Mylen Recruitment - Specialists in Technical Recruitment
This information was correct at the time of publication but is given as a guide only.

Please always refer to for updated information.

UK Visas and Work Permits

In order to work in the UK you must have a valid entry clearance before arriving in the UK. This can be done by means of organising a valid work visa. If you are a British citizen, a Swiss national or a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) you do not need permission to work in the UK. There are various types of visas and you therefore need to apply for the one applicable to you. Further information can be found on If you are not eligible for any of the visas and passports detailed, please see the information regarding work permits.

/images/Working in the UK

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)

The HSMP is designed to allow highly skilled people to migrate to the UK to look for work. The HSMP is different from the work permit scheme because you do not need a specific job offer in the UK to apply.

This is a points based immigration scheme. Points are scored in five main areas:-
  • Educational qualifications
  • Work Experience
  • Past earnings
  • Your achievements in your chosen field
  • Your husband's, wife's or unmarried partner's achievements
You need to score 65 points or more to qualify as a highly skilled migrant.

Should you not qualify for any of the above, your only option for obtaining an entitlement to work in the UK is a sponsored work permit.

Working Holidaymaker Visa

Commonwealth citizens aged between 17 and 30 can come to the UK for an extended holiday for up to two years. The holiday should be the primary reason for your stay, however you are entitled to work provided this is incidental to the holiday.

You qualify as a working holidaymaker if:-
  • You are aged between 17 to 30 years of age (inclusive)
  • You are a Commonwealth citizen, a British Dependant Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen or a British National (Overseas)
  • You intend to take employment as part of your holiday for no more than 12 months during your stay
  • You can support and accommodate yourself in the UK without help frompublic funds
  • You are married to a person who qualifies as a working holidaymaker and you plan to take the working holiday together
  • You do not have any dependent children who are aged five years or over who will be five before you complete your holiday
  • You have not spent time in the UK on a previous working holidaymaker visa and you plan to leave the UK at the end of your holiday

UK Ancestry Visa

Commonwealth Citizens who can establish that their grandparent was born in the UK (including Republic of Ireland before 31 march 1922) may apply for a visa that will allow them to stay in Britain for a period of 4 years.

There are various conditions:
  • You are a commonwealth citizen
  • You are aged over 17 years
  • You have a Grandparent who was born in the UK
  • You are able to work and intend to take or seek employment in the UK
  • You are able to support and accommodate yourself and dependants completely

Spouse Visa

An overseas national who has a spouse who holds a UK passport may work in the UK by obtaining a spousal visa. If your spouse holds a valid visa or work permit you may apply for a similar spousal visa, as their dependant.

Right of Abode

TThe right of abode means that you are entitled to enter the UK to live and work without restriction. All British Citizens and certain commonwealth citizens have the right of abode in the UK.

There are various conditions:
  • You have a parent who at the time of your birth was a citizen of the UK or
  • Your parent's parent was a citizen of the UK at the time of your parent's birth
  • There are however several mitigating circumstances, which will determine whether or not you will be entitled to a Certificate for the Right of Abode.

Work Permit/Sponsorship

This work permit allows UK based employers to sponsor overseas nationals to work for them in the UK. The work permit is arranged by the sponsoring organisation once a position has been offered and accepted and is only valid for work carried out for that employer. If they leave their employment or change employers they will need to seek a new permit.

A work permit may be issued for any length of time up to five years. After completing five years on a work permit the holder may apply for Residency/Indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Work Permits are normally issued before entering the UK. If issued after entrance you will have to leave and re-enter at a later date.

How to apply for a Visa

Application forms can be obtained from your nearest British Embassy. You will be expected to provide a number of supporting documents that must be certified copies of the true original. If you are called for an interview you may be expected to provide the original copies of these documents.

Additional Information for living & working in the UK

Accommodation [ back to top ]

Travel Around Britain [ back to top ]

Britain has a comprehensive rail network that allows you to get anywhere in the UK relatively pain free. Trains are more expensive than travelling by coach, but usually much quicker. Flights tend to be the most expensive option for internal travel and with the relatively short distances between cities, they are often faster than the rail network. Plan ahead if you are thinking of driving when you are in the UK. You will need an international Drivers Licence from your local automobile association that will allow you to drive for 12 months. If staying longer, you should then convert to a UK drivers licence. The validity of your licence depends on which country it was issued in. Please check with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). If you are planning on buying a car, you may want to invest in a copy of the AutoTrader magazine. If you plan to drive you must have insurance and your car must have road tax and, if it is over 3 years old, an MOT. There are a whole host of car hire firms in the UK including the well known companies Avis and Hertz. They can be quite expensive and you may find a better deal with a local operator. For more information visit the following websites:-

Income Tax [ back to top ]

Everybody who works in the UK must pay tax as long as you earn that your personal tax-code (the amount of money you are able to earn tax-free). How much you earn will determine which tax bracket you are placed in, and tax is deducted automatically from your salary. The tax year starts on April 5th and the UK has a rebate scheme whereby if you have worked less than the full tax year you may get a refund for any overpayments. Please note that you must work in the UK for a minimum of 6 months of a tax year in order to qualify for a tax refund.

National Insurance

National Insurance (NI) is also a tax on your income of around 11% that pays for pensions and health services. NI numbers are issued through the Department of Work and Pensions and you will need a valid work visa and your passport, and may have to attend an interview to obtain one. NI ensures your health care through the NHS and also contributes towards a pension if you stay in the UK for ten years.

Health Advice [ back to top ]

How would I seek Healthcare Assistance? Under the NHS (National Health Service) visiting a Doctor is free. You should register with a local doctor as soon as you have somewhere to live. Local Doctors (GPs) are listed in the phone book. There is a prescription charge of around 6.85 for any medicines prescribed. For minor ailments you can just visit a chemist and ask for advice, but relatively few medicines in the UK are available over the counter, so you may still have to visit a doctor to get a prescription. Also remember that some drugs, which are legal in some countries are NOT legal in the UK. Be sure to carry a letter from the prescribing doctor stating what they are and for whom they have been prescribed.

NHS Direct - Quick Health Advice

If you are unable to reach an Accident and Emergency Department at a hospital or your GP, or are unsure whether a visit is suitable, you may wish to make use of NHS direct. This 24 hour nurse advice and health information service, provides confidential information on:
  • What to do if you or your family are feeling ill
  • Particular Health conditions
  • Local healthcare services, such as doctors, dentists or late night opening pharmacies

Self help and support organisations

NHS Direct or 0845 4647

Contraception is free for everyone in the UK. Advice and contraceptives can be obtained from your local family planning clinic.

Private Healthcare

Private healthcare is available should you wish to have the reassurance of knowing that treatment is available promptly. It is designed to cover the costs of private medical treatment for curable short-term illness or injury (commonly known as acute conditions). For further advice visit the following websites:-