Making sure you secure the right visa to live and work in the UK

  • There are a range of different visas available to help foreign workers live and work in the UK.
  • These include Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas for sponsored workers; Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visas; Ancestry visas; and Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas.
  • There are specific conditions to be met for each type of visa.
  • We will explain which type you qualify for, help you make your application and ultimately, help you meet your long-term goals for working and settling in the UK.

The UK is a popular choice for people wishing to live, work and invest. There are many different routes to working here, including a range of visas for:

  • Skilled workers and temporary workers with a job offer in the UK
  • Nationals from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan, aged 18-30
  • Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent who was born in the UK
  • People recognised and emerging leaders in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

If you have been endorsed as a recognised or emerging leader in the field of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts, you can apply for a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa. You must be from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

There is a two stage application process. First, you must make an application to the Home Office for an endorsement. Once this has been granted you can apply for the visa. There are limited places available under this visa category, with 2000 places released on both 6 April (1000) and 1 October (1000) each year.

How we help

We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each entry route, and clarify which one is appropriate for you. We’ll help you understand the eligibility requirements and make sure you can meet them.

By listening to you and understanding your long-term goals, we can work with you to secure a visa that will allow you to work and ultimately settle in the UK if you wish. We’ll guide you through the application process, helping you avoid anything which might jeopardise its success and resolve any difficulties that might occur along the away.

Above all, we’ll take a positive and constructive approach to helping you realise your ambitions to live and work in the UK.

Tier 2 and 5 Sponsored Workers

If you have secured a firm job offer from a licensed UK sponsor, have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship and meet the skills criteria, you can come to the UK for five years using UK Tier 2 of the Points Based System. After five years in the UK you can apply for settlement.

The Tier 2 General category includes a range of occupations, such as IT, accountancy, teaching, or healthcare. There are strict criteria for employers to fulfil in relation to salary, skill level and in some cases advertising the job requirements.

Tier 2 is also open to employees of multinational companies being transferred to an overseas business’s UK branch; missionaries and ministers of religion, and elite sportspeople and coaches recognised or endorsed by their sport’s governing body.

Tier 5 includes charity workers, entertainers, diplomatic staff, sportspeople, religious ministers, approved government authorised exchange scheme and job roles that fall under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and similar agreements.

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

If you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea or Taiwan, you can apply for a Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa. You must be aged 18 to 30.

Citizens of Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea must get a Certificate of Sponsorship before applying. This visa is valid for up to 2 years.

UK Ancestry

If you are a Commonwealth citizen and can show you have a grandparent born in the UK, you may be eligible for an Ancestry visa. Your relationship with your grandparent includes adoption and birth, but not step-parents.

You need to able and plan to work in the UK, and meet certain other eligibility requirements.

We have offices in Richmond, London, Southampton, Guildford, Lymington and Woking. Contact us for specialist advice about working in the UK.

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