UK Work Visa Solicitors & Lawyers | Work Visa Legal Advice

Key Points Description
Visa Overview Introduction to work visas and permits in the UK
Sponsor Requirements Explanation of sponsorship necessity and exceptions
Visa Types Detailed list and explanation of various UK work visas
Application Tips Guide on how to apply without a job offer

 

What Are Work Visas and Permits?

For many foreign nationals, obtaining a work visa is the first step towards employment in the UK. These permits are crucial because they not only allow individuals to work legally but also ensure that they contribute to the economy in a regulated and beneficial manner.

In most scenarios, securing a UK work visa requires a job offer from an employer in the UK, who has a sponsor license. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, the Graduate visa, and the Global Talent visa, which have a slightly more flexible approach.

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Types of UK Work Visas and Permits

The UK offers a variety of work visas and permits to accommodate different skills, professions, and employment circumstances. Each visa type is designed to meet specific needs and comes with its own set of requirements and benefits.

Below we’ve outlined some of the main types of UK work visas:
  • Skilled Worker Visa
  • Health and Care Worker Visa
  • Global Talent Visa 
  • Scale Up Visa Temporary Worker Visa 
  • Global Business Mobility Visa 

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa is a critical route for skilled foreign nationals to work in the UK. Applicants need:

  • Job Offer from a Licensed Sponsor: A Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from an employer with a sponsor license is mandatory.
  • Eligible Occupation: The job must be on the list of eligible occupations.
  • Salary Requirements: The salary must meet the minimum threshold of £38,700 or the ‘going rate’ for the specific occupation. Exceptions apply for certain conditions like age or if the job is on the immigration shortage list.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants must meet certain English language requirements.

This visa allows for a stay of up to five years with the possibility of extension. After five years, applicants may also seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) as a pathway to permanent settlement.

Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa, similar to the Skilled Worker Visa, is designed for medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers. This visa offers:

  • Targeted at Health Professionals: Applicants must have a job offer from a licensed health and care sector employer.
  • Concessions: The visa comes with reduced application fees and faster processing times as a benefit to health and care sector workers.

Like the Skilled Worker Visa, it allows for a similar period of stay and access to settlement options like ILR under similar conditions.

 


Scale Up Visa

The Scale Up Visa is aimed at highly skilled individuals employed by rapidly growing UK companies. It requires:

  • Job Offer from a Scale-Up Company: The company must demonstrate significant growth, with an annual growth in staff or turnover of at least 20% over a three-year period.
  • High Skill Level or Qualifications: The job must offer a salary of at least £33,000 or the going rate for the position, whichever is higher.
  • English Language Proficiency: As with other work visas, the ability to communicate in the English language is required through either an English language test certificate or a degree taught in English.

This visa is renewable and provides a route to ILR after five years of continuous residence in the UK.

Temporary Worker Visa

The Temporary Worker Visa covers short-term employment across various categories like charity, religious, and creative work. Requirements include:

  • Sponsored Job Offer: Being issued a CoS from a UK based company that has a valid Sponsor License.
  • Specific Categories: Different categories under this visa cater to specific needs, such as creative artists or religious missionaries.
  • Funds Requirement: Applicants must show they have enough funds to support themselves during their stay.

This visa does not provide a direct route to settlement but allows stays ranging from a few months up to two years, depending on the visa type.

Global Business Mobility Visa

The Global Talent Visa facilitates the temporary relocation of employees as part of intra-company transfers and other business movements. Key aspects include:

  • For Multinational Companies: Employees of multinational companies can be transferred to the UK to fulfil specific roles.
  • Sub-categories: Includes visas for senior or specialist workers, graduate trainees, UK expansion workers, secondment workers, and service suppliers.
  • No Direct Route to Settlement: While this visa category allows for extended stays, ranging from six months to five years, it does not directly lead to settlement but may allow switching to other visa types that do.

Understanding the specific requirements and benefits of each visa type helps applicants and employers navigate the complexities of UK immigration law more effectively. The next section will cover how to obtain a work visa or permit without a job offer.

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How to Appeal a UK Skilled Worker Visa Refusal

A UK Skilled Worker visa refusal can be a challenging task to try and overcome alone, but understanding the common reasons for a visa refusal and knowing your options for appeal can help significantly.

Common Reasons for Work Visa Refusal

Documentation and Eligibility Issues

 One of the primary reasons for a Skilled Worker visa refusal is insufficient supporting documents. Applicants must provide complete and valid documentation, such as educational qualifications, work experience certificates, and financial evidence.

Failing to meet the specific visa’s eligibility criteria, such as not having a valid job offer from a UK employer, not meeting the English language requirements, or not earning the required salary, will likely lead to refusal of your UK work visa application.

Certificate of Sponsorship Problems 

Issues with the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), such as being invalid or unused at the time of application, are another frequent cause of visa rejections.

Criminal, Security, and Health Concerns 

Applications may be refused due to criminal records, security concerns, or health-related issues that pose a risk to the public. It’s crucial to address any such potential concerns proactively in the application process.


What Is the Work Visa Appeal Process?

If your UK Work permit application is refused, you have two main routes to appeal the decision:

Administrative Review 

This process involves a review by the Entry Clearance Officer who made the initial decision. It strictly focuses on the information provided in the original application. It is important to note that no new evidence can be submitted at this stage, and there is no hearing.

Judicial Review 

A more formal process, the Judicial Review, appeals the decision on the basis of the lawfulness of the decision, typically on the grounds of legal errors or mistakes in handling by the caseworker. This process includes several stages and can lead to court proceedings if necessary.

Pre-Action Protocol 

Before initiating a Judicial Review, a Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) letter can be sent to the Home Office to ask for a reconsideration of the decision. This step is a formal warning to the Home Office to respond to the applicant in a 14 day time period, before issuing a claim against them.

Appeal Timelines and Processing Time

Appeal Timeline

  • If you are outside the UK, you have 28 days from receiving your decision to appeal against a Work visa refusal.
  • If you are already in the UK, the deadline you have to appeal the decision is 14 days.
  • Appeals submitted after these deadlines must include an explanation for the delay, and it is up to the tribunal to decide whether to accept the late appeal.

Processing Time 

The appeal process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, depending on the complexity of the case.

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Conclusion

The UK has a variety of work visas available that are each designed to accommodate different skills, professions, and circumstances. From the Skilled Worker Visa for individuals with specific job offers to the Global Talent Visa for recognised leaders in their fields, the UK aims to facilitate talented professionals from around the world.

Ready to Apply for Your Work Visa?

UK Work Visa applications and appeals can be complex. Don’t face it alone! Contact our expert immigration solicitors today for personalised guidance and support. Whether you’re applying for the first time or dealing with a visa refusal, we’re here to help you achieve a successful outcome.

Book Your Consultation to discuss your specific situation and start your journey to securing your UK work visa with confidence.