What general UK work visa requirements do I have to meet?

When you applying for a Tier Visa that allows you to work in the UK you are in effect applying in the Point Based System (PBS). Acquiring a Tier Visa is a bit more difficult than acquiring a short-term visa due to specific requirements for entrepreneur visas (tier 1), general work visas (tier 2), short-term work visas (tier 5), sportsperson visas and religious work visas – and limits to the number of migrants that can come to the UK under the Tier routes.

Before you apply for a visa you should always check that you:

  • Meet the requirements of your immigration category; and
  • Do not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.

If you apply for a visa you need to:

  • Complete the correct application form;
  • Pay the correct fee;
  • Submit the required supporting documents; and
  • Provide your biometric information (unless exempt).

If the Entry Clearance Officer cannot make an immediate decision on your application, he/she might ask you to attend an interview.

The application form is for your own visa and you must apply for it yourself. If you need help completing the application you can ask someone to help you but you must apply yourself.Do not forget to sign the application form to declare that the information you have provided is true and accurate. There are strict requirements relating to the visa application documents that must be attached with a PBS visa application (including applications from dependants of points based applicants). A number of “specified documents” must be provided or the applicant will not be considered to have met the relevant requirement. You should provide as much documentation as possible, although all documents are not required by law. Submission of a particular document will not guarantee you entry to the UK.

Under Tier 2 (General Worker Visa, Minister of Religion and Sportsperson) and Tier 5 (Temporary Worker Visa, Youth Mobility Visa and Graduate Internship Visa) you must have a sponsor who has a license to employ you. All applicants must submit a passport (or valid documents) and two passport sized photos. You should also consider including the following documents, in English, with your application:

  • Information on your financial situation (a bank statement or payslips or even your tax returns);
  • Details on where you will be staying, for example a travel booking confirmation;
  • Documents that show your current occupation (a letter from your employer, a letter from your education provider or a business registration document); and
  • Evidence of your marital status, if applicable.

Remember to keep all documents in your hand luggage and easy at hand when entering the UK.

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