Working in the UK
  1. Working in the UK

    We regularly advise employers in relation to all immigration categories which allow foreign nationals to work in the UK.

    The rules in relation to employing non-EEA workers and the law and document requirements for immigration applications are complex and subject to change, often with little or no notice.  Therefore, we recommend seeking advice at an early stage to help ensure compliance with these requirements and to avoid delays.

    Some information on the most common categories is set out below.


    • Skilled Workers

      If a non-EEA national has been offered a skilled job in the UK and the prospective employer is willing to sponsor them in the UK, they may be able to apply to come to, or remain in, the UK to do that job under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. To qualify, the individual must be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship by the employer and pass a ‘points-based assessment’. The employer must be a licensed sponsor and the role must be sufficiently skilled. There are also minimum salary requirements.  In many cases the employer must have first advertised the role in accordance with Home Office requirements and be satisfied there are no suitable EEA nationals or settled workers for the role.

      The evidence required to demonstrate that the migrant passes the points based assessment must be in a specified format.  Failure to meet the strict evidential requirements is the most common reason for the refusal of visa or extension applications. 

    • Temporary Workers

      It may be possible for an employee to come to the UK to fill a temporary supernumerary position or to undertake an internship or work placement for up to 24 months under Tier 5 of the Points Based System. Alternatively, if the employee is a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan or Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and you are aged 18-30 you may be able to come to the UK under the Youth Mobility Scheme.

    • Visitors

      In some cases, it is possible to come to the UK as a businessperson, sportsperson or entertainer as a ‘visitor’ for up to six months.  However, the activities which can be undertaken by visitors are limited. If the proposed activities in the UK are likely to go beyond these, an application under the Points Based System or in another immigration category will be required.

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