UK Workers Visa: Application Insights
For individuals seeking to work in the United Kingdom, the process of obtaining a work visa can be complicated and overwhelming. Workers visas enable foreigners to live and work in the UK for a specified period, granting them the same rights as permanent residents, including access to healthcare, education and public services.
This article provides insights to help individuals with the visa application process, including the eligibility criteria, the types of work visas available, the application process, and frequently asked questions.
To be eligible for a UK work visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Have received an offer of employment from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsor license
- Have met the English language requirements
- Scored enough points in the Points-Based System (PBS) – require minimum points to pass the application process
- Have at least £945 in savings, which should have been maintained for 90 consecutive days prior to the date of submission
- Have a valid certificate of sponsorship
Types of UK Workers Visa
There are a few types of UK work visas that applicants can consider. Here is an overview of the most common work visas available:
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa – It is for exceptionally talented and highly skilled individuals who can offer significant contributions in science, engineering, humanities, arts or digital technology.
- Tier 2 (General) Visa – This visa is for individuals who have received a job offer from a UK employer and possess the skills that qualify under the points-based system.
- Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa – This visa is for young individuals within certain countries who wish to spend time in the UK gaining work experience
Applicants should select the visa that best suits their situation and eligibility, some visas might require you to receive attention from a registered sponsor – such as your employer or university.
The Application Process
The UK work visa application can be a lengthy and complex process but following the below steps should make it a little easier to complete:
- Get a certificate of sponsorship
- Check eligibility
- Complete the online application form, providing adequate information and evidencing
- Provide biometric data (photograph and fingerprints) at a UK visa application centre overseas
- Provide sufficient evidence to prove your identity, financial capability, and English language proficiency
Ensure you allow enough time for the application to be processed, visa application processes can take an average of two to six weeks, although it could be more extensive based on the type of visa required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I change my employer after receiving a UK work visa?
A: Yes, you can change employers, but you must apply for a new visa since your original visa is tied to your sponsor.
Q: Can I bring my family with me to the UK on a work visa?
A: Yes, you can bring your family members as dependants.
Q: How long can I stay in the UK with a work visa?
A: The duration of your visa is dependent on the type of work visa you have been granted and can range from a year to five years.
Q: Can I apply for an extension on my work visa?
A: Yes, you can extend a Tier 2 general visa, but you must do so before your current visa expires.
Q: Do I need to provide a criminal record certificate with my visa application?
A: Yes, you must provide a criminal record certificate from every country you have lived in for the past ten years, proving you do not have any criminal convictions.
In conclusion, the UK work visa application process can be an extensive and complicated process, and individuals must ensure they meet the eligibility requirements, select the right visa, and provide appropriate evidence to support their application. Knowing the type of visa required, the process, and frequently asked questions related to UK work visas offer a good starting point for making informed decisions.