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UK Work Visa Application: UK Work Visa Requirements & Processing Time

UK Work Visa Application is as simple as A, B, C, D and if you understand the concept of the work visa, then applying for it won’t be difficult. In this article, you’ll learn more about the Visa and the basic types you need to get started with it.

Anyone who dreams of working in the United Kingdom must pass through this phase of a Work Visa and understanding the Visa types and applying correctly will give you an edge.

In our interconnected world, the allure of working in a foreign land has never been stronger. The United Kingdom, with its rich cultural tapestry, robust economy, and world-class opportunities, stands out as a magnet for professionals worldwide.

Securing a work visa to work legally in the UK is undoubtedly a multifaceted journey. It demands meticulous preparation, a thorough understanding of visa categories, and adherence to the immigration rules.

Read on as we take you through the visa types and the UK Work Visa Application process.

READ THIS: Top UK Healthcare Visa Sponsorship Jobs For Foreigners 2023 – Apply Now

Types Of UK Work Visas

The UK offers several types of work visas, each tailored to specific circumstances. The most common categories include;

  1. Tier 2 (General) Visa: For skilled workers offered a job in the UK.
  2. Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa: For employees of multinational companies being transferred to a UK branch.
  3. Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa: For entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the UK.
  4. Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa: For individuals with exceptional talent or promise in fields like science, humanities, engineering, the arts, or digital technology.
  5. Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For temporary workers in various categories like creative and sporting, charity workers, religious workers, and more.

UK Work Visa Requirements

Below are the requirements you need for a UK Work Visa Application for each work visa type in the UK.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

  • You must have a valid job offer from a UK employer who holds a valid sponsorship license.
  • The job offer must meet the minimum skill level, usually set at RQF level 6 (graduate level).
  • The employer must prove that the job cannot be filled by a settled worker.
  • Your UK employer needs to provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS), which is a reference number that you include in your application.
  • You may need to prove your knowledge of English, typically by passing a standardized English language test.
  • You must show that you have enough personal savings to support yourself upon arrival in the UK unless your employer certifies this.
  • You need to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of your application, granting you access to the National Health Service (NHS).
  • You must have a valid passport to apply for a UK work visa.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa

This visa is for employees of multinational companies being transferred to a UK branch.

  • You must be an existing employee of a multinational company and are being transferred to a UK branch.
  • Similar to Tier 2 (General) Visa, you need a Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK employer.
  • Depending on the category, you might need to prove your knowledge of English.
  • Similar to Tier 2 (General) Visa, you need to pay healthcare surcharge and show your ability to support yourself.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

This route is closed for new applicants

  • You needed to invest a specific amount of money in a UK business.
  • Similar to other visas, you needed to prove your English language skills and show that you could support yourself financially.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa

  • You needed to be endorsed by a designated competent body as a recognized leader (exceptional talent) in your field, such as science, humanities, engineering, the arts, or digital technology.
  • Similar to other visas, you needed to prove your English language skills and show that you could support yourself financially.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

This visa is for individuals coming to the UK for temporary work in various categories.

  • You must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor in the UK.
  • Depending on the category, you might need to prove your knowledge of English and demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially.

UK Work Visa Application

UK Work Visa Application is simple, below is the guide you need.

  1. Online Application: The application process typically begins online via the UK government’s official website (www.gov.uk). Complete the application form accurately, providing all necessary information.
  2. Biometrics: You will likely need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) at a visa application center in your home country.
  3. Visa Fees: Pay the visa application fee, which varies depending on the type of visa and the duration of your stay.
  4. Processing Time: The processing time for a UK work visa can vary. It is advisable to apply well in advance of your intended travel date to avoid unnecessary stress.
  5. Decision and Passport Return: After a decision is made, your passport with the visa stamp will be returned to you. Ensure you keep it safe.

Once your visa is approved, you can travel to the UK within the validity period. Upon arrival in the UK, collect your BRP, which serves as proof of your immigration status, from the designated post office.

Please make sure you follow the conditions in your visa, including employment restrictions, duration of stay, and any other stipulations.

UK Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a UK work visa can vary depending on several factors, including the type of visa you are applying for, the country you are applying from, the time of year, and your individual circumstances.

Below are the general processing time guidelines for different UK work visas.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

  • Outside the UK: Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.
  • Inside the UK (Switching visas): Decision usually within 8 weeks.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa

  • Long-term Staff (more than 3 years): Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.
  • Short-term Staff (up to 3 years): Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.
  • Graduate Trainee: Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.
  • Skills Transfer: Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

  • Processing times varied.

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa

  • Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

  • Decision usually within 3 weeks after biometrics submission

By arming yourself with knowledge, preparing diligently, and remaining vigilant, you can navigate the complexities of the process and embark on a fruitful professional journey in the United Kingdom.

Simply adhere to this UK Work Visa Application: UK Work Visa Requirements & Processing Time article to get started.

Benjamin Hayes
Benjamin Hayes
Dr. Benjamin Hayes, MD, fuses clinical expertise with practical insights to empower readers with preventive health care knowledge. His commitment to holistic well-being extends to public health seminars and workshops, fostering positive, lasting change.
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