Work Visa and Work Permit in the UK 2023: requirements for obtaining

United Kingdom


Work Visa and Work Permit in the UK 2023: requirements for obtaining

A work visa allows foreign nationals to live and work in the UK for a certain period of time. However, in order to apply for a UK work visa, you must meet the requirements and provide the necessary documents. Find out more about the types and main requirements for obtaining work visas in the UK

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Great Britain has the fifth largest number of immigrants in the world. Foreigners are attracted by the country's strong economy, career prospects, high standard of living and rich culture.

In order to move to work in Great Britain, you need to get a work visa, which will allow you to live and work in the country for a certain period of time.

In 2022, Britain issued 267,670 work permits, a 50% increase on 2019. The majority of all work visas were granted to highly qualified workers. Citizens of India predominate among nationalities.

In order to apply for a work visa to Great Britain, you must meet certain requirements and prepare the necessary list of documents. Details about the types of permits and the basic requirements for their registration can be found in our material.

What are the types of work visas in the UK?

Based on the length of stay, visas for employment in Great Britain can be divided into two main groups:

1. Short-term work visas in UK, also known as temporary visas. This permit gives you the right to work in the UK for a limited period. A total of five options for temporary permits have been approved in the country:

● Charity Worker Visa - this visa allows you to volunteer in the UK for one year. A certificate of sponsorship from a licensed employer is required for registration.

● Creative worker's visa - foreigners who got a job in Great Britain as a creative worker can apply for this permit. A certificate of sponsorship from a licensed UK employer is required.

● Exchange visa approved by the UK government - this visa allows you to come to the country for internships, studies, research programs or exchange of experience.

● Seasonal worker visa - with this permit you can work in the agricultural sector of Great Britain. The permit is issued for 6 months.

● International Agreement Worker visa – intended for foreigners who work under a contract for a foreign government or as a civil servant.

2. Long-term work visas in Great Britain

● Skilled worker visa – this permit gives a foreigner the right to work in a highly skilled job with a British employer. Requirements for obtaining a skilled worker visa:

- confirmation of a job offer from a British employer approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs;

- certificate of sponsorship issued by your employer;

- profession specified in the list of highly qualified jobs of Great Britain;

- your wage level must exceed the minimum wage;

- the level of English should not be lower than B1.

● UK Graduate Work entitles university graduates to work and develop their career in the UK for two years after completing their studies. You can issue a visa if:

- You are in Great Britain on the basis of a student visa.

- You have studied in the UK for at least 12 months on a student visa for an undergraduate, postgraduate or other relevant course.

- Your university or college has notified the Home Office that you have successfully completed the course.

● The Youth Mobility Visa is for people aged 18 to 30 who plan to work in the UK for up to 2 years. An important condition is that only citizens of Australia, Canada, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Iceland or the British Overseas Territories can get a permit.

● Domestic work visa - this permit entitles you to work as a nanny, chauffeur, cleaner, cook, etc. Requirements for obtaining a permit:

- Age – from 19 years old.

- You must live outside the UK.

- You plan to work in the same family for at least 12 months.

- You do not need government funds to live in Britain.

● International athlete visa – allows sponsored coaches or athletes to work in the UK. To get a permit, you must be a qualified coach or a well-known athlete. The visa application must be approved by the governing body of your sport. Thanks to your work, the UK sports sector must grow. Also, to get a permit, you need to have a sponsor certificate, proof of English language skills and enough money to support yourself in Britain.

● Religious worker visa - permission for non-EEA and Swiss nationals who have been offered work in the UK in a religious community. You must also be over 18 to obtain a permit. You will also need a certificate from your sponsor in the UK. You must prove that you know English and have sufficient funds to support yourself.

Business visas and permits for investors can be distinguished separately in the category of long-term visas. The UK has approved several types of visas for foreign investors, business developers and talented people:

● Start-up visa – based on this permit, an entrepreneur can open a new business in Great Britain. The main requirements for obtaining a vision:

- Age – older than 18 years.

- To approve the business in the relevant body of Great Britain.

- Have English at the B2 level.

- Proof of financial adequacy – you must have at least £945 in your bank account for 90 consecutive days.

● The UK Innovator Visa is a visa for foreigners who want to start or run a business in the country.

● UK Global Talent Visa – individuals who have been recognized as leaders or potential leaders in the fields of scientific research, arts, culture and digital technologies can apply for this visa.

● UK investor visa. This visa is for investors who want to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK.

Basic requirements for obtaining a work visa in Great Britain

To apply for most types of work visas in Great Britain, a foreigner must meet the financial requirements and have a sponsor certificate:

● A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is a document given to you by your employer.

● Financial requirements - most UK work visas require you to have a certain amount of money in your bank account as proof that you can support yourself when you first move to the country. Most UK work visas require a minimum of £1,270.

The period for processing a work visa to the UK is three weeks if you are outside the country and eight weeks if you are inside the country. Also, on the basis of most work visas, you will be able to move to Britain with your family.

Read more about the employment procedure in Great Britain and job search at the link.

Great Britain offers many different types of visas to foreigners, depending on the purpose of your trip, a highly qualified lawyer will help you choose the best permit option and prepare the necessary package of documents. 

Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World

For safe relocation to UK, obtaining refugee status and employment, use the advice of an international lawyer.

We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in the UK.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in the UK;

Legal advice on immigration to the UK;

Travel insurance for foreigners in the UK;

Medical insurance all over the world.

We monitor the accuracy and relevance of our information. Therefore, if you see any error or discrepancy, please write to our hotline.

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