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Visa requirements


If you are not a British citizen or a citizen of one the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you may need a visa before you travel to or work in the UK. It is up to you to apply for and organise them prior to travel, as few companies in the UK are currently willing to offer sponsorship. For current information, please see

Here is an overview of the typical visas used by our candidates:

Tier 1: Highly Skilled Migrant Visa (general)

This is issued to applicants on a points basis. When you apply, you will be awarded points according to your age, qualifications, previous earnings, UK experience, English language skills and current funds. We recommend visiting the following website before applying to assess your eligibility:

Tier 2: Sponsorship

If you can secure permanent employment through a UK employer, they may choose to sponsor you to live and work in the UK without a working visa. These agreements occur between you and your employer.

Ancestry Visa

If at least one grandparent was born in the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you may be eligible for a five year working visa. You will need your birth certificate to prove your relationship with your grandparent as well as birth certificates of your grandparents to prove they were born in the UK. You are still eligible if you are adopted, however you will require the relevant documents to prove this.

Spousal Visa

Spouses or dependants of people with the right to live in the UK as well as those with a visa can apply for a two year and six months working visa. You will need proof of your relationship ie. Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificates as well as the relevant entitlement documents – British passport, Certificate of Entitlement, UK Residency or UK Ancestry Visa or Work Permit.

Please note, this list is not exhaustive and there are many other routes available that might be preferable to your unique circumstances.

Work permit

Work permits are issued by Work Permits (UK), part of the Home Office’s The UK Border Agency. A work permit relates to a specific person and a specific job. The work permit scheme lets UK employers recruit or transfer people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), while still protecting the interests of resident workers in the UK.

Work permits also allow overseas nationals to come to the UK for training or work experience. You cannot apply directly for a work permit. The employer in the UK who wants to employ you must do this by sending the filled-in application form at least eight weeks before the date they need you to start work.

EEA nationals

The European Community law gives EEA nationals a right to live and work in the UK. This is called a right of residence. You have an initial right of residence in the UK for three months if you are an EEA national. If you are an EEA national and you want to live in the UK for more than three months, you must be a ‘qualified person’.

A qualified person means an EEA national who is in the UK as: a jobseeker, a worker, self-employed person, a self-sufficient person (someone who can support themselves financially) or a student.

You do not need a work permit to work in the UK but you may need to register as a worker under the Worker Registration Scheme. There are also separate requirements for Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

Visit: for more information.

Non-EEA nationals

If you are a non-EEA or an overseas national who is not settled in the UK and you intend to work in the UK, in the majority of cases you must have a work permit. The Home Office’s ‘Border and Immigration Agency’ website provides information about the various routes open to foreign nationals who want to come and work in the United Kingdom. Visit: for more details.

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