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Visas & work permits

Whether you need a visa depends on the purpose and length of your stay and on your nationality. Work permit is a generic term for a legal authorisation which allows a person to take employment. It is most often used in reference to instances where a person is given permission to work in a country where one does not hold citizenship.

UK Visas website will tell you whether you need a visa to enter the UK and, if so, how to apply for one.

Most Citizens of the member countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals have free acess to enter and work in the UK - but if you are a national of a country that has recently joined the European Union, you may need to register or apply for permission before you begin work.

Brexit: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know.

Other nationalities need a visa to work in the UK. However, dependent spouses whose partners have permission to enter the UK through their work permit are  permitted to work by virtue of their visa. You will find detailed information on the Home Office website, under " Guidance for dependants of UK visa applicants".

The United Kingdom has a points-based 5 tier visa system for migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to the UK to work, study, invest or train.
The most common types of UK work visa are:

- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa – a UK work visa for those recognised as leaders in science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology and the arts.
- Tier 2 (General) visa – a UK work visa for those who have been offered a skilled job (annual salary at least £25,000) and have been sponsored by licensed organisation related to their employment. It is valid for up to 6 years.
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa – UK work visa for those whose overseas employer has offered them a transfer to a UK branch, on condition of sponsorship. The visa can be valid for between 6 months and 9 years, depending on the position offered.
- Tier 4 Student visa - a visa for adult students aged 16 or over. University and college study programs are included under Tier 4.
- Tier 5 (Temporary workers) visa - a visa for youth mobility and temporary workers, it also covers temporary volunteer workers, sports people taking part in events, and visiting clergy.

See below for resources

Immigration Industry Association (IIA)

Its purpose is to provide benefits and support to its Immigration Industry members and the wider migrant and expat community around the world. The IIA is a forum for the immigration community to come together to network, share ideas, information, research and experiences. The IIA members provide quality assured services to expats and migrants. Browse the list of Immigration Industry Association (IIA) Members who offer products, services and support for expats moving to the UK.
Tel : +44 (0)7970 952620

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