UK Work Visa: Types and Information

UK work visas are issued to individuals who go to the UK for employment purposes.

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UK Work Visas 2018-08-25T13:11:51+00:00

Besides being a country where many people go for touristic purposes, the UK is also a popular working destination. People from all over the world want to work in the UK because of the high salaries and good working environments.

There are several types of UK work visas depending on the purpose and the kind of work that you want to do. In this article we have listed visas for foreigners who want to work, make an academic visit, or to engage in the business sphere in the UK

Tier 1 Visas – For Highly-skilled Foreigners

For foreign highly skilled or high-value workers, or simply put for those who can add a value to the growth and productivity of the UK. This visa category includes entrepreneurs, investors and exceptional talents.

This category covers professions of the:

  • Doctors (Physicians);
  • Engineers;
  • Scientists;
  • Finance experts;
  • Innovators;
  • Entrepreneurs;
  • IT specialists;
  • Other

Holders of Tier 1 are free to change their jobs and there is always a reserved for them opportunity to remain in the UK.

Tier 1 has six visa types:

Visa category:

Tier 1 General

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa type is closed to new applications since 6 April 2011. However this visa was issued to foreigners to come into the UK and get a highly skilled job.

Visa category:

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa type is given to persons who are internationally distinguished as eminent figures in science, humanities, engineering, arts and digital technology and are not from the EEA or Switzerland.

Visa category:

Tier 1 Post-Study Work

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is closed from 6 April 2012 to all new visa applications. However, it was meant for foreign students who studied in the UK to find a job without a sponsor.

Points for visa candidates of this category are given based on:

  • Education level (graduate and further);
  • Earlier work experience in their particular field of expertise;
  • The offered salary;
  • Skills (candidates who possess skills that are in a great need get extra points in the assessment);
  • Job offer and involved salary height (extra points)

In this category foreigners of Tier 1 who seek to invest or run a business (investor and entrepreneur), have their points scored based on the degree of their investment or new jobs they can create.

Tier 2 Visas – For Skilled Foreign Workers With a Job Offer in a Shortage Area

For foreign “skilled workers” who are not from the the EEA or Switzerland, with a job offer in the UK that cannot be taken by the UK resident workforce, those who get transferred to work in the UK branch of an international company, ministers of religion and sportspersons.

Eligible Tier 2 candidates are those who have:

  • Skills: NVQ Level 3 and above, or equivalent;
  • A job offer in the UK that cannot be filled by the local or the EU workforce;
  • A sponsorship letter (an employer, regional administrator, local authority who holds a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship License)

Tier 2 has four visa types:

Visa category:

Tier 2 General

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for highly skilled workers who can work in shortage jobs in the UK

Visa category:

Tier 2 Minister of Religion

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for persons who want to come to the UK to work in a faith community as a minister of religion, engage in preaching and pastoral activities, missionaries or are members of religious orders.

Visa category:

Tier 2 Sportsperson

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for persons who are not from the EEA or Switzerland and want to take a skillful job as an elite sportsperson or coach in the UK

Visa category:

Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for persons who are not from the EEA or Switzerland and are transferred workers or trainees of a foreign multinational company that has its branch in the UK.

Tier 3 Visas (never implemented) – For Low-skilled Foreign Workers With a Temporary Job Offer in a Shortage Area

For low-skilled foreign workers with a job offer in the UK that fills temporary gaps in the UK resident workforce.

In this category are included jobs in the field of:

  • Agriculture;
  • Food processing;
  • Hospitality sectors (food and beverage, lodging, recreations, as well as travel and tourism)

Eligible Tier 3 candidates are those who have:

  • Job offer in a temporary job that cannot be currently filled by a local or EU workforce,
  • Sponsorship letter

Tier 3 holders are obliged to leave the UK at the end of their engagement contract in their jobs.

Tier 5 Visa – For Youth Mobility and Temporary Foreign Workers

For foreigners seeking to get temporary jobs in creative and sporting, charity, religion, and youth mobility scheme. There are about 55,000 youngsters working during holidays in the UK every year through this visa.

Tier 5 has two visa types:

Visa category:

Tier 5 Temporary Worker

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for persons who are not from the EEA or Switzerland and want to come to the UK to work temporarily in culture, charity, religion, international, volunteering and job shadowing segment.

Visa category:

Tier 5 Youth mobility scheme

General description – About an individual in this category:

This visa is for citizens of certain countries who are between the ages 18 and 30 and want to come to the UK to work and study.

Registration Certificate for Croatian Citizens

Citizens of Croatia are allowed to visit any Member State of the European Union, but they cannot work within the UK without having a registration certificate. There are three different types of such certificate: purple registration certificate, blue registration certificate or yellow registration certificate.

The candidate needs to qualify for one of them in order to be able to work in the UK.

Domestic Workers in a Private Household Visa

The Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa is issued to citizens of countries that are outside of the EEA or Switzerland, and want to come to the UK to work as a domestic worker in a private household. This visa is issued for a maximum of 6 months and can be extended.

Turkish Businesspersons and Turkish Worker Visa

These are visas that are given to Turkish citizens who want to open a business or go to the UK to work. Learn more about these visas in the Turkish Businesspersons and Turkish Worker Visa article

Exempt Vignette

This visa is for nationals who want to enter the UK for job-related activities, but are exempt from the Immigration Control, meaning that they do not need a visa to enter into the UK. Instead of a visa, they obtain an Exempt Vignette Clearance before traveling to the UK to avoid any interruption on the UK airport.