Work Permit UK: Types, Fees, and Application Process

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Work Permit UK

Seeking employment in the UK? It is important to get a work permit. The work permit allows a person to legally work and earn income in the United Kingdom. There are different types of work visas available. Based on the eligibility criteria individuals can apply for the same at the official website of the UK government. The validity of the visa and the visa fees may vary depending on the visa type. Keep reading to learn more about the work permit UK: types of visa, visa fees, visa application process, waiting time, and more.

Visa Name  Work Permit UK
Validity Up to 5 years 
Fee Varies 
Processing Time 3 weeks 

Types of Work Visa UK and their Purpose

To obtain a work permit, it is important to know which type of visa you need. Therefore, we have provided a list of work permits in the UK.

Popular visas Purpose 
Health and Care Worker visa Medical professionals to come/ stay in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS
Skilled Worker visa Allows a skilled worker to come and work in the UK to do a skilled job
Visa to apply without a job offer  Purpose 
British National (Overseas) visa Hong Kong citizens and  British nationals (overseas) and their family members can apply 
Graduate visa To stay in the UK for at least 2 years after completing a course in the UK.
Youth Mobility Scheme visa To live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
India Young Professionals Scheme visa Indian citizens between 18 and 30 years old to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
Apply for the Global Talent visa to work in the UK if you’re a leader or potential leader in research, digital technology, etc
UK Ancestry visa When one of your grandparents was born in the UK. For example, a Commonwealth citizen
High Potential Individual (HPI) visa Must have been awarded a qualification by an eligible university.

Learn How to Get a Job in the UK as an International Student?

Work in the UK for an overseas employer Purpose
Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) To come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job at your employer’s UK branch.
Overseas Domestic Worker visa Domestic worker in a private household who have worked for an employer for at least one year
Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility) To come to or stay in the UK to work for your employer in their UK branch.
Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) When an overseas employer is transferring you to the UK to do an eligible job for a different organization.
Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility) When you have a contract to provide services for a UK company, 
UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility) Visit the UK to set up a branch of an overseas business that has not started trading in the UK yet.
Representative of an Overseas Business visa Representative of an overseas business if you’re an employee of an overseas newspaper can apply to work
Apply for Service providers from Switzerland visa Can apply if working  for a company based in Switzerland and your employer needs you to work on a contract in the UK
Visa to start a business Purpose
Innovator Founder visa To set up and run an innovative business in the UK 
Temporary work visas Purpose
Seasonal Worker visa (Temporary Work) To work in horticulture for up to 6 months or poultry 
Government Authorised Exchange Visa (Temporary Work) To work short time in the UK, to do training in  an Overseas Government Language Programme, research, or a fellowship 
Creative Worker visa (Temporary Work) Work in the UK as a creative worker
Religious Worker visa (Temporary Work) To do religious work in a non-pastoral role or religious order
Charity Worker visa (Temporary Work) want to do unpaid voluntary work for a charity
International Agreement visa (Temporary Work) Contract work covered by international law or treaty while in the UK.
Other work visas and permits
International Sportsperson visa
Minister of Religion visa (T2)
Scale-up Worker visa
Frontier Worker Permit
Get an exempt vignette

Do you need a work permit to stay and work in the UK?

Foreigners are allowed to visit the UK for a total of 6 months without a visa. At this time, they are permitted to travel, take up short-term education, and attend job interviews. However, for a longer duration of stay international applicants must meet the eligibility criteria associated with the type of visa they want to apply for. The application for the visit can be made at the gov. uk website. 

It is possible to work and study in the UK. Check out these Part-Time Jobs in the UK for International Students

Do you need a job offer to be eligible to stay and work in the UK?

Yes. Getting a job offer letter is important to apply for a work permit UK. The job offer must be confirmed before applying for the visa. However, exceptions are there such as a graduate visa where applicants who have completed their education in the UK can stay for a specific period and seek work. Another exception is the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa where students who have studied in an eligible university within the past 5 years can apply, 

Get to know the UK Visa Requirements for Indians 

How much does a UK work permit cost?

The amount of fees for a work permit would depend on the type of visa. Therefore we have provided the cost of the work permit UK in the table below:

Work Permit UK  Application fee Healthcare surcharge
Health and Care Workers £232 per person(less than 3 years)  and £464 per person ( more than 3 years) N/A
Skilled Worker £610 to £1,408 per person £624 per year
Intracompany Transfer £610 to £1,408 per person £610 to £1,408 per person
Temporary – Seasonal Worker £244 £624 per year
Temporary – Creative and Sporting £244 per person £624 per year
Temporary -Graduate £700 £624 per year
Other – Innovator £1021 – £1277 per person £624 per year

How to apply for a work permit in the UK – process and waiting times

After deciding the type of visa, the applicant can apply for the same by visiting the official website of the UK government. It is best to apply for a UK visa 3 months in advance. The application process would require the person to submit identification documents and other supporting documents.

To apply for a work permit UK, an appointment has to be made at a visa application centre. Applicants can also use the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ smartphone app to prove their identity. The visa application process can take up to 3 weeks for the work permit UK. 

Learn How to Make a UK Visa Application.


How can I get a UK work permit?

To get a UK work permit International applicants need to first work for an employer approved by the Home Office. Next, they must obtain a certificate of sponsorship from the employer. Moreover, the job comes under the list of eligible occupations in the UK. The employee must also be paid the minimum salary in the UK.

Who is eligible for a UK work visa?

Those who have acquired a minimum of bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and have a minimum experience of 2 years are eligible. However, the job must come under the list of eligible occupations, and the employer must be approved by the Home Office. Moreover, the applicant must meet the skill level requirements.

Is it difficult to get a work permit in the UK?

Yes. It is difficult to obtain a work permit in the UK. Therefore, applicants must apply for a work permit UK 3 months before the date of arrival. The visa application process can take up to 3 weeks.

We hope you now understand what the work permit UK is, its requirements, the application process, etc. Want to apply for a Visa for your study abroad journey? Drop us a comment in the section below, or you can connect with a visa expert at Leverage Edu, and we will guide you on your dream journey!

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