Overseas.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 2 - General — How to Get a Work Permit As a Skilled Worker in the UK

Tier 2 (General) is broadly equivalent to the previous work permit scheme i.e. skilled workers with a job offer. Under the recently introduced five tier managed migration plan an applicant must achieve a certain number of points but must have a job offer from a UK employer and a certificate of sponsorship.

Sponsoring Employer

If an employer wishes to recruit a migrant under tiers 2, 4 or tier 5 they will have to apply for a sponsor licence online and send in payment and documents in support of their application. Employers can currently apply for licences to sponsor tier 2 workers.

Under tier 2, the sponsor will need to be a UK-based employer. The sponsor must have good human resource systems and compliance in place to allow them to monitor and keep records of the migrants they employ or teach.

As a licensed employer, you will be given an A rating or a B rating and you will be added to a published register of sponsors. Sponsors that the Home Office thinks could be a risk to immigration control or those who they consider do not have the correct systems in place will be given a B rating.

B-rated sponsors must follow a sponsorship action plan designed to help them become A-rated or they risk losing their licence.

Sponsorship duties

Licensed sponsors are held fully responsible for the actions of any migrant they employ and teach. They must ensure migrants comply with their immigration conditions by keeping records on each migrant. If a sponsor does not comply with their duties, they can have their licence downgraded to a B rating or withdrawn.

Certificates of sponsorship

Licensed sponsors are responsible for issuing certificates of sponsorship to migrants. As well as having a certificate of sponsorship, migrants must also pass a points-based assessment to come to or stay in the United Kingdom (see below). This has now been split into unrestricted and restricted certificates.

Applicant

To be eligible to apply to come to the United Kingdom under Tier 2, skilled workers will need to have a job offer, a certificate of sponsorship from one of the licensed sponsors, and to have scored enough points to apply.

As well as scoring a certain number of points, an applicant will either need to be applying for a shortage occupation (defined by a new Skills Advisory Body) or will need to pass a 'resident labour' test and demonstrate that resident labour is not being displaced. Migrants will need permission to come to the United Kingdom (known as 'entry clearance') and a biometric identity card before entering the United Kingdom.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 2 - Ministers of Religion — Visas for Missionaries and Pastoral Duties

The Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister of Religion) visa is for Ministers of Religion coming to the UK to perform pastoral duties. The Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister of Religion) visa category also caters to those seeking to come to the UK as a missionary or member of a religious order, such as monks, nuns or members of similar religious communities.

Applicants who are granted temporary residence under the Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister of Religion) visa scheme are permitted to live and work in the UK for the duration of their employment for a maximum three (3) year period.

In the first instance, a prospective sponsor will apply to the UK Border Agency in order to be granted a licence. When successfully licensed, a sponsor can apply for a number of certificates of sponsorship, which they can then present to the people whom they intend to sponsor. Once a prospective employee has been allocated a certificate of sponsorship, he or she will be eligible to apply for UK entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK.

The Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister or Religion) visa is issued for an initial grant of three (3) years. The individual can then apply for a further extension.

Upon successfully holding a Sponsored Worker (Tier 2 Minister of Religion) for a total of five (5) years, individuals may be entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). ILR entitles individuals to permanent residency in the UK, as well as visa-free travel to and from the UK. It is also possible for eligible dependants to accompany the main applicant to the UK in which case they will be allowed to work and study without limitation.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 2 - Sportsperson — How to Get a Visa for Coaches and Sportspersons

The Sponsored worker (Tier 2 Sportsperson) visa is for internationally established elite level sportspersons or coaches with a job offer in the United Kingdom. Applicants would be expected to make a significant contribution to the development of their chosen sport in the UK.

Applicants who are granted temporary residence under the Sponsored worker (Tier 2 Sportsperson) visa scheme are initially permitted to live and work in the UK for the duration of their employment for a maximum three (3) year period.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 2 - Intra-Company Transfer — How to Get a Visa for a Transfer in Your Company

The Sponsored worker (Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer) visa is for medium and highly skilled workers, with a job offer in the United Kingdom on the basis of a transfer or secondment with their existing employer.

In the first instance, a prospective sponsor will apply to the UK Border Agency in order to be granted a licence. When successfully licensed, a sponsor can apply for a number of certificates of sponsorship, which they can then present to the people whom they intend to sponsor. Once a prospective employee has been allocated a certificate of sponsorship, he or she will be eligible to apply for UK entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 5 - Youth Mobility Scheme — Live and Work in the UK

This category is for young people from countries participating in the scheme to live and work in the United Kingdom temporarily.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Holidaymaker or a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Temporary Migrant

Entry Clearance under this category is mandatory. If successful the applicant will be granted Entry Clearance for a period of 2 years. This cannot be extended.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

Tier 5 - Temporary Workers — Live and Work in the UK

This category is for temporary workers required for cultural, charitable, religious and international objectives.

Call us now on 0121 777 7715

How Does it Work?

The main working visa categories are included under what is known as the "Points Based System". This will allow you and your family to live and work in the UK. We can assist you with applications whilst you hold status in another category should you wish to switch into a working category or extend your current visa under the same category or simply enter from abroad into such a category.

According to these requirements you can access different Work Visas depending on your personal circumstances.

Can I settle in the UK after Working in the UK?

After working continuously in the UK under a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa, (or with specified variations of working visas) you may be eligible to apply for settlement in the UK after 5 years.

The Benefits of Securing a Working Visa:

  • You will enjoy the ability to live and work in the UK
  • You will be able to bring your family with you to the UK
  • You may be eligible to apply for settlement after 5 years of working continuously
  • It is important to note that should an individual with "ILR" remain absent from the UK for 2 consecutive years, the ILR status is likely to lapse.

Benefits of Choosing UK Migration Lawyers

  • Same day visa services ensuring your passport is endorsed within 24 hours for certain working category applications
  • Extremely high success rate in these type's of cases
  • Fixed fees so you stay in control
  • Direct access to qualified solicitors - with in-depth experience
  • Specialist solicitors who can get the application right the first time
  • Succeeded in complex cases where others have failed
  • Helped scores of individuals & families switch or extend their status in such categories in the UK, many of whom go on to become settled.
  • Wealth of experience and knowledge as to the best way forward for you and your family.
  • Consultation with a specialist solicitor to assess your eligibility, avoid disappointment and wasted fees

Should you need an in depth consultation, consultations are charged at £250 for 30 minutes. There is no VAT if you do not currently have settlement status or British Citizenship.

There is no better time to find out how we can help you so why not call us on 0121 777 7715 or use our UK Immigration Contact Form.

** this is dependent on whether the same day service is available for a particular category by the home office.
OUR EXPERT LEGAL TEAM

Has your application for a UK visa been refused? We have an excellent track record of successful appeals.

Meet our expert team
Independently Reviewed

Based on reviews by our clients on Feefo.com, we received an 100% Excellent rating.

Read more testimonials on Feefo.com

UK Migration Lawyers is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 497640). Accredited immigration Law Solicitors. UK Migration Lawyers Ltd. / All rights reserved. Company Registration No 06702262 / Registered in England and Wales.