Working In The UK

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, all EEA and non-EEA nationals who are not settled workers or do not otherwise have permission to undertake work in the UK will need a visa to work.

There are many different work visa routes available which have different eligibility requirements:


Skilled worker
Global Business mobility
Health and care worker
Temporary worker


Global Talent
High Potential Individual
Innovator Founder Visa

Sponsored and unsponsored

Scale up

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa allows migrant workers to work in a job within an eligible skilled occupation for a Home Office-approved employer. The Skilled Worker visa replaces the previous Tier 2 (General) visa under the old rules.

To qualify for a Skilled Worker visa:

• The applicant must have a genuine job offer from a UK licensed sponsor
• the job must be at the appropriate skill level
• the job must meet the minimum salary requirement

A successful applicant will be granted a Skilled Worker visa for up to 5 years.

A Skilled Worker who has held permission under this route for a period of 5 years can also apply to settle in the UK on a permanent basis.

Global Business Mobility Visa

The Global Business Mobility route has five sub-categories of visas designed for different types of workers:

1. Senior or specialist worker
2. Expansion worker
3. Graduate trainee
4. Service Supplier
5. Secondment worker

Whilst none of these routes lead to settlement, they allow for greater flexibility for overseas workers to come to the UK to support the expansion of a business or to support the business’ needs.

Health and Care Worker Visa

A Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job.

To qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa an applicant must be employed or engaged either by an NHS body or trust, an NHS commissioned service provider, or one of several other medical and social care organisations listed in the guidance licensed by the Home Office.

To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, the applicant must be either a qualified doctor, nurse, or health or adult social care professional .

The job must meet the minimum salary requirements. Applicants must also meet a financial maintenance and English language requirement.

Applicants can be granted up to 5 years’ leave. There is no maximum length of stay under a Health and Care Worker visa, where applicants may be granted up to 5 years’ leave at a time.

A Health and Care worker can also apply for indefinite leave to remain after a period of 5 years.

Temporary Worker Visa

The Temporary worker visa is a sponsored worker route. 

There are six Temporary Worker routes for which an overseas national can be sponsored to come to the UK:

Creative Worker visa: for people coming to work in the creative sector

Charity Worker visa: for voluntary workers who wish to do unpaid work for a registered charity

Religious Worker visa:  for those who want to do religious work on a temporary basis.

Government Authorised Exchange Worker visa: for those who are coming to the UK  to share knowledge and experience under an approved exchange scheme

International Agreement Worker visa: is for those contracted to do work covered by international law while in the UK, such as, working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic household.

Seasonal Worker visa: for migrants coming to the UK as

seasonal workers in the horticulture sector or the poultry production sector through an approved scheme operator.

The applicant will require a valid certificate of sponsorship from a UK licensed sponsor. They must also meet a financial maintenance requirement, together with other requirements specific to the route under which they are applying.

If successful, what the visa holder can and cannot do will depend on the particular route in question.

There is also the Youth Mobility Scheme which allows young people, aged between 18 and 30 to experience life in the UK for a period of up to two years while having opportunities to work temporarily. The applicant is not required to have a job offer or a sponsor but must meet much higher financial requirement to show that they can support themselves whilst in the UK.

Graduate Visa Route

The Graduate visa is for overseas students who have completed their degree in the UK.

To qualify for a Graduate visa, the applicant must have successfully completed a degree with a suitable higher education provider. They must also have studied in the UK for a minimum period of time, and still be in the UK with valid leave when they apply.

Graduate visa holders can remain in the UK for a further 2 years or 3 years after their studies. The graduate visa route does not lead to settlement but a visa holder can switch to a different category.

High Potential Individual route

The High Potential Individual Route aims to attract international graduates to the UK.

The visa is for international graduates that have been awarded overseas degree-level academic qualifications from certain high calibre universities on the Global Universities List.

The High Potential Individual can come to the UK without a job offer and can work in the UK without the need for a sponsor.

The applicant must have been awarded an overseas degree level qualification, in the 5 years immediately before the date of application. The applicant must also meet the English and financial requirement.

High Potential Individuals can stay in the UK for a period of 2 years, or 3 years where the applicant holds a qualification equivalent to a UK PhD. The visa does not lead to settlement however visa holders can switch into a longer term worker route.


Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent visa is for is for talented and promising individuals in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology and arts and culture wishing to work in the UK.

To qualify for a Global Talent visa, an applicant must be endorsed as a leader, or potential leader in their field by a Home Office endorsing body. Otherwise, the applicant should have won an eligible award.

A Global Talent visa holder can come to the UK for up to 5 years at a time. It also offers fast-track pathways and unlimited extensions, together with an accelerated route to settlement.

Depending on the field of work, the Global Talent visa-holder may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK after just 3 years.

Scale up visa

The Scale-up visa is for talented individuals who have been recruited by UK businesses that have demonstrated a sustained period of growth (“Scale-ups”) . The individual will have the skills needed to enable that business to continue to grow.

The Scale-up Visa route offers both a sponsored application route and an unsponsored Application route. Applicants are only required to work for their sponsor for 6 months after this they can continue with their employer or leave.

The Unsponsored Application route is only available to applicants who have previously been granted permission as a Scale-up Worker.

Requirements for Scale up visa – Sponsored route

You will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
• You have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship issued by your UK sponsor for the job you are planning to do;
• The job you are planning to do is genuine;
• The job you are planning to do is at an appropriate skill level;
• Your salary will be equal to or exceed whichever is the highest of £34,600 per year or the ‘going rate’ for the job;
• You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
• You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
• You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.
Requirements for a Scale-up Visa – Unsponsored Application
You will need to show:
• You are aged 18 or over;
• You were previously granted permission as a Scale-up Worker;
• You must have had PAYE earnings in the UK equivalent to at least £33,000 per year, during at least 50% of your permission as a Scale-up Worker;
• You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
• You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
• You have provided a valid TB certificate, if required.

The Scale Up visa is a route to settlement. Applicants are able to apply for settlement after 5 years in this route or can combine time in other specified routes to make up the 5 years.

Contact our work visa experts:

Call 0208 902 6110

or make an enquiry online



Related Links

Scroll to Top