UK Work Permit Visa

UK Work Permit

The United Kingdom is still one of the top destinations for those wishing to migrate to another country. The UK offers good quality of life and a multicultural environment that makes it a favorite of immigration candidates.

What are the reasons to choose the UK for migration?
How can I migrate to the UK?
What are the visa options to migrate to the UK?
What are the eligibility requirements for a visa to migrate to the UK?
What are the details of the points-based system introduced by the UK in 2020?
How can a visa applicant score the required 70 points to qualify for a visa?
What is a work permit visa in the UK?
How can I get a work visa for the UK?
What is the shortage occupation list?
How can the list help you get your Tier 2 visa?
What are some of the occupations that appear in the shortage occupation list?
Is it easy to get a work permit in the UK?
Who is eligible to work in the UK?
What are the recent changes introduced in Tier 2 (general) visa category?
What are the changes introduced in the Skilled Occupation List in early 2020?
How will the expansion of the SOL help UK employers?
How will the revised SOL help international job seekers looking for work in the UK?
What is the definition of a Skilled Worker under the points-based system recently introduced by the UK?
What are the two categories in the Tier 1 visa and what are their eligibility requirements and benefits?
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and what are the eligibility requirements?
What are the benefits of the ILR?
How long is the process to gain an ILR?
How does one get permanent residency in the UK?
What are the reasons to choose the UK for migration?

There are many factors that make the UK a top choice for immigrant and their families. These include:

  • Presence of a strong economy and established industries
  • Demand for skilled talent
  • High-quality healthcare through NHS
  • World-class universities to pursue higher studies

How can I migrate to the UK?

The UK offers a range of options for those who wish to settle down in the country. You can migrate to the UK:

  • With a job offer to work in the country
  • By going there as a student
  • By getting married or engaged to a UK citizen or permanent resident
  • As an entrepreneur setting up a business
  • As an investor

What are the visa options to migrate to the UK?

There are various visa options for non-EU nationals to immigrate to the UK:

  • Tier 1 Visa for highly skilled immigrants through a points-based system
  • Tier 2 Visa for skilled workers who are sponsored by an employer in the UK
  • Tier 5 Provisional Work Visa through the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • Tier 4 UK Study Visa

What are the eligibility requirements for a visa to migrate to the UK?

  • You must have the required scores in the English Language proficiency test which can be either IELTS or TOEFL.
  • You must not be from a country that belongs to the EU or EEA.
  • If you intend to come to the UK to study or work, you should have the required documents, work experience certificates, etc.
  • You must have the required funds to support yourself during the initial days of your stay.
  • You must have the character and health certificates required for your visa.

What are the details of the points-based system introduced by the UK in 2020?

In early 2020, the UK government announced the launch of a points-based immigration system which will come into effect from January 2021. The main features of the points-based migration are:

  • Immigration candidates for both EU and non-EU nations will be treated the same way
  • Highly skilled workers, skilled workers, and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
  • A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
  • The salary threshold will now be 26,000 pounds per year, reduced from 30,000 pounds required earlier
  • Applicants must prove that they can speak English (A-level or equivalent)
  • Highly skilled workers will need to be endorsed by a UK body, however, they do not need a job offer
  • Students will also come under the points-based system to study in the UK and must show proof of an admission letter from an educational institute, English proficiency, and funds.
  • 70 points are the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa

How can a visa applicant score the required 70 points to qualify for a visa?

A job offer in the UK and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:

  • Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
  • 10 points for a relevant Ph.D. or 20 points for a Ph.D. in a STEM subject
  • 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage
Category        Maximum points
Job offer 20 points
Job at an appropriate skill level 20 points
English speaking skills 10 points
Salary of 26,000 and above or relevant Ph.D. in a STEM subject 10 + 10 = 20 points
Total 70 points

What is a work permit visa in the UK?

Skilled professionals can come to the UK under the Tier 2 visa program. If their occupation is listed in the Tier 2 shortage occupation list, they can come to the UK on a long-term basis. Popular professions in the occupation list belong to the IT, finance, engineering fields.

How can I get a work visa for the UK?

The Tier 2 Visa is a point-based visa, and applicants must receive a minimum of 70 points to qualify for the visa. The points are awarded based on:

  • Whether you have an employer’s Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Whether you receive an appropriate salary
  • Your communication skills in English
  • The maintenance funds you hold

What is the shortage occupation list?

The UK Shortage Occupancy List is published by the UK government, and it contains the list of occupations facing a shortage of professionals. This list shows the skills in demand and it will be easy to obtain a visa to work in these occupations. This list is regularly updated by keeping track of the skill shortages within the country.

How can the list help you get your Tier 2 visa?

If you apply for a Tier 2 Work Visa your application will be scored on a point scoring system. You must have at least 70 points to qualify for a visa. A job offer with an employer sponsorship certificate will give you 30 points. If your skill appears on the Skills Shortage list, you will score 30 points more. With these points, it will be easy to get the remaining points to qualify.

What are some of the occupations that appear in the shortage occupation list?

These are some of the occupations that appear in the list:

  • Engineers
  • Energy and mining production managers
  • Scientists
  • IT and software engineers
  • Medical practitioners and radiographers
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Actuaries, economists, and statisticians
  • Animators
  • Aircraft maintenance technicians
  • Chefs
  • Welders
  • Social workers
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Paramedics

Is it easy to get a work permit in the UK?

It is easy to get a work permit to provide you have a job offer from an employer in the UK and can gather the required points to be eligible for a visa.

Who is eligible to work in the UK?

The Tier 2 work visa has many subdivisions that cover a range of professionals eligible to work in the UK.

  • Tier 2 General Visa: For workers who have a job offer in the UK and whose profession appears on the shortage occupation list
  • Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa: For workers of corporations transferring to the UK
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa: For ministers of religions within a religious organization
  • Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa: For coaches and sportspersons

What are the recent changes introduced in Tier 2 (general) visa category?

Tier 2 (General) visa category has undergone several changes. With the Tier 2 Sponsor License and Tier 2 visa UK companies can sponsor skilled, non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens for jobs in the country.

The cap on the number of Tier 2 visas that can be issued to migrants from the outside the UK is fixed at 20,700 in a year which is further split into monthly allocations. On average this comes to 2,000 Tier 2 visas in a month. However, there is no cap on the employment of migrants on Tier 2 visas who are living in the UK.

What are the changes introduced in the Skilled Occupation List in early 2020?

The UK government updated the shortage occupation list (SOL) for Tier 2 skilled workers to cover about 2.5 million workers or about 9% of the total employment. The earlier list covered only 180,000 workers which were only 1% of the total employment.

The shortage list now includes professional architects, web designers, veterinarians etc. Limitations on certain existing occupations have now been relaxed.

Certain occupations such as production managers in mining, IT specialists etc. have been removed.

For occupations that appear in the shortage occupation list, the employers are exempted from conducting the Resident Labor Market Test (RLMT) advertisement process before initiating a Tier 2 application. They will have to give priority to roles in the shortage occupation list.

With the expansion of the list of occupations in the SOL, the definition of specialized roles has now changed. For instance, when the list earlier mentioned mechanical engineers, they figured on the list only if they belonged to the oil and gas industry.

After the changes, the mention of mechanical engineers now includes mechanical engineers in all industries. This applies to other occupations as well.

How will the expansion of the SOL help UK employers?

The expansion of the shortage occupation list (SOL) will facilitate the sponsoring of migrants by employers without the need for a resident labor market test. They will also be exempted from the general minimum wage provisions applicable during permanent residence.

The expansion of the list will help employers in sectors like healthcare, engineering and IT who are struggling to fill open positions.

The newly expanded list will allow UK employers access to a greater pool of international talent. The inclusion of new occupations in the list will mean better opportunities for international workers looking for opportunities in the country in these areas. They will gain preference over applicants in occupations not included in the SOL for a Tier 2 visa.

Employers can now place advertisements for job vacancies inviting workers of all nationalities for any open position.

How will the revised SOL help international job seekers looking for work in the UK?

Applicants to jobs listed in the SOL will get priority for a Tier 2 visa before job roles not on the list.

Ph.D. level jobs will be removed from the Tier 2 general visa quota. This gives space to include skilled roles that can contribute to the development of the economy.

What is the definition of a Skilled Worker under the points-based system recently introduced by the UK?

Under the new system, the government of the UK defines a skilled worker as someone doing a job that requires A-level of skills. Under the new system, individuals with appropriate skills will receive 20 points and those with STEM qualifications.

What are the two categories in the Tier 1 visa and what are their eligibility requirements and benefits?

The two categories of the Tier 1 visa are:

  • Tier 1 Innovator Visa
  • Tier 1 Startup Visa

Tier 1 Innovator Visa

This visa category is open to experienced businesspersons and intends to encourage them to set up innovative businesses in the UK. The investor must make a minimum investment of 50,000 pounds and the business must be endorsed by an endorsing body. However, if you are already running a business in the UK approved by an endorsing body, then you need not make this investment.

You will be eligible for this visa if you:

  • Are not a citizen of the EEA and Switzerland
  • Wish to set up a business in the UK
  • Have an innovative and scalable business idea

Staying in the UK

  • You can stay for up to three years if you enter the country on the Innovator Visa or are already staying there on another valid visa
  • The visa can be extended for another three years and you can continue extending it several times
  • After five years of staying on this visa, you are eligible to stay indefinitely in the country

Tier 1 Startup Visa

This visa category has replaced the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa program. This visa category exclusively caters to entrepreneurs with high potential who are starting a business for the first time.

The application for this visa can be submitted three months before your intended date of travel to the UK. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Are not a citizen of the EEA and Switzerland
  • Wish to set up a business in the UK
  • The business idea must be endorsed by a higher education institute in the UK or a business organization that supports UK entrepreneurs
  • No requirement for an initial investment
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicant must fulfill English language requirements
  • Applicants must have enough funds to support their stay in the UK

Staying in the UK

  • You can stay for up to two years on this visa and can bring your spouse or partner and unmarried children under the age of 18 to stay with you
  • You can do work outside your business for funding your stay
  • You cannot extend your visa after two years, but you can apply for the innovator visa to extend your stay and develop your business.

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and what are the eligibility requirements?

The Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK exempts immigrants from being subject to the conditions of a visa.

Eligibility requirements:

There are various visa routes that give the option to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after a set period spent in the country. However, there are some common requirements for those that are applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

These requirements are laid out below:

  • You are of good character
  • You know enough about life in the UK and the English language
  • During the five-year qualifying period, you have not spent more than 900 days outside the UK

You did not spend 180 days or more outside the UK in the 12 months prior to applying for an ILR

What are the benefits of the ILR?

The main benefit of the ILR is that it gives immigrants the option to stay in the UK free from visa restrictions. Another major benefit is the ILR is one major step towards gaining British citizenship.

How long is the process to gain an ILR?

In most cases, you will have to wait till you have stayed or five years on a visa that allows you to apply for an Indefinite Leave to Stay.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa entitles holders to establish and operate a business in the UK. The visa gives the holder an initial right of 3 years and 4 months to stay. The visa holder may need to apply before their original period ends to extend their visa for another 2 years. This extension will then allow the holder (if they meet the eligibility criteria) to apply for ILR. Once they are granted the ILR, they are free of the conditions of the visa.

Tier 1 Investor Visa

The requirements for those on a Tier 1 Investor Visa, where the benefit of Indefinite Leave to Remain is applicable, will depend on their amount of investable assets. Although you’ll need a total of £ 2 m to get the visa first, that will only entitle you to an initial term of 3 years and 4 months.

If you have a higher amount of investable assets, the time required to wait for Indefinite Leave to Stay from the normal 5 years (initial 3 years 4 months plus an extension) can be shortened.

Tier 2 General Visa

In the UK, it takes 5 years to obtain ILR from a Tier 2 General Visa. Your initial period will depend largely on the circumstances of your work (your period is defined by your job), but you can get an initial visa period of up to 5 years and 14 days. Tier 2 General Visa can be extended but only up to a maximum stay of 6 years in the UK. You can use this extension to obtain an ILR.

Spouse visa

The Spouse Visa offers the opportunity for British citizens’ spouses or partners and those with an Indefinite Leave to Remain to move to the UK to live and work. You will be granted an initial 2.5-year term which can be extended to get you to the desired 5-year mark to obtain an ILR.
How does one get permanent residency in the UK?

Permanent residency in the UK is also known as the Indefinite Leave to Remain, it is an immigration status granted to a person without the Right of Abode.

A person who has permanent resident status can live and work indefinitely in the UK. He will no longer have immigration restrictions to work or do business in the UK and no time limits on his stay.

The right, however, will lapse if a person continually spends more than 2 years outside the country.

Eligibility requirements

To non-EU nationals it is fairly easy to apply for permanent residency in the UK. You can apply for permanent residency if you have lived in the UK for a certain number of years, lawfully or otherwise.

Here is a list indicating the amount of time you have to spend on various visas in the UK in order to be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR):

  • Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen: 2 years
  • Lawful stay on any basis (long stay): 10 years
  • Unlawful stay: 14 years
  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permit: 5 years
  • Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts: 5 years
  • Ancestry: 5 years

If you stay in the UK falls under each of the above categories and you have served the specified length of time, you might be eligible for a permanent residency.

 Conditions for permanent residency

Although the status eliminates any time limits for your stay in the UK, you will lose the status if you spend more than 2 years outside of the country. You’ll need to reapply for it if this happens.

Secondly, if you commit any crimes that can lead to your deportation, you will lose your permanent residency status.

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