UK Work Visas - How to Get a Work Visa in the UK

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UK Work Visas - How to Get a Work Visa in the UK

Securing a UK work visa (also sometimes called a UK work permit) is not always straightforward. Even if you meet all of the criteria to be granted a visa, it is still important to make sure all of the paperwork is completed correctly with the right supporting documents attached.

Having expert legal support can significantly boost your chances of a successful UK work visa application, while making the process much simpler and less stressful.

IBB Law is home to one of the UK’s leading teams of immigration lawyers, with a reputation for providing clear, no nonsense advice on securing UK work visas.

We work with clients from a range of backgrounds and across many different industries, so can help to ensure you select the right visa and provide all of the right information to give you the best chance of securing the visa you need.

Complete support for UK work visa applications

We assist people from all over the world in securing UK work visa, the Home Office requires anyone coming to the UK for work to meet the requirements for an immigration route which provides them with permission to work in the UK this can be through a sponsored route or an unsponsored route.

Employer sponsored Work Routes

Skilled Worker visa

Health and Care Worker visa

– Working in the UK for an overseas employer

– Temporary work visas

– Other work visa and permits

Unsponsored Work Routes

The following visa routes are unsponsored routes as they do not require a job offer;

– Business Visitor visa

British National (Overseas) visa

Global Talent visa

Graduate visa

India Young Professionals Scheme

UK Ancestry visa

High Potential Individual (HPI) visa

Youth mobility Scheme visa

Innovator Founder visa (start a business in the UK)

IBB Lawyers have the expertise to assist with visa routes which have been closed to new applications however remain open to those with legacy cases and meet the requirements for further leave to remain or settlement, these routes include Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Investor visa, Turkish Businessperson visa, Turkish Worker visa, Start-up visa.

Why choose IBB Law for UK work visa advice and support

The UK immigration experts at IBB Law can offer you:

  • In-depth knowledge of UK Immigration laws, policies and procedures.
  • Hands on support from experts who keep up-to-date with developments in the law so that you always receive practical and accurate advice.
  • A cost-effective and timely service with great attention to detail.
  • Independently accredited immigration expertise with our team being ranked by leading client guide the Legal 500 for Immigration Law.

Looking for immediate help with a UK work visa application?

If you need expert advice and support with a UK work visa, our highly experienced business immigration team will be happy to assist.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading business immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381  or email

How to get a work visa in the UK

In this guide, you can find more information on the following key areas:

UK work visa requirements

Each type of UK work visa will have its own requirements, but general requirements needed for all types of UK work visa include:

  • Proof of identity – with a valid passport
  • Proof of your skills and/or qualifications
  • Knowledge of English – you will need to be able to prove you have sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Proof you have the financial means to support yourself in the UK – e.g. with bank statements or payslips
  • Proof of accommodation – showing where you will be staying in the UK
  • Tuberculosis test results – showing you do not have TB (only required for certain nationalities)

Choosing the right type of visa

If you wish to work in the UK, you must apply for the appropriate type of visa. Applying for the wrong type of visa will see your application rejected, wasting time and money. Knowing which type of visa to apply for can be confusing, so it is recommended to seek specialist advice before making an application.

The various types of UK work visas you can apply for are:

UK Skilled Worker visas

UK Skilled Worker visas are for overseas workers with a job offer from a Home Office-approved UK employer for a job on the official list of eligible occupations. A Skilled Worker visa lasts for up to 5 years and can be extended as many times as you like.

To apply, you will need a certificate of sponsorship from your prospective employer and will need to meet minimum salary requirements.

UK Intra-company Transfer visas

Intra-company Transfer visas are one of the two types of Intra-company visa. They allow people working for an international organisation to come to the UK to perform an eligible role at their employer’s UK branch.

How long you can stay in the UK will depend, but will generally be up to 14 days after the end of your certificate of sponsorship or 5 years (whichever is shorter).

The other type of Intra-company visa is the Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa for those on a recognised graduate training scheme for a managerial or specialist role.

UK Minister of Religion visa

The Minister of Religion visa (T2) is for people who have been offered an eligible role within a faith community. You will be able to stay in the UK for a maximum of 3 years and 1 month or up to 14 days after the end date given on your certificate of sponsorship (which is shorter).

UK Temporary Worker visa

There are two main types of UK Temporary Work visas:

  1. Temporary Work – International Agreement visa – for those working in a role covered by international law or treaty e.g. working for a foreign government or in a diplomatic household. Usually allows a maximum stay of 2 years.
  2. Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker visa – for those in eligible roles such as edible horticulture and pork butchery. Allows you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months.

UK Youth Mobility visa

The Youth Mobility Scheme visa is aimed at people aged 18-30 and allows you to live in the UK for up to 2 years as long as you have an eligible type of British nationality or are from the list of approved countries and territories. You must have at least £2,530 in savings and meet all other eligibility criteria.

UK Global Talent visa

The Global Talent visa is aimed at recognised leaders and potential future leaders in the fields of academia, research, arts, culture and digital technology. Applicants must normally have an endorsement from a recognised body to be eligible for a Global Talent visa and, if successful in their application, will be able to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

Frontier Worker permit

Frontier Worker permits allow people to work in the UK while living in another country. To apply, you must be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have begun working in the UK by 31 December 2020.

UK Investor visas

The Investor visa (Tier 1) – sometimes called a ‘golden visa’ – is no longer available for new applicants. If you already hold this type of visa, you may still be able to apply to extend it, depending on the circumstances.

UK Innovator visas

Innovator visas are for people planning to establish and operate an innovative business in the UK. The business must be different from anything already on the market, and the business or its idea must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body. Holders of an Innovator visa can stay in the UK for up to 3 years.

UK Start-up visas

Stat-ups visas are aimed at those planning to set up an innovative business that is different to anything currently operating in the UK market. The business idea must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body. A Start-up visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 2 years.

UK Sole Representative visas

Now known as the ‘Representative of an Overseas Business visa’, this is aimed at those who work for an overseas business that is planning to set up a UK branch or a wholly owned subsidiary. It can also be used by employees of internationally-based news organisations, including newspapers, agencies and broadcasters. A Representative of an Overseas Business visa lets you stay in the UK for 3 years initially with an option to extend for a further 2 years.

UK Sports visas

International Sportsperson visas or ‘Sports visas’ are aimed at elite sportspeople and qualified coaches. To apply for this type of visa, you will need recognition as being at the highest international level of your field from the relevant governing body for your sport.

Your sport’s governing body will need to endorse your application and your employment in the UK will need to contribute to you developing your sport at the highest level. You will need a certificate of sponsorship from your employer, confirming that they are sponsoring you for an International Sportsperson visa.

Making a UK work visa application

Most UK work visas can now be applied for online, helping to make the process faster. However, it is still important to make sure that your application is completely correctly, with all details filled out accurately and the right supporting evidence provided.

Any errors in your application or missing documents could see you refused a visa. At best, this will waste your time and money by forcing you to challenge the refusal or reapply. At worst, it could lead to a job offer or funding you are relying on being withdrawn due to delays in securing a visa.

At IBB Law, we have an excellent track record of helping clients to successfully apply for a variety of UK work visas. We can help to ensure no detail is overlooked and all appropriate information is provided, giving you the best chance of securing the visa you need.

UK work visa refusals

When an application for a UK work visa is refused, it is important to understand the reasons for the rejection, which should be clearly stated in the refusal letter you receive.

In many cases, visas are refused due to technical issues that can be resolved with the right support. Often, there may be minor issues with your application, such as a lack of proper supporting documents, which can be quickly fixed.

Alternatively, there may have been administrative errors in the way your application was processed, which can be challenged, allowing your visa to be granted.

We can provide a fast assessment of your case and give clear advice on your options for challenging a UK work visa refusal. Our immigration lawyers can help with seeking an administrative review or making a fresh application as appropriate.

Renewing a UK work visa

If you need to renew your UK work visa, you will need to check whether your current type of visa can be extended. If your visa cannot be extended, you may need to switch to a different type of visa. Alternatively, you may qualify for indefinite leave to remain.

Our immigration lawyers will be happy to advise and support you with extending your visa, switching to a different type of UK work visa or applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Get immediate expert advice on UK work visas

If you need expert advice and support with a UK work visa, our highly experienced business immigration team will be happy to assist.

To discuss your situation with our industry-leading business immigration solicitors, you can call us on 03456 381381  or email