Navigating Work Permits in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on 13 June 2023


Our previous blog post explored the essentials of immigration and obtaining a visa to work in Ireland. Building upon that knowledge, we now delve deeper into the specific realm of work permits in the United Kingdom. Whether you are an international professional seeking employment opportunities or an employer looking to hire overseas talent, understanding the intricacies of work permits is crucial. In this follow-up blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to navigating the world of work permits in the UK.


Types of Work Permits:

The UK offers various work permits designed to accommodate different circumstances and skill levels. Let's explore the most common types:

  • a) Skilled Worker Visa:

Formerly known as the Tier 2 (General) Visa, this permit is designed for skilled professionals with a job offer from a UK employer. It requires sponsorship from the employer and certain eligibility criteria to be met.

  • ​b) Intra-Company Transfer Visa:

The Intra-Company Transfer Visa allows multinational companies to transfer employees from their overseas branches to the UK. This visa has different subcategories depending on the nature and duration of the transfer.

  • c) Startup and Innovator Visas:

For aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, the UK offers Startup and Innovator Visas. These permits are intended for individuals with innovative business ideas and require endorsement from an approved endorsing body.

  • d) Global Talent Visa:

The Global Talent Visa is aimed at highly skilled individuals in specific fields such as science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, and arts and culture. This visa offers flexibility and does not require a job offer.


Sponsorship and the Points-Based System:

The UK operates on a Points-Based System (PBS) for work permits. To obtain a work permit, individuals must accrue sufficient points based on factors such as job offer, skill level, language proficiency, and salary. Employers must also become licensed sponsors to hire overseas workers and fulfil certain responsibilities in the process.

Application Process:

When applying for a work permit in the UK, the process typically involves the following steps:

  • ​a) Job Offer and Sponsorship:

Secure a job offer from a UK employer willing to sponsor your visa application. Ensure that the employer holds a valid sponsor license.

  • ​b) Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):

Once sponsored, your employer will provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), containing a unique reference number required for your application.

  • c) Points Assessment and Application Submission:

Complete the online application form, pay the necessary fees, and submit supporting documents to demonstrate your eligibility and meet the points requirement.

  • ​d) Biometric Residence Permit (BRP):

If your application succeeds, you will receive a decision letter and a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). This card acts as proof of your right to work and resides in the UK.


Important Considerations:

  • a) English Language Proficiency:

In most cases, applicants are required to demonstrate their English language proficiency by passing an approved English language test.

  • b) Shortage Occupation List:

The Shortage Occupation List includes certain occupations facing a shortage of skilled workers in the UK. Professionals in these occupations may enjoy relaxed eligibility requirements.

  • ​c) Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR):

After residing and working in the UK for a certain period, individuals may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), granting them permanent residency.



Navigating the realm of work permits in the UK may seem complex, but armed with the right information, you can successfully secure a work permit and explore the diverse career opportunities available. You can confidently take the necessary steps by understanding the different types of permits, the sponsorship process, and the application requirements.

Som Rajendra

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