Apply for a UK Work Visa

Are you looking to work in the UK? Our immigration lawyers are experts processing visas across all employment categories.

Some employment routes are now governed by the Points Based Visa System (PBS). The rules are complex and it is, therefore, vital that you consult a specialist immigration solicitor for legal advice and information before applying to work in the UK.

We also have considerable experience advising sole representatives of overseas companies, whose applications are considered outside the PBS scheme.

How do I apply to work in the UK?

There are numerous visa routes under the Immigration Rules which allow applicants to enter the UK for the purpose of work:

  • Appendix Skilled Worker
  • Appendix Intra-Company Transfer
  • Appendix Sportsperson
  • Appendix Minister of Religion
  • Appendix Temporary Workers
  • Appendix Start-up and Innovator
  • Appendix Global Talent
  • Appendix Representative of an Overseas Business

Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled Worker visa is available for skilled workers that have been offered a position from an eligible UK company who is a registered sponsor. There are various requirements that must be met for this visa, relating to the job you will undertake, the salary you will be paid, your English ability and your ability to maintain yourself during your stay.

If you are granted a Skilled Worker visa, you are eligible to remain in the UK for up to 5 years. You may be eligible to settle in the UK at this point.

The requirements for this visa are complex and therefore you should seek advice from an immigration specialist before you proceed with an application. Latitude Law’s specialist business lawyers can advise you of the requirements specifically relating to you and ensure that the conditions of your employment offer are suitable to meet the Immigration Rules.

Intra-Company Transfer Visa

The intra-company transfer route (ICT) is for those already employed by a sponsoring business overseas, who are transferring to take up a role with the same company’s UK office. You’ll need to have worked for your employer overseas for more than 12 months, unless they’re going to pay you £73,900 a year or more to work in the UK. This category does not lead to settlement and is restricted to a maximum of 5 years for long-term transferees.

Less onerous requirements exist for graduate trainees whom an employer wishes to transfer to the UK to gain experience here for up to 12 months.

How we can help

Latitude Law has advised many foreign nationals seeking to work in the UK and our immigration lawyers have acquired a particular in-depth knowledge of Skilled Worker Visas. We also advise a wide range of companies in relation to their sponsor licence and overseas workers. Our lawyers help to identity which visa route best suits your circumstances and prepare your application to ensure the best chance of success.

We can advise employers and prospective workers on the challenges involved in this complex area of immigration law.

Why choose us?

Our aim is to give you the best chance of successfully securing your work visa so you can be employed in the UK. We have helped many other migrant workers successfully and pride ourselves on the efficiency of our processes. We aim to be responsive, and proactive in the pursuit of your case.

We are known for going that extra mile to ensure clients are successful in their endeavours whilst maintaining professionalism and ethical standards at all times. Our team is friendly and approachable and are always willing to answer any questions you might have.

We can meet you in our Manchester, London or Brussels offices or take your instructions via telephone or video conference.

UK Work Visa Q&As

When can I apply to work in the UK?

In order to work in the UK, you will need to be sponsored by a UK organisation that holds a valid sponsor licence. If you are offered a role, they should issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) which will allow you to make an application to work in the UK.

What documents do I need to apply to work in the UK?

To apply for a work visa, you must be able to provide:

  • A valid passport or equivalent travel document;
  • Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number;
  • Evidence of how you meet the English language requirement
  • Evidence of how you meet the maintenance requirement

Additional documents may be required depending on the country you will be applying form (or the visa you will be switching from if applying from within the UK), the role you are intending to take and if your family members are also applying with you as your dependants.

Am I eligible for a Intra-company Transfer visa?

The ICT route is for companies wanting to transfer workers to the UK from an overseas linked entity or organisation. The company that you will be working for in the UK must hold a valid sponsor licence, and must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship. You will also need to meet requirements relating to the job that you will undertake and the salary you will be paid

Am I eligible for a Sportsperson visa?

The company that you will be working for in the UK must hold a valid sponsor licence, and must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship.

You can apply for a Sportsperson visa if all the following apply:

  • you’re an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, who’s recognised by your sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of your profession internationally
  • your sport’s governing body is endorsing your application
  • your employment will develop your sport in the UK at the highest level
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Am I eligible for a Minister of Religion visa?

The company that you will be working for in the UK must hold a valid sponsor licence, and must issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship. You can apply for a Minister of Religion visa if:

  • you’ve been offered a job within a faith community (for example as a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order) in the UK
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

Am I eligible for a Temporary Worker visa?

  1. Temporary Worker – Charity Worker visa is for workers who have an unpaid/voluntary job offer and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK charity with a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence. The job taken must be directly related to the sponsor charity’s work.
  2. Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa is for very highly skilled workers who have a job offer as a sportsperson or creative worker – such as a musician or actor – in the UK, and a certificate of sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence. Sportspeople on this visa must be internationally established at the highest level in their sport, and/or their job must make a significant contribution to the development and running of sport at the highest level.
  3. Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange visa is for workers coming to the UK through an approved government authorised exchange scheme. This visa allows the worker to do work experience, training, academic research or a fellowship, and to take part in an Overseas Government Language Programme.
  4. Temporary Worker – International Agreement visa is for workers who have a job offer that is covered by international law, such as embassy and diplomatic household workers, and a certificate of sponsorship from an organisation with a valid Tier 5 sponsorship licence. This includes workers under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and similar agreements.
  5. Temporary Worker – Religious Worker visa is for workers offered a job, such as preaching or work in a monastery or convent, by a religious order in the UK.
  6. Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker visa is for workers in edible horticulture doing seasonal work in the UK with a sponsor.

Can I extend my Skilled Worker visa?

Yes. There was previously a maximum time limit that you could spend in the UK as a Skilled Worker visa however this has now been removed.

Can I extend my Temporary Worker visa?

You can stay in the UK for a maximum of 12 or 24 months depending on which sub-category of Temporary Worker you apply under.

What happens after I am granted permission to work in the UK?

If you applied from outside the UK, your passport will be endorsed with a 30-day travel vignette and you will be provided with a letter confirming permission has been granted. The 30-day travel visas should be valid from the intended travel date, as stated on your visa application form. You must travel to the UK within the 30-day validity of the travel visas or it will expire, and you will need to apply for a replacement visa.

Your “full visa” will be issued in the form of Biometric Residence Permits (BRP’s) and will be available for collection once you arrive in the UK. Once in the UK, you must collect your BRP’s within 10 days of arrival, from the Post Office branch detailed in the decision letter.

If your visa is for a period of 6 months or less, your “full visa” will be issued as a stamp in your passport and you will not need to collect a BRP upon arrival to the UK.

If your application is approved from inside the UK, the Home Office will issue your BRP card for the duration of your Certificate of Sponsorship and send this to you directly upon approving your application.

Is a suitable job role on the UK Shortage Occupation List?

Suitable job roles for sponsorship can be found in Appendix Skilled Occupations. Your employment role must fit appropriately under this code and you will also need to be paid an appropriate salary for the role as confirmed in the Immigration Rules.

Some job roles can be found in Appendix Shortage Occupations. These are occupations which UK employers are struggling to fill. Where you are applying to fill a shortage occupation role, there is a reduction of the salary you must be paid and also the application fees you will need to pay.

Jobs on the UK Shortage Occupation List are generally very specific, so we will need to assess your circumstances and the job that you will be doing to determine whether you fit into one of these roles.

Can I switch employers on a Skilled Worker visa?

Yes, you can switch employers on a Skilled Worker visa. You will be required to submit a new Skilled Worker application before you can make the switch. Intra-company Transfer migrants are generally not permitted to switch employers but may be eligible in limited circumstances.

When am I eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?

You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) on the basis of your Skilled Worker permission once you have resided in the UK continuously for five years. As a general requirement, you can only apply if you meet the continuous residency requirement for the 5 years, your sponsor still needs you for the job, you are paid the relevant salary listed in the Code of Practice and you meet the minimum salary for the ILR.

The Intra-company Transfer route does not lead to settlement.

Our solicitors

What our clients say…

UK Entry Clearance Granted

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Joel Reiss for his amazing service in relation to my visa application.

Reiss was outstanding as a consultant and adviser and my family and I highly value the efforts he took; we are deeply appriciative of his work and knowledge in the legal matters, processes and proceedings. He prepared our application including a covering letter from scratch, which he refined through discussion before making it an impeccable one to refuse. There were a few complicated elements surrounding our application and we believe had it not been for Mr.Reiss and his flawless services together with the expertise of Latitude Law, we would not have recieved our visa.

He was quick in clarifying our queries and made it a point to reply as soon as possible. Even when we had to be away from work, Reiss made sure our application was not interrupted and it could be filed on time. The constant communication and the replies continued even after the application was submitted and the services were paid for all the way till we recieved the decision. We have even been informed of the travel guidelines and quarantine regulations, and I honestly believe the fee we paid did not include these supplementary services.

I would also like to extend my upmost appreciation to Gary McIndoe, the Director, Latitude Law and everybody else at the firm including Jessica Lee for their service and cooperation.

I would not think twice in recommending Joel Reiss and Latitude Law for visa application and allied services.

Mr Vineesh

Success for the Bouameur Family

I am writing this on behalf of the whole family, we would like to say thank you. These two words are such small words for the gratitude and high regard we all hold you in.

Your firm and especially you have been with us throughout the difficult years we have had and you have always been there when we needed picking up, our shoulder to cry on that saw us through with honesty and realistic advice.

I cannot recommend your firm and you enough to people who find themselves at the mercy of a system that at best can be described as confusing.

You have given us back our lives and for that you will always be a cherished member of our family and never forgotten

Many many thanks to you and your team for everything

The Bouameur Family

Naturalisation success for a medical doctor

I shall have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Latitude Law, which is clearly an extremely proficient unit, exemplified by helping clients with patience, attention to detail and sensitivity in equal measure.

Particular mention is merited to Ms Gemma Wylie, whose professionalism is par excellence. I couldn’t thank her enough.


All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 11/02/2019