Visa eligibility to work in the UK
If you are a UK or EEC passport holder, you will be able to work in the UK without a visa or restrictions. However, if you do not have one of these, the type of visa you are able to obtain will determine the types of assignment you can accept.
Teachers UK will offer you as much advice as possible regarding your visa eligibility, however as it is not our area of expertise we strongly suggest that you contact the British High Commission in your home country for further details.
You will be eligible to work in the UK in one of the following ways:
- Working Holiday Maker
- UK Ancestry Visa
- Right of Abode
- Spouse Visa
- Highly Skilled Migrant Visa
- EEA Family Permit
- Student Visa
- Sponsored Work Permit
WORKING HOLIDAY MAKER
If you are a Commonwealth citizen aged 17 to 31 years you may be permitted to enter the UK for a maximum of two years as a Working Holiday Maker. When applying for this visa you will need to show proof of initial supporting funds, which is set at £2000, you will also need to satisfy other criteria.
UK ANCESTRY VISA
Under the UK Immigration Policy for Ancestry Visas, Commonwealth citizens who can verify their grandparent was born in the UK (including Southern Ireland prior to 31 March 1922) may apply for a visa that will allow them to stay in Britain for a period of four years, with no work restrictions.
RIGHT OF ABODE
The Right of Abode means that you are entirely free from United Kingdom immigration control. You do not need the permission of an immigration officer to enter the United Kingdom and you may live and work without restriction. These are usually for people who have a parent (normally your mother) born in the UK.
If you are married to a person who holds a British passport or Ancestry Visa, then you should be entitled to a Spouse Visa on top of their visa. If your spouse has a UK passport, then you will be granted a visa for the same period as the passport is valid. If your spouse has an Ancestry Visa, then you will be granted a visa for the same period that the visa is valid for, which is 4 years.
Spouse visas are not granted for working holiday visas, if you are a married couple you only qualify for the working holiday visa if you both fit the original criteria for this visa.
If you are in a relationship with someone (either sex) who holds a visa for the UK,
and you can prove that you have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage for at least two years, you can normally apply for a Defacto Visa. A two or four year visa will be granted depending on the length of the relationship, and there are no work restrictions on either of these visas
HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANT PROGRAMME
The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is an immigration category for entry to the UK for successful people with sought-after skills. Eligibility for HSMP visas is assessed on a points system with points awarded for areas such as high level degrees, previous work experience, past earnings, career achievements and awards. If you are under 28, the highly skilled migrant program has different criteria for points, than if you are over 28 years of age.
Once points and approval have been secured, you must apply for a visa from the British High Commission in your home country. There are no work restrictions on this visa, and it is granted for a year. After a year in the UK, you can apply to stay for longer but you must be economically active.
EEA FAMILY PERMIT
If you are married to person who holds a passport from an EU country, you should be eligible for an EEA Family Permit. To qualify, you must be married to, and accompanying or joining a spouse with an EEA passport. A person holding a family permit must not enter the UK BEFORE their spouse. The permit is valid for 12 months from date of issue, and there are no work restrictions.
WORK PERMIT SPONSORSHIP
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has now added teachers to their shortlist of skills and vocations in short supply. This means that if you are not eligible for any of the other entry permits outlined above, you may be able to apply for Work Permit Sponsorship. This has to be done on your behalf by an employer in the United Kingdom who wants to employ you.
If the position that we secure for you is longer than 6 months, you will need to apply for an Entry Clearance Visa to go along with your work permit. This will only be granted to you by the British High Commission in your country, upon sight of the original work permit that we will courier to you. If the position and work permit is for less than 6 months, then you will not require an entry visa.
Teachers UK can arrange work permits for teachers outside the UK. We have placed hundreds of teachers who have required sponsorship. If you fall into this category, please register in the normal way but please bear in mind that you may need to be much more flexible on locations and types of schools because of this.
Visa and Passport rules change regularly throughout the year, and therefore we always recommend you to check with your countries British High Commission for the current rules and regulations, rather than our website.
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