Expanding your business internationally and into the United Kingdom necessitates a skilled workforce. Whether you already have a trusted team at your parent company ready to relocate and work in the UK, or you're hiring people from all over the world, you need to understand the UK's work permits and visas.
Many businesses that are already expanding globally do not have time to learn about work visas, permits, and how to obtain them. That’s exactly why I’m to answer all those questions and ease your stress.
Work Visa Categories in the United Kingdom
The main immigration route into the United Kingdom is via the Points Based System (PBS). To begin, migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) apply to one of five tiers based on their desire to work, study, invest, or train in the country.
They must pass a points-based examination that focuses on the conditions, entitlements, and entry requirements for each tier. Applicants must obtain a sufficient number of points based on their age, qualifications, language, earnings, and financial resources to gain entry clearance or remain in the United Kingdom.
Certain visas are covered by all five tiers:
Tier one visas are intended for highly skilled workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and graduate students living outside of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). These candidates are not required to have a job offer to apply.
Tier two: Skilled workers, professional athletes, and clergy members from outside the EEA can apply for a visa under tier two if they have a job offer and can fill a gap in the country's labour force.
Tier three visas were intended for low-skilled workers providing temporary labour. However, the government decided not to accept immigrants from outside the EU for tier three positions, and these visas have since been removed.
Tier four: Students over the age of 16 from outside the EEA should apply for a tier four visa if they want to study in the country at a school, college, or university.
Tier five: This category includes six sub-tiers of temporary workers related to creative and sporting positions, charity, religious workers, and young people on working holidays in the UK.
Requirements for Obtaining a Work Visa in the United Kingdom
The requirements for a working visa in the United Kingdom vary depending on which tier and visa your employees require. Except for the special talent mentioned in tier one, most long-term visas fall under Tier 2. The tier two general UK work visa is the most common for companies looking to expand, as it allows people from outside the EEA and Switzerland to work in the UK.
All applicants for general work visas must be sponsored by an employer or a licensed sponsor. Although the requirements differ depending on the type of work permit, the following are the most common:
1. A form of application
2. Two colour photos were taken in the last six months
3. A current passport
4. Proof of financial ability to cover living expenses in the United Kingdom
5. Accommodation documentation
6. Travel itinerary in detail
7. Test results for tuberculosis
8. Data derived from biometrics
9. If the individual is staying with a friend or family member, a visa invitation letter is required.
10. I paid my UK visa fees.
11. Any document that is not in English or Welsh must be certified translated.
The Application Process
Three months before they want to start working for you, your employees should apply for a UK visa. Visa application processing can take up to three weeks, so apply as soon as possible at an application centre or online at the UK Home Office Visas and Immigration Services website.
Because of the PBS system, the requirements and evaluations differ for each tier, and some categories may have additional requirements, so make sure your employees are aware of what they must apply for.
Aside from the traditional work permit and visa routes, there are other ways for people to work in the UK. Commonwealth citizens with a British grandparent, for example, can apply for an ancestry visa to work in the country if they meet other eligibility requirements.
These citizens may also have a right of abode in the United Kingdom. If your company has an employee who has been out of the UK for more than two years due to indefinite leave to remain (ILR), they may only need a returning resident visa to return to work.
Jan 20, 2022