How to Get a UK Work Visa

If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and wish to come to the UK to work, then you will need to apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa.  This will allow you to enter the UK and work in the country for up to five years.

Am I eligible for a work visa?

To be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) Visa you must show the UK Border Agency that:

  • a licensed UK employer has made you a job offer
  • the job you have been offered pays £20,800 per year or more (some exceptions apply)
  • you have £945 in savings
  • you have an appropriate level of knowledge of the English language

What is a ‘licensed sponsor’?

A licensed sponsor is an employer who has obtained a licence to recruit workers from outside the European Union from the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

How can I prove my knowledge of English?

You can prove that you have the required knowledge of English by;

  • passing an approved English language test
  • having a recognised academic qualification which was taught in English

What documents do I need to provide to support my application?

You will need to provide the following documents alongside your application form:

  • your passport
  • a colour photograph of yourself
  • bank statements showing you have £945 worth of savings or a letter from your sponsor showing that they will accommodate and support you during your first month
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • results from your tuberculosis test

Can I bring my family to the UK?

 You can bring ‘dependents’ with you to the UK to join you while you work.  A dependent is defined as your spouse or partner and any children under 18 years.

You must show you have an additional £630 in savings for each dependent on top of the £945 in savings you have to support yourself, unless your sponsor provides a certificate showing that they will provide the funding for your dependents.

Each dependent must apply for their own visa in order to enter the UK.

How to stay in UK permanently?

From 6th April 2016, you will need to show that you earn a minimum of £35,000 to be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK unless:

  • your job is on the Shortage Occupation List
  • you are a nurse
  • your position requires a PhD

How long will it take to get my visa?

You can apply for your visa up to three months before you are required to start your job in the UK and you should get a decision within three weeks of sending your application to the UKBA.

To ensure your Tier 2 (General) Visa application is processed quickly it pays to seek legal advice when filling in the required forms and collating the necessary documents.

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