POINTS and CATEGORIES
If you hope to work in the UK, you must seek approval from the UK Border Agency and acquire a UK work visa. If you’re a citizen of Switzerland or a European Economic Area country, you’ll get the green light easier. If you’re a US citizen, you’ll have to jump through more hoops. When you apply for a work visa, you first get placed in a category or “tier”, then assigned points based upon your situation. (I know! I know! Bureaucracy is painful.)
You’ll get plunked into one of these categories:
- High-value migrants. Of course your mom will place you in this category, but the UK has its own point system that determines your eligibility. The UK likes “highly skilled” and “moneyed.” Making the cut in this category are investors and entrepreneurs who want to invest in the UK, and people who are “exceptionally talented” in the sciences and arts—and none of these folks need a UK job offer. They just need to pass the UK’s point-based assessment.
- Skilled workers. For placement in this category, you must have a UK job offer and sponsorship by that employer. A common way to find a job is to apply with a UK employment agency or an online employment site. Not any ol’ employer can sponsor you, however. To be legit, the employer must apply with the UK government to be a licensed sponsor and get approved. But that’s a good thing. An official sponsor is monitored and can’t abuse its employees. On the other hand, sponsors need to keep an eye on their migrant workers to make sure they’re not dastardly people doing bad, terroristic things. If you place in this category, you still have points to contend with. For instance, if the job you’ve snagged pays more than ₤150,000/year, you get more points than for a lower paying job. Likewise, jobs on the “shortage occupation list” get more points than those that aren’t. You also get points for speaking English.
- Temporary workers. You’ll probably fall into this category if you’re an entertainer, creative artist, sportsperson, charity worker (unpaid work is okay), religious worker, government-based worker, or doing a cultural-exchange. Generally, you will require a sponsor and be permitted up to a 12 month stay. You may also qualify for this category if you live in a country that participates in the Youth Mobility Scheme. (Currently, those countries are Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Monaco, and Taiwan.)
- Others. This category’s net catches many of the workers that fall out of the other categories. For instance…. Domestics in private households who work for someone who’s moving to the UK, seamen on fishing vessels operating in UK waters, or representatives of overseas employers—such as a reporter from an overseas newspaper who gets a long-term assignment to cover the UK.
- Commonwealth citizens with UK ancestry. If at least one of your grandparents was born in the UK or on a British-registered ship or aircraft, and if you're at least 17, plan to work in the UK, and can support yourself and any dependents that accompany you without public funds, then you may be entitled to stay and work in the UK for up to five years. Lucky you!
*** Under certain circumstances, you can also enter the UK to work without a work visa—if you qualify as a “business visitor.” If you’re an academic visitor, visiting professor, overseas news-media rep, or film crew member, you may qualify for this type of entry.
In reading the above, please understand that I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice. These statements are my interpretation of UK visa rules, and I’ve tried to simplify them as much as possible. To get the real McCoy, you need to read the UK Border Agency website or call them. And BEST OF LUCK in landing a job! Let us know if you do. Your fellow Anglophiles love reading success stories!
Click for UK BORDER AGENCY info about WORK VISAS
Click for UK BORDER AGENCY info about BUSINESS VISITORS
To purchase How To Live and Work in the UK by Mathew Collins, click HERE
Go to: VISIT BRITAIN
Go to: CHAT FORUM
Go to: HOMEPAGE