UK Working Visas | Working in the UK
The United Kingdom is a very popular destination for people looking to live and work in the UK as a Highly Skilled Migrant. UK Immigration consists of five-tier points based system that scores applicants on various criteria to assess their eligibility to obtain a UK work visa. If you wish to study in the UK, please click here to read more information about that route.
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The five-tier points based system encompasses all highly skilled work, study, and training immigration routes into the country. It has undergone a number of changes since its inception in 2008, most notably the removal of Tier 1 (General) for highly skilled migrants in favour of a new Exceptional Talent visa, and a cap on the number of visas available under Tier 1 and Tier 2.
The removal mainly affects overseas applicants. People seeking extensions to their Tier 1 (General) visa are only allowed to apply for Indefinite leave to remain. The introduction of the Graduate Entrepreneur which requires no funds to qualify and those who can switch from Tier 1 visa to Tier 1 Entrepreneur with an investment of only £50,000.
The Tier 2 (General) has become the most realistic immigration route for most people living outside of the country who wish to immigrate to the UK as a skilled worker. With all of these changes, navigating the UK immigration system can be a difficult and time-consuming process.
You may have to wait months for your UK visa application to be processed by the UK Home Office, or spend the whole day there to then find that you do not have all the relevant documentation.
UK Shortage List under Tier 2
If you are an employer or a possible employee, you can check whether your employment falls in the UK Shortage List. Here is the list of jobs UK Shortage Occupations List, however please note that the lists do get updated and it is important you check before a CoS is applied for.
Here are some of the requirements of the UK Shortage employments, that you or your employer must adhere to:
You will be awarded 30 points if your job was on a shortage occupation list at the time your Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned by your sponsor.
There is one list for the whole of the UK and a further additional list for Scotland. If you want to be awarded points for a job on the shortage occupation list in Scotland, you must be undertaking that job in Scotland.
If you were last granted leave for a job in a shortage occupation that is not at RQF 6 level as stated in the Tier 2 codes of practice and the job is no longer on the current shortage occupation list, you can still apply for an extension, or to do the same job for another employer. The job will still be considered to meet the required skill level for Tier 2. If you are changing employer in these circumstances, your new employer will need to carry out a resident labour market test before they can sponsor you.
Your contracted working hours must be at least 30 hours a week.
You should confirm with your sponsor that they have indicated that your job is a shortage occupation in the relevant field on the Certificate of Sponsorship. You should also confirm with your sponsor that the SOC code and job description on the Certificate of Sponsorshipshow that the job is one of those included on the shortage occupation list.
Tier 4 Visa holder
If you have completed your degree in the UK or 12 months on your PhD, you would be eligible to switch into the Tier 2 General visa in the UK. Some of the key requirements is needed to be met:
You are currently, or have last been, sponsored by a Tier 4 sponsor which is either a UK recognised body or a body in receipt of public funding as a higher education institution from the Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales or the Scottish Funding Council or o an overseas higher education institution to undertake a short-term study abroad programme in the United Kingdom.
You have completed a course leading to a UK recognised bachelor’s or master’s degree or UK Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE), having taken all exams and handed in all course and dissertation work; or you have completed a minimum of 12 months’ study in the UK towards a UK PhD during your last grant of leave or period of continuous leave which includes your last grant of leave.
Your period of study and/or research towards your award was undertaken whilst you had entry clearance, leave to enter or leave to remain in the UK and you were not subject to a restriction preventing you from undertaking a course of study and/or research.
You studied for the eligible award at a UK institution that is a UK recognised or listed body, or holds a sponsor licence under Tier 4 of the Points-Based System.
If you undertook the study while you held leave as a Tier 4 student, you must have undertaken the study at your Tier 4 sponsor, not under supplementary study; and you are applying from inside the UK.
The requirements above needs to be met for a person intending to switch into a Tier 2 General visa from the UK. You should read more information on switching by clicking here.