Since 2016’s Brexit vote, anxieties have run high and innumerable questions have arisen in both the public and private sectors about conducting business in the United Kingdom. While there will likely be changes to regulations in the coming post-Brexit years, now is still an excellent time to begin working in the UK. Why? Because, despite fears of an economic collapse in the wake of the Brexit vote, the UK has handedly weathered the storm. Although the nation of 65 million fell from fifth- to sixth-largest economy in the world (only slightly outperformed by France), it has received a notable nod from Forbes, earning the number one spot on their Best Countries for Business in 2018 list.
Learn more about the ins and outs of obtaining a UK work permit and how we can help with the process.
The UK’s Tiered Visa System
But before solidifying plans to work in the UK, one needs to know which visa within the UK’s tiered visa system best matches their needs. For those who want to run a business in the UK but are both outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and meet the eligibility requirements, they will want to apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. This UK work visa also requires that applicants have £50,000 (~$69,500) in investment funds prior to applying. Moreover, the funds must be held in one or more regulated financial institutions and are disposable on business in the UK.
If the applicant is not an entrepreneur or an investor, there is still a number of options for applying for a UK work visa. First, the applicant must have a sponsor. Tier 5 Temporary Worker visas offer a wide range of application options, including those who are involved in/with:
- Charity work
- Creative and sporting fields
- Government authorized exchange
- An international agreement
- Religious work
- The UK’s youth mobility scheme
Tier 2 Visa Requirements
The Tier 2 visa is designed for skilled workers who have been offered a job in the UK. This also includes workers who have been transferred to the UK by their international company. But before receiving clearance to work in the UK, the applicant must meet a number of immigration requirements. These include:
- Scoring a minimum of 70 points on the Tier 2 eligibility points test
- Ensuring the salary is appropriate for the skilled job
- Proving English language knowledge
- Having a minimum of £945/~$1160 in personal savings upon arrival. Must be in a bank account for 90 days prior to arrival
- A valid passport
- Either an expired passport or travel documents that show the applicant’s travel history
- Depending on the applicant’s country of origin and the field in which the applicant be working, either a tuberculosis test or criminal background check may be needed
- Documents in either English or Welsh. If documents are in any other language, it is required to have a certified translation
The Tier 2 Timeline
Though applicants will want to start the application process as quickly as possible, they must wait until they receive an official offer of employment from the legal entity employer. If the applicant’s position/title is not on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupations List, a Resident Labor Market Test must be carried out — unless the job/title is exempt. This test requires that the job be posted on a UK jobs board for a minimum of 28 days.
While turnaround times vary, applicants can expect to wait two to three months for approval. Concerning time in the UK, the Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship can be issued for either up to three years or up to five years. However, it can only be extended to the six-year maximum on a Tier 2 visa.
How We Can Help
We understand that applying for a Tier 2 visa in the UK can be a challenge — and our global immigration services are here to help. Velocity Global can facilitate the application process, leaving the client with the peace of mind that all boxes have been checked and all documents are submitted. We’ll provide updates along the way so that all parties are abreast of the applicant’s progress. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can assist with UK work visa applications.