Who needs a work permit
- Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Visa - An alternative to the work permit scheme
The following categories of people can take up any lawful employment in the UK and do not need a work permit:
- Nationals of EEA (European Economic Area) countries (the EEA comprises the 25 EU member states - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic*, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia*, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary*, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland*, Portugal, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom – and also Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland)
- Those with Indefinite Leave To Remain in the UK (Permanent Residence)
- Those in the UK as the spouse of an EEA national
- Those in the UK as the spouse of a work permit holder, Training Permit Holder, Sole Representative, Investor, Student, ancestry visa holder
- Commonwealth citizens with ancestry visas (sometimes called patriality) – these visas are available to Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the UK. They should be applied for by the candidate at the British High Commission in their home country. They are usually issued for a period of four years; after four years in the UK the candidate is generally eligible for permanent residence.
- Those with pending claims for Asylum in the UK (NB workpermit.com does NOT handle asylum applications)
- Those in the UK on a visa as the 'partner' of an EEA national, Work Permit holder, Training Permit Holder Sole Representative, Investor, Student, Ancestry visa holder. These visas are issued in cases where the partners are not legally allowed to marry (for example because they are of the same sex, or because one or both of them are married to someone else) and have been co-habiting for at least two years prior to the visa application
NB Nationals of those countries with a (*) above must apply for a registration certificate under the Worker Registration Scheme within one month of commencing a new job in the UK.
In addition to these categories of people, nationals of European Community Association Agreement countries (Bulgaria and Romania) may come to the UK to set up in business and are exempt from the usual investment requirements. There is a very high refusal rate for this type of visa, however. Go to our guide to freelance work in the UK for EC Association Agreement nationals.