If you are planning to work in the UK in 2023, you may need a UK work permit visa. This is a type of visa that allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer.
Let’s look at the requirements, process and benefits of applying for a UK work permit visa in 2023.
What is a UK Work Permit Visa?
A UK work permit visa is also known as a Skilled Worker visa. It is a point-based system in which applicants must score a minimum of 70 points to be eligible for the visa. The points are based on factors such as your job offer, salary, skills and qualifications.
A UK work permit visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa since December 2020. It also allows you to work in UK waters if your job requires it.
Who Can Apply for a UK Work Permit Visa?
To qualify for a UK work permit visa, you must:
- Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
- Have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK
- Do a job that is on the list of eligible occupations
- Be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do
- Be able to speak, read, write and understand English at a certain level
The specific eligibility criteria depend on your job. You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa.
How to Apply for a UK Work Permit Visa?
You must apply online for a UK work permit visa. How you apply depends on whether you are:
- Outside the UK and are coming to the UK
- Inside the UK and extending your current visa
- Inside the UK and switching from a different visa
You will need to provide various documents when you apply, such as your passport, certificate of sponsorship, proof of income and proof of English language ability.
You will also need to pay an application fee and an immigration health surcharge. The fee depends on how long you want to stay and where you apply from. The health surcharge gives you access to the National Health Service (NHS) while you are in the UK.
You may also need to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and photo) and attend an interview as part of your application.
How Long Can You Stay on a Work Permit?
Your UK work permit visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You will need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.
You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.
After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as indefinite leave to remain). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you are eligible.
What Are the Benefits?
Having a UK work permit visa allows you to:
- Work in the UK in an eligible job with an approved employer
- Bring your partner and children with you as your dependants if they are eligible
- Travel in and out of the UK during your stay
- Access public services such as healthcare and education
- Apply for British citizenship after living in the UK for a certain period
What Are the Changes to the UK Work Permit Visa From 12 April 2023?
The Home Office has announced some changes to the Skilled Worker visa route from 12 April 2023. These include:
- An increase to the minimum salary thresholds in line with an imminent increase to the National Living Wage
- A reduction in the number of occupations that are eligible for lower salary thresholds
- A removal of some occupations from the list of eligible occupations
These changes may affect your eligibility or application for a UK work permit visa in 2023. You should check the latest guidance and requirements before you apply.
A UK work permit visa is a great option for skilled workers who want to work in the UK in 2023. It has a point-based system that assesses your job offer, salary, skills and qualifications. You can apply online and stay for up to 5 years with the possibility of extending or settling in the UK. You can also enjoy various benefits such as bringing your family, travelling and accessing public services.
However, you should be aware of the changes that are coming to the Skilled Worker visa route from 12 April 2023. These may affect your eligibility or application for a UK work permit visa in 2023. You should check the latest guidance and requirements before you apply.
Good luck with your work permit application!