When expanding your organization to the UK, it’s likely you’ll want to bring along some of your experienced employees to assist with the setup and growth of your operation. To bring foreign employees, you will first need to obtain UK work visas.
While it is perfectly possible to get UK work visas for your employees, the process is quite complex and there are multiple types of visas to choose from. The process has been further complicated by the UK’s exit from the European Union, as EU residents can no longer work in the UK as freely as they once could. Understanding which visas are most suitable for your circumstances and completing the applications properly can be difficult, and any mistakes could result in expensive delays.
At Horizons, our global experts offer comprehensive UK work visa services, immigration advice, and tailored outsourcing solutions, giving your company and your employees everything needed to successfully commence your expansion into the UK.
Standard requirements for UK work permits
The exact requirements for your UK visas will depend on the type of work visa you are applying for. However, some of the general requirements that apply in most cases are:
- A valid travel document (passport)
- A completed application form
- A job offer
- Proof of funds
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of good health
- Relevant application fees
Types of UK work visas
There are several types of UK visas, and the most common are divided into four tiers:
- Tier 1: For highly skilled workers, investors, high-level students, and more. This visa is difficult to be approved for compared to the other tiers but does not require a job offer.
- Tier 2: For skilled workers (and other types of people such as sports professionals). This is the most suitable visa for most companies expanding into the UK.
- Tier 4: For students to study in the UK.
- Tier 5: This tier is divided into several sub-sections covering various types of work from charity to religion, working holidays, and more.
How to get a UK work visa
The earliest you can apply for a UK work visa is three months before it is needed, and we recommend starting it on this date to avoid the chance of delays. All applications can be done online via the government immigration website, and details of each application can be followed there.
Additional considerations for your UK working visas
If any of your employees need to bring family members to the UK, they will need to include details in their application and may need to obtain extra visas for individuals.
Some of your employees may also be eligible for a UK Ancestry visa if they have a parent or grandparent from the UK, so you should determine whether this is a realistic route to entry for any of your workforce.
How can Horizons help?
At Horizons, we support businesses of all kinds with their expansion into the UK, and we are experienced in obtaining UK work permits. Our UK work visa experts provide reliable advice and bespoke outsourcing services to help you navigate the UK’s complex work visa process quickly and cost-effectively. We can ensure that you and your valued employees are fully compliant with the UK’s unique immigration system, save you time, and answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
In addition, we provide extensive outsourcing services covering recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your business start trading in the UK as quickly and effectively as possible, even if you haven’t established a UK subsidiary for your organization.