If you’re looking to get your foot in the door in the United Kingdom, you may have heard of employment visas and wondered what they are and how to apply for one. Employment visas are geared toward people who would like to work temporarily in the UK.
Here’s what you need to know about applying and qualifying for an employment visa and getting a family immigration opportunity in the UK!
How Can I Work in the UK Legally?
The most common way for foreigners to work in the UK is through a Tier 2 visa, also known as an Employment Visa.
This visa is issued by a UK Consulate or Embassy abroad and allows you to enter the country for a specific job and set of terms. The process takes about 4-6 weeks from start to finish, though you can speed it up by applying at certain locations like Dublin or Berlin.
You need a letter of employment from your employer and proof that you have enough money to support yourself until you get your first paycheck.
Along with these documents, your visa application will be assessed based on various factors, including your personal experience, skillset, education level, age/gender, and nationality. Citizens of most countries should not run into any problems getting their visas approved.
Tiers 1 and 4 – Sponsorship, Time Limits, and Switching Sponsors
Tier 1 is for high-value migrants. This includes investors who have £2 million in net assets, entrepreneurs who intend to create at least ten jobs by starting a business, and highly skilled workers in specific occupations that can pay high salaries.
Tier 1 lasts five years (although you must leave if you’re out of work for six months), and after that, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if you’ve been working full-time in an acceptable occupation during that time.
Additionally, those with ILR can switch between sponsors. Tier 4 only applies to non-EU citizens who want to study in UK schools or universities. There are two categories: students and government-sponsored exchanges.
Under normal circumstances, individuals can stay in Britain for up to five years, but extensions are possible through a popular program called staying in line with job offers.
Applicants who are married or have dependent children under 18 may qualify for extra time. The Home Office sets quotas on how many visas it issues each year based on regional demand for migrant workers.
Tier 5 – Temporary Workers
Tier 5 is designed for workers from outside of Europe. The visa is broken down into two categories: Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers.
With a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa, you can take a full-time job in England or Wales for up to two years, provided that you are between 18 and 30 years old when you enter.
To extend your visa beyond two years, however, you will need to apply for further leave (i.e., a visa) under one of five categories of working visas that make up Tier 2 General Entry Clearance (GE).
The UK is a hub for top businesses and start-ups, making it an attractive place for professionals. Whether you’re looking for new opportunities or want to find out how to stay put in your current role, it’s important that you know what type of employment visas may be best suited for your situation.