What you need to work in the UK
· A passport issued in your country of origin.
· Your birth certificate.
· Proof of your qualifications and references.
· Copies of any previous work permits.
· Your entry visa.
· A bank account
· National Insurance Number
Please note: The transition period
There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.
The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.
New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. New visa requirements will come into effect.
To check if you require a visa for the UK – click on the link and follow the instructions
The UK Border Agency classifies people who want to move and work in the UK in the following fashion:
High-Value Migrants – Need to complete an assessment based on a point-system. This category generally refers to people with exceptional talents, investors and entrepreneurs (people who mean to invest their own money into the British economy)
Skilled Workers – In this case, applicants need to be sponsored by their prospective employer who is offering you a position, in order to be able to apply for a work visa.
Temporary Workers – This generally applies to individuals who are interested in coming to work in the UK for a period of time of at most 12 months, such as young people participating in a Work and Travel program.
Students – Although restricted to 10 or 20 hours, many international students can work part-time in the UK.
Other – This non-denominational category of workers includes a number of different situations where special rules exist, like the case of domestic workers and representatives of companies located in a foreign country.
Other Types of work visas
Other long-term work visas
General work visa (Tier 2)
Intra-company Transfer visa (Tier 2)
Minister of Religion visa (Tier 2)
Sportsperson visa (Tier 2)
Short-term work visas
Temporary Worker - Charity Worker visa (Tier 5)
Temporary Worker - Creative and Sporting visa (Tier 5)
Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange visa (Tier 5)
Temporary Worker - International Agreement visa (Tier 5)
Temporary Worker - Religious Worker visa (Tier 5)
Temporary Worker - Seasonal Worker Visa (Tier 5)
Youth Mobility Scheme visa (Tier 5)
Investor, business development and talent visas
Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)
Global Talent visa
Exceptional Talent visa (Tier 1)
Graduate Entrepreneur visa (Tier 1)
Investor visa (Tier 1)
Other work visas and exemptions
UK Ancestry visa
Get an exempt vignette
Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa
Representative of an Overseas Business visa
Turkish Businessperson visa
Turkish Worker visa
Am I eligible to work in the UK?
You are eligible to work in the UK, and therefore don’t need to obtain a work permit, if any of the following apply:
· You are a British citizen
· You are a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen
· You are a Swiss national
EEA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
If you are not a British Citizen or EEA Citizen or Swiss National
If you’re not a British citizen, EEA citizen or Swiss national, you may need to apply for a visa in order to be able to work in the UK.
You should be able to apply for a visa via a British Overseas Mission in your own country, or the British Embassy. For more information specific to your own country, please visit
For a full list of the visas available to you, and to check if you need a UK visa, please visit:
But remember, having a visa doesn’t necessarily mean you are automatically able to work in the UK, and you may also need a work permit in order to begin working.
If you’ve already found a job in the UK and been accepted to work, or you have a visa but it prohibits you from working, you may need to obtain a work permit.
You cannot apply for a work permit directly. Your employer in the UK will need to apply on your behalf. The length of your permit will depend on the type of work you do and the sort of permit granted.
Tier 2 Visa Information
This is the most requested type of work visa to the UK
You can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if:
· you’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK
· you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
· Getting sponsored
· You need to be employed by a licensed sponsor to apply to live in the UK.
· Your sponsor checks that you can do the job they’re hiring you for and if it qualifies you for a visa. They’ll assign you a certificate of sponsorship to prove this.
· They must also give you other information you need when you apply, for example, how much you’ll be paid.
Immigration Rules Appendix K: shortage occupation list
Please click on the link and then scroll through the relevant occupational section
Tier 5 Visa has different requirements
In order to apply for most work visas, you’ll usually need to gain a job offer with sponsorship from an employer in the UK first.
However, you can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa without sponsorship if you:
· Want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
· Are 18 to 30 years old
· Have £1,890 in savings
· Have certain types of British Nationality or are from certain countries
You can apply for a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa if you’re aged 18 to 30 and you’re from:
Republic of Korea
You can also apply if you’re 18 to 30 and a:
Tier 5 Visa - You cannot apply if you have:
· children who live with you
· children you’re financially responsible for
· already been in the UK under the scheme or in the former ‘working holidaymaker’ category
Getting a National Insurance Number
When you live and work in the UK you need to have a NI number in order to pay your National Insurance contributions if you want to have access to certain benefits like state pensions and student loans.
In order to be able to apply for a NI (National Insurance) number, you need to have the right to live and work in the UK.
Your NI number represents your personal account number, and it’s meant to ensure that every tax payment you make, whether it’s for the income tax or for National Insurance contributions, is properly attributed to you. It also serves as an identifier in all your dealings with the HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs), and the Department for Work and Pensions.
You have two different options available for getting a NI number:
1) You can use a service and pay a fee (about £25) to get assistance and make sure things run smoothly.
2) You can apply to get a NI number yourself where you will need to arrange for an EOI interview.
All employees in the UK are required to pay income tax on their earnings and any pensions. If you are in official employment, tax will be deducted automatically from your wages.
Self-employed workers must keep records of their income and expenditure and fill in an annual tax return. Find out more at HM Revenue and Customs