UK Work Permits, What an Employer Needs to Know

What is a UK Work Permit?

A work permit is a legal permission that is issued to the UK employer by the Home Office, which allows an individual to be employed in a full time, skilled post. The employer must make an application to the Home Office for permission to employ that individual in this role.

What is the application process for a UK work permit?

An application can be made either from within the UK or from outside the UK. The decision on how this application should be made will depend on the individual’s current immigration status and when it is due to expire.

What type of job can work permits be issued for?

Work Permits can be issued for a wide variety of posts; it does not have to be a UK shortage occupation. However, there are set criteria that must be met in order to qualify for a UK work permit.

In order to meet the work permit scheme, you must be able to demonstrate that you have at least one of the following skills, which is required to fill the post.

  • UK Degree or equivalent
  • HND [Higher National Diploma] or equivalent that is not relevant to the post, plus one years relevant experience
  • HND [Higher National Diploma] that is relevant to the post oAt least 3 years specialist experience at NVQ [National Vocational Qualification] level 3 or above.
  • If you are applying to fill a senior or specialist post, the individual should be able to provide copies of qualification certificates and detailed employment references to support the application. If they need to be registered with a UK professional organisation [GMC, RIBA, for example] copies of registration certificates should be provided.

    Do I need to show that I cannot fill this post from within the UK?

    In most cases the UK employer would be expected to show evidence that a genuine attempt has been made to recruit from within the UK first, before a work permit application can be made. However, those roles that are recognised as a UK shortage occupation, should not need evidence of national advertising. For certain senior or specialist posts, or where the employee is currently working at the same company overseas, advertising should not normally be required. However, you should seek professional advice at an early stage to ensure that any application is fully prepared and meets the Home Office criteria; ee do not apply for work permits on behalf of individuals.

    Are there other schemes which will allow an overseas national to work for us?

    The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme [HSMP] is designed to allow individuals with exceptional skills and experience to work in the United Kingdom. It allows you to enter or remain in the UK without necessarily having an offer of employment, or to take up self employment opportunities. This application is assessed on a Points-Based Scheme – 65 points or more are required to qualify.

    There are other visas which allow individuals to work without requiring a formal work permit. Working Holidaymaker, Spouse visas, Student visas and Dependants all carry the right to work in varying degrees. However, each visa does have its own set of specific guidance and limitations. The onus of responsibility is on the UK employer to check that the individual has the correct permission to work.

    Matthew Passmore is Operations Director for PERMITS2WORK LTD, specialist provider in UK immigration. He is a qualified and experienced OISC Registered Adviser, who has provided immigration advice and services to the top 500 UK employers.

    Contact Matthew at +441793 836010 to discuss how PERMITS2WORK LTD can provide your organisation with professional UK Immigration advice for your employees. Visit our website at and and subscribe for a free monthly newsletter.

    Source by Matthew Passmore

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