Employment-based routes are the easiest way to move to the UK. The UK Immigration system is favourable to skilled foreigners who can work and contribute to the country’s economy. Also, the UK is renowned for its suitable working conditions. The information below will help in your quest of moving to the UK through an employment-based route.
UK Employment Visa Types
Picking the wrong visa type automatically voids your application. There are long-term and short-term UK work visas. Among all, however, you’re likely to apply for the Skilled Worker visa. It’s a long-term visa – lets you stay for 3 to 5 years – and covers most jobs that accept foreign workers.
You’d also want to consider the Skilled Work visa as it leads to settlement in the UK. If you plan to move permanently to the UK, you must obtain settlement status. The Home Office website features a list of qualifying job occupations for the Skilled Worker visa. You can check the list to be sure your job is eligible before applying.
Another popular long-term UK work visa is the Health and Care Worker visa, available for medical professionals. If your job offers lasts for only a year or less, your visa type would typically fall under the short-term visa category.
UK Employment-Route Requirements
Different visa requirements exist for different work visa types. However, a job offer from a UK employer is the primary requirement for most work visas, especially long-term work visas. Your employer must be approved by the Home Office and have a valid sponsorship licence. Only an employer with a sponsor licence can issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship – the document that certifies your job offer.
UK work visas generally require a minimum salary rate. Although each visa has a general minimum salary rate, the rate can differ for each job position. For example, the minimum annual wage for a Skilled Worker visa is £25,600. Some jobs that fall under the Skilled Worker visa category may have a higher minimum annual wage.
Furthermore, you’ll need to provide proof that you’re qualified for the job. You must also show proof of sufficient finances (typically a minimum of £1,270) unless your employer agrees to support your stay. If they will, it must be stated in your Certificate of Sponsorship. More on finance; visa processing starts only after you pay the application fee which ranges from £625 to £1,423.
English language proficiency is another deciding requirement. To prove you’re proficient, you’ll need to take a language test unless you’re from a native-English-speaking country like the USA, Canada, and Australia.
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Moving with Family
Most UK work visas allow family members to join you, as dependents, if you can prove your relationship. Eligible family members include:
- Your spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner if you’ve been living together for at least 2 years before your application date
- Your child under 18 years
For proof of relationship, you may have to provide the following:
- Marriage certificate for spouse
- Civil partnership certificate for civil partner
- Bill payments or other to prove you’ve been together with your unmarried partner
- Birth certificates or other records for your children
You need more funds to bring family members if you’re self-supporting – if your employer isn’t sponsoring your finances. Take the Skilled Worker visa for instance, in addition to the £1,270, you’ll need an extra £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.
Each family member must also apply for and pay for their visa. They’ll apply using your visa application number and their visas will be valid for the same period as yours.
Indefinite leave to remain status, also known as settlement, allows you to permanently live, work, and study in the UK. You must have worked in the UK for a number of years before applying for settlement. The standard is 5 years but some work visas, such as Tier 1 and Innovator visas, only require 2 to 3 years of residency.
You must pass the Life in the UK Test and show proficiency in English to qualify for settlement. In addition, you must pay the £2,389 application fee. If your family is with you, they can also apply for settlement if they meet the residency requirement.