Work Permits in the UK: Rules, Requirements and Application Process

Work Permits in the UK Rules Requirements and Application Process

The flexible labour laws, market economy and well-paying salaries make the UK one of the favourite destinations for ex-pats to seek work opportunities. But to work legally here in the UK, a person must have a work permit that validates one’s right to work and reside.

Whether an employer looking to hire someone or an international job seeker, you need to know how work permits operate. This article will discuss all the rules, requirements, and procedures to get UK work permits.

Who Needs A Work Permit?

The UK follows a points-based system to decide on UK work permits. An overseas worker can get a work visa by following a short-term or long-term immigration route. After the free movement between the UK and EU has been scrapped, both EEA and non-EEA workers are on the same pedestal.

This means that all non-settled workers without adequate work permissions will need permits to work. The only exceptions are the Irish citizens.

Requirement For UK Work Permits?

To apply for a skilled worker visa in the UK, you need to fulfil specific requirements that include:

  • Have a qualifying score of at least 70 points in all the defined parameters like salaries and specific skills.
  • You must have a job offer from a sponsor duly licensed by the Home Office.
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree or at least two years of skilled work experience in the occupation in the eligibility list.
  • The job offer should match the skill level, RQF 3 or above.
  • You need to meet the B1 level of the English language based on the CERF.
  • The general salary offered to you must reach or surpass the threshold of £26,200, or it can be based on your chosen occupation.
  • Enough financial means.

Documents Required

While applying for a UK skilled worker visa, one needs the following documents:

  • The CoS reference number
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of knowledge of the English language
  • Occupation code of the job applied for
  • Name of employer
  • Sponsor license number of the employer
  • Annual salary and job title

Understanding The Application Process For Work Permits

The UK immigration system has a bit of a lengthy procedure to allocate work permits to overseas workers, and it can take around two months to clear a work visa.

Getting A Sponsorship

You first need a sponsorship letter or CoS from your prospective employer. Ensure that they have a Sponsorship license issued from the UK Home Office.

Points Based Evaluation

Based on the eligibility and the requirements to fulfil, your application will be assessed by the immigration authorities in the UK. You must accumulate at least 70 points to be eligible and meet other requirements, as mentioned above.

Applying For Visa

Once you have your CoS and meet the PBS threshold requirements, you can apply for a work visa. Ensure that you use three months before starting employment in the UK. You need to pay application fees that range from £625 to £1,423, depending on certain circumstances.

Moreover, you need to pay the healthcare surcharge of £624 and have at least £1,270 to support yourself unless you are exempt.

Rules And Requirements For The Employers

When employing foreign citizens, the process starts with the employer. A prospective employee’s permit application can move further only if they have a CoS from a licensed employer.

To become a licensed sponsor, an employer must submit an application form and four supporting documents as specified. These documents should prove the company’s trading presence in the UK. Additionally, the organisation needs to provide a cover letter with background information.

The application fee for the license can range from £536 to £1,476, based on the size of the company. Once the Home Office is satisfied with the employer’s genuineness, it grants the sponsorship license.

Concluding Remarks

Navigating the UK work permits can be a head-scratching task for employers and prospective overseas workers. Asking an experienced solicitor in immigration law can help make work permit applications relatively smooth. You can visit and browse through a list of immigration solicitors to find the right solicitor for legal assistance.

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