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Work Permits in The UK


Over the last few months this particular category has seen many new additions.

  • The points based Highly Skilled Migrant Program (HSMP) was introduced in the skilled immigration category in January, 2002. Later the Tier 1 (General) point-based system was introduced to replace this program. The Tier 1 (General) application is a part of the United Kingdom’s new five-tier points based system. This system includes all work, study and training immigration paths coming into the country.
  • Individuals who are interested in extending their existing Highly Skilled Migrant Program visa will need to do so under the Tier 1 system now.
  • This has applied to nationals from India since April 2008, and has applied to the rest of the world as on June 20, 2008.

This particular category is relatively slow to process and so applicants may need to wait for more than months for the visa application result to be processed by the UKBA (United Kingdom Border Agency).

Individuals will need to have held a work permit for a minimum of four years and eleven months for them to qualify for a full ILR.

Who Applies For The Permit

The permit can be applied for by the following entities:

  • individuals who have an offer of job from a UK company
  • companies that have offered a job to an individual residing outside the EU
  • individuals who are in possession of a UK degree and work experience or a PhD
  • individuals who have completed a degree at an UK university and are looking to carry on some form of post-study

Employer Sponsorship

The employer will first have to be registered with the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) to be able to issue a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ to any individual outside the EU. Then it will become possible for the employer to help the individual enter the country. The employer will need to gain a license to make this happen. They will be required to submit a lot of documentation first to gain acceptance. Once accepted, they will be required to uphold all regulation that they first signed on during the period that they give out any certificates of sponsorship. Once the employer’s certificate is made available, the individual will be required to make the application to enter and work in the country.

Individual Application

When individuals apply on their own, they do not require any certificates of sponsorship. The entire process will need to be initiated by the individual directly. The individual’s qualifications, earnings, prior work experience and any prior experience in the UK will count towards the end result of this application. This application may also take a long time and if successful it will allow the individual to work freely across the United Kingdom.

The other two common visa applications that are accepted are under the ‘Post Study Work’ category and the Investor/Entrepreneur category. The latter is now possible to encourage investors and entrepreneurs.


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