Visas and Work Permits
February 13, 2024

What Are the Requirements for a Work Permit in the UK?

The Home Office department requires UK employers hiring non-UK citizens to apply for a sponsor license. After a potential employee receives a job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from an approved UK employer, they must obtain a UK work permit. That allows them to legally move, live, and work in the UK.

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Importance of a UK Work Permit

According to the Office for National Statistics, about 1.2 million people moved into the UK for the year ending June 2023. These are people looking to work or stay in the UK for study or training.

If you're a UK employer extending job offers to non-UK nationals, you must ensure that your potential employees are authorized to live and work in the country. Failure to comply with UK work permit visa requirements can put your business and workers at loggerheads with UK immigration laws. That may lead to expensive penalties, fines, or even prison time.

This article delves into work permit requirements in the UK, and how Playroll.com can help your employees get a UK work visa.

What is a UK Work Permit?

An employment permit UK is a skilled worker visa issued by the Home Office department. It permits a non-UK citizen to legally move and work in the United Kingdom with an approved employer or in UK waters. 

All foreign nationals, except Irish citizens, must apply for a work permit in the UK to obtain legal employment in the country. A Skilled Worker visa in England can be valid for as much as five years after which the employee may apply for indefinite leave to remain, or move back to their home country.

Types of UK Work Permits

There are various types of work permits available in the UK, each tailored to specific circumstances. Each may have different requirements, though we will later list the general ones that feature in most visa types.

Popular work visas:

  • Health and Care Worker visa
  • Skilled Worker visa

Visas you can apply for without a job offer:

  • British National (Overseas) visa
  • Graduate visa
  • Youth Mobility Scheme visa
  • India Young Professionals Scheme visa
  • Global Talent visa
  • UK Ancestry visa
  • High Potential Individual (HPI) visa

Work in the UK for your overseas employer:

If you are employed by a company or organization based outside the UK but are required to work temporarily in the UK, these visas could be for you. Examples include arrangements such as secondment, where an employee is temporarily transferred to a UK branch or project. Another would be providing services as a representative of the overseas employer while in the UK.

  • Overseas Domestic Worker visa
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa
  • Service providers from Switzerland visa

Global Business Mobility

These are for applications from existing workers of overseas businesses with a presence in the UK who wish to enter or remain in the UK to work under the Global Business Mobility routes. The five Global Business Mobility Routes are listed below: 

  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa
  • Secondment Worker visa
  • Service Supplier visa
  • UK Expansion Worker visa

Temporary work visas:

  • Seasonal Worker visa
  • Government Authorized Exchange visa
  • Creative Worker visa
  • Religious Worker visa
  • Charity Worker visa 
  • International Agreement visa

Start a business:

  • Innovator Founder visa

Other work visas and permits:

  • International Sportsperson visa
  • Minister of Religion visa (T2)
  • Scale-up Worker visa
  • Frontier Worker permit
  • Exempt vignette

General UK Work Permit Visa Requirements

After the UK left the EU,  work permit visa requirements are required of almost everyone with an eligible job offer from a UK employer. Except for Irish citizens, all non-UK citizens, including all EU residents, are now required to apply for a skilled worker visa.

If you meet the UK global talent visa requirements, the visa application gets straightforward. They include:

  • Job offer: You need a confirmed job offer from an approved UK employer before you can apply for an employment permit UK.
  • Certificate of sponsorship: To get a general work visa, you need a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from your employer. The Home Office uses CoS to confirm that an employee has been offered an eligible job and that they meet the government’s minimum salary requirements and skill level.
  • Educational qualification: You need to have the education qualifications to do a job that's on the list of eligible occupations. You should also be paid a minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you'll be doing.
  • English language requirements: You must prove your English proficiency when applying for a work permit in the UK. That means being able to speak, write, and understand English.

Navigating UK Work Permit Documentation

To obtain a skilled worker visa, foreign nationals are required to submit the necessary documents to prove their identity, job eligibility, competence, financial status, and more. They include:

  • Biometrics and valid identity documents, like a passport or ID to verify your identity and nationality
  • Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number
  • Application fees and Immigration Health Charge
  • Job title and annual minimum salary requirements, or salary at the required level
  • Job occupation code to find out if your job is eligible
  • Proof of English proficiency by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT), having a GCSE, A level, degree level academic qualification, etc.
  • Name of employer and sponsor license number
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Proof of relationship with partner and/or dependents
  • Financial requirement, which may take the form of bank statements to prove your financial status.

Keeping Up With Employment Permit UK Policies

UK immigration policies have proved dynamic in recent times. For instance, Brexit brought about new immigration policies. Going forward, these policies may even be subject to further changes.

Employees can ensure compliance by seeking guidance from immigration professionals or sourcing accurate information from online resources, like the gov.uk website. They not only will this verse you with UK work visa requirements but also guide you through the visa application process.

Employers, on the other hand, should consider working with a reliable Employer of Record (EOR) to keep abreast with the changing policies and ensure legal employment practices. EORs are experts in immigration policies, payroll, and employment & tax laws in different countries. 

They also sponsor global talent visas, and facilitate intra-company transfers, helping you hire and manage a global team seamlessly.

Playroll's Expertise in Facilitating UK Work Permits

Playroll.com's visa support solution helps simplify the visa application process for work permits in the UK. Our integrated EOR platform features in-house legal and compliance experts to provide guidance and support.

EORs or third party entities cannot sponsor work permits in the UK. However, Playroll's legal counsel and country support team can advise you on how to compliantly apply for global talent visas, hire employees on your behalf, and help them obtain a work permit in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Leveraging Playroll’s Expertise for a Smooth Application Process

Playroll.com’s experts can offer you professional guidance to help you understand the eligibility criteria, provide required documentation, and understand UK immigration policies.

Leveraging Playroll.com's support and expertise, you can embark on your UK work permit journey with confidence and enjoy a smoother visa application process. Get started and secure your UK work Permit! Dive into expert guides on payroll compliance and navigate the intricacies seamlessly. Elevate your journey at Playroll.com!

Importance of a UK Work Permit

According to the Office for National Statistics, about 1.2 million people moved into the UK for the year ending June 2023. These are people looking to work or stay in the UK for study or training.

If you're a UK employer extending job offers to non-UK nationals, you must ensure that your potential employees are authorized to live and work in the country. Failure to comply with UK work permit visa requirements can put your business and workers at loggerheads with UK immigration laws. That may lead to expensive penalties, fines, or even prison time.

This article delves into work permit requirements in the UK, and how Playroll.com can help your employees get a UK work visa.

What is a UK Work Permit?

An employment permit UK is a skilled worker visa issued by the Home Office department. It permits a non-UK citizen to legally move and work in the United Kingdom with an approved employer or in UK waters. 

All foreign nationals, except Irish citizens, must apply for a work permit in the UK to obtain legal employment in the country. A Skilled Worker visa in England can be valid for as much as five years after which the employee may apply for indefinite leave to remain, or move back to their home country.

Types of UK Work Permits

There are various types of work permits available in the UK, each tailored to specific circumstances. Each may have different requirements, though we will later list the general ones that feature in most visa types.

Popular work visas:

  • Health and Care Worker visa
  • Skilled Worker visa

Visas you can apply for without a job offer:

  • British National (Overseas) visa
  • Graduate visa
  • Youth Mobility Scheme visa
  • India Young Professionals Scheme visa
  • Global Talent visa
  • UK Ancestry visa
  • High Potential Individual (HPI) visa

Work in the UK for your overseas employer:

If you are employed by a company or organization based outside the UK but are required to work temporarily in the UK, these visas could be for you. Examples include arrangements such as secondment, where an employee is temporarily transferred to a UK branch or project. Another would be providing services as a representative of the overseas employer while in the UK.

  • Overseas Domestic Worker visa
  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa
  • Service providers from Switzerland visa

Global Business Mobility

These are for applications from existing workers of overseas businesses with a presence in the UK who wish to enter or remain in the UK to work under the Global Business Mobility routes. The five Global Business Mobility Routes are listed below: 

  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa
  • Secondment Worker visa
  • Service Supplier visa
  • UK Expansion Worker visa

Temporary work visas:

  • Seasonal Worker visa
  • Government Authorized Exchange visa
  • Creative Worker visa
  • Religious Worker visa
  • Charity Worker visa 
  • International Agreement visa

Start a business:

  • Innovator Founder visa

Other work visas and permits:

  • International Sportsperson visa
  • Minister of Religion visa (T2)
  • Scale-up Worker visa
  • Frontier Worker permit
  • Exempt vignette

General UK Work Permit Visa Requirements

After the UK left the EU,  work permit visa requirements are required of almost everyone with an eligible job offer from a UK employer. Except for Irish citizens, all non-UK citizens, including all EU residents, are now required to apply for a skilled worker visa.

If you meet the UK global talent visa requirements, the visa application gets straightforward. They include:

  • Job offer: You need a confirmed job offer from an approved UK employer before you can apply for an employment permit UK.
  • Certificate of sponsorship: To get a general work visa, you need a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) from your employer. The Home Office uses CoS to confirm that an employee has been offered an eligible job and that they meet the government’s minimum salary requirements and skill level.
  • Educational qualification: You need to have the education qualifications to do a job that's on the list of eligible occupations. You should also be paid a minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you'll be doing.
  • English language requirements: You must prove your English proficiency when applying for a work permit in the UK. That means being able to speak, write, and understand English.

Navigating UK Work Permit Documentation

To obtain a skilled worker visa, foreign nationals are required to submit the necessary documents to prove their identity, job eligibility, competence, financial status, and more. They include:

  • Biometrics and valid identity documents, like a passport or ID to verify your identity and nationality
  • Certificate of sponsorship (CoS) reference number
  • Application fees and Immigration Health Charge
  • Job title and annual minimum salary requirements, or salary at the required level
  • Job occupation code to find out if your job is eligible
  • Proof of English proficiency by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT), having a GCSE, A level, degree level academic qualification, etc.
  • Name of employer and sponsor license number
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Proof of relationship with partner and/or dependents
  • Financial requirement, which may take the form of bank statements to prove your financial status.

Keeping Up With Employment Permit UK Policies

UK immigration policies have proved dynamic in recent times. For instance, Brexit brought about new immigration policies. Going forward, these policies may even be subject to further changes.

Employees can ensure compliance by seeking guidance from immigration professionals or sourcing accurate information from online resources, like the gov.uk website. They not only will this verse you with UK work visa requirements but also guide you through the visa application process.

Employers, on the other hand, should consider working with a reliable Employer of Record (EOR) to keep abreast with the changing policies and ensure legal employment practices. EORs are experts in immigration policies, payroll, and employment & tax laws in different countries. 

They also sponsor global talent visas, and facilitate intra-company transfers, helping you hire and manage a global team seamlessly.

Playroll's Expertise in Facilitating UK Work Permits

Playroll.com's visa support solution helps simplify the visa application process for work permits in the UK. Our integrated EOR platform features in-house legal and compliance experts to provide guidance and support.

EORs or third party entities cannot sponsor work permits in the UK. However, Playroll's legal counsel and country support team can advise you on how to compliantly apply for global talent visas, hire employees on your behalf, and help them obtain a work permit in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Leveraging Playroll’s Expertise for a Smooth Application Process

Playroll.com’s experts can offer you professional guidance to help you understand the eligibility criteria, provide required documentation, and understand UK immigration policies.

Leveraging Playroll.com's support and expertise, you can embark on your UK work permit journey with confidence and enjoy a smoother visa application process. Get started and secure your UK work Permit! Dive into expert guides on payroll compliance and navigate the intricacies seamlessly. Elevate your journey at Playroll.com!

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