Navigating the different UK visa types can turn out to be quite a challenging task. If you are going to relocate, you need to know the differences between permanent and temporary residence permits, and what exactly are the requirements and processes for work permit visas, skilled worker visas, and self-employment visas.
First of all, you do not need to apply for a UK visa, if you are from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. In any other case, you have to apply for a UK visa, if you plan to spend more than six months in the UK and work legally.
The application process is different in terms of length, requirements, and cost, and this will depend on the type of job you will be working, the length of your stay, and your home country.
Read on to find out more about the UK visa types and work permit requirements.
Employment UK Visas and Work Permit
If you want to live and work in the UK, you have to apply for an employment visa and work permit. A work permit will take at least two months to be approved and will allow you to do a specific job at a certain location. You will also need a visa to enter the country and you have to pay a healthcare surcharge.
You will not need a work permit if you are from an EEA country, a spouse or partner of an EEA national, spouse of the holder of work or training permit, or a permanent resident.
After you receive the work permit, you can go ahead and apply for a visa. You need to make an appointment at your home country and to prepare the required documents – a passport or a travel ID, proof of financial means, proof of fluency in the English language, proof of payment for healthcare surcharge. The cost for a UK visa will vary depending on the country.
Self-Employment UK Visas
If you will be working independently, you need a self-employment UK visa. There are different types with different requirements depending on the type of industry, investment, and specifics of the business.
To apply for a self-employment UK visa, you need a passport or a travel ID, proof of financial means, and proof of payment for the healthcare surcharge. The cost depends on the type of visa and the duration of your stay.
UK Residency Permits
If you are looking into becoming a UK permanent resident, you need to know that Brexit will affect you only if you are from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. Otherwise, the rules will remain the same as before Brexit.
A UK permanent residence document will be useful if you wish to apply for citizenship or sponsor the visa application of your partner. It is not mandatory and will become invalid after Dec 31, 2020. After that, you will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.
Citizens that are from countries not in the EU or EFTA, who wish to stay in the UK longer than six months, will have to apply for a biometric residence permit. It has the biometric and biographical details of the holder and is valid for up to ten years.
When you have spent a certain amount of time in the UK depending on your visa, and not more than 2 years outside the country, you can apply for permanent residency. This will allow you to work and live in the UK without limitations, as well as will grant access to free healthcare and other welfare benefits.