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To live and work in the UK, you will need a work permit and an employment visa, unless you are a permanent resident, Irish national or British national. There are many types of work visas, depending on the length of your stay and the type of work you want to do. Some visas, such as student visas, permit working under certain conditions.
The main categories of non-UK citizens allowed to work in the UK are the following:
1. Points-Based System Workers: This is the main category under which non-UK citizens can work in the UK, where employees are sponsored by their employer to receive a visa. Employers can find out more about sponsorship here. Employees can find out more about which type of visa suits them here (add link to migrant’s workers page.) There are visas for short-term and long-term workers, as well as special visas for Health & Care Workers.
Note that EU citizens who moved to the UK for work after 31 December 2020 fall under this category, and will have to be sponsored under the points-based system just like non-EU citizens looking to work in the UK.
2. Students: Students come to the UK primarily to study, not to work, with a Student visa. As a consequence, the general rule is that students cannot work full time during term-time, but may do so in vacations. The hours they can work will depend on the course they are undertaking.
3. Graduates: International students who graduate from a bachelors-level course or above can apply to stay in the UK for two to three years to look for work and work flexibly.
4. Investors, Entrepreneurs and exceptionally talented individuals: these people can apply for visas such as the Global Talent Visa, the Investor Visa, or the Entrepreneur visa to come live and work in the UK.
5. Innovators and Start-Ups: under Appendix W of the Immigration Rules, people who seek to establish a business in the UK may qualify for an Innovator or Start-Up visa, if they fulfil all the requirements to do so.
6. Visitors: certain visitors, such as business visitors, permitted paid engagement visitors, prospective entrepreneurs, entertainers and sportspeople may all obtain short-term visas which allow them to do limited amounts of work, subject to certain conditions. These visas do not provide long-term employment.
7. Ancestry visas
8. Representative of an Overseas Business: These are foreign workers who will act as the sole representative of an overseas company planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary for an overseas parent company or as an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation posted on a long-term assignment to the UK.
You can contact us here or send us a message on WhatsApp so that we can discuss your route to living and working in the UK.
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