Obtaining a Visa to Work in the UK

What is a Work Visa?

This is certification on your passport by an Entry Clearance officer of the United Kingdom government, vesting you with the authority to enter this country subject to the approval of an immigration officer upon your arrival.

A work visa is granted to you if you are not a British citizen and you are entering this country for employment purposes.  If you wish to come to the UK to study you may be eligible to apply for a Student Visa.

Is Work Visa the Same as Work Permit?

Some may confuse the two terms as alike. But in fact, these terms differ.

  • A work visa is the certification in your passport or any travel document issued by a British mission officer in a foreign country, giving you permission to enter the United Kingdom.

  • A work permit, on the other hand, is a document issued by the Work Permits division of the Home Office in United Kingdom. This is proof of the authority granted to you to serve a specific employer for a particular employment in the United Kingdom. This also allows employers from here to recruit and transfer you if you are outside the European Economic Area or EEA, while protecting the interests of resident employees in the United Kingdom at the same time.

What is a Points Based System?

Otherwise known as PBS, the points based system is a mechanism devised by the Home Office Border Agency as a means to organize work immigration in the United Kingdom.

Implemented in 2008, PBS consolidates the different work groups for visa application. 

Types of UK Visa

As PBS was introduced in 2008, it also marked substantial changes in the classification of foreign workers in the United Kingdom. This new system consolidated work groups into five tiers. Each of these tiers is categorized as points-based. This will be your basis to acquire a work visa for employment in this country.

    Tier one is for highly skilled workers without job offers but can help contribute to the productivity in the United Kingdom.* Tier two is for skilled workers who have received job offers from United Kingdom employers to fill in vacancies in the labour force. This is otherwise known as ‘sponsorship.’ Tier three is for low skilled workers who are only allowed in limited numbers to fill in temporary shortages in labour. Tier four is categorized for students.

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For more information on:

  • *You do not need sponsorship in the first tier.
  • Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Documents Needed
  • Getting a Work Visa
  • Visa Application Centres (VACs)