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Do You Need Permission to Work in UK?

Before working in the UK, you should make sure that it is alright (in this case, it means legal) for you to do so. You wouldn’t want to be deported because authorities find you working illegally, as this may mean a lifelong black mark on your name. Do get the necessary information on whether or not you are allowed to work, and what you need to get the right paperwork to make it legal. (Contract Types in UK Job Market)

Your employer will need to know if it is legal for you to work in the UK and whether you need permission. You will need to show proof of your right to work.

Who can work in the UK?

If you want to come to the UK to work, whether you can do so depends on who you are. Unless you’re a British citizen or a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you may need a visa before you travel here.

If you have to get a visa, you’ll need to be cleared by officials at a British Overseas Mission in your country of origin. Once cleared, the entry clearance certificate, or visa, will be put into your passport or travel document.

Accession state workers

If you’re from one of the new European Union member states, or ‘accession’, states you may need permission from the UK Border Agency to work in the UK. (How to Get a Job in UK)

If you are a national of one of the states which joined the EU in 2004, you may be subject to the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS). This affects nationals from the following countries (the A8 countries):
• Poland
• Lithuania
• Estonia
• Latvia
• Slovenia
• Slovakia
• Hungary
• The Czech Republic

However, you don’t need to register to work in the UK if you are:
• self-employed
• from Cyprus or Malta

As an agency or temporary worker you’ll need to register to work within a month of starting work.

If you are a national of one of the states which joined the EU in 2007 you may be subject to worker authorisation requirements. This affects nationals from the following countries (A2 countries):
• Bulgaria
• Romania

Unless exempt, nationals from Bulgaria or Romania require authorisation from the UK Border Agency before undertaking any employment in the UK.

You do not need authorisation if you are self-employed.


If you’re an international student you may not need permission to work here when you’re studying. If your home country is in the EEA, or you’re a Swiss national, you can work without restrictions on the type or amount of work you do unless you are a national of an accession state (a new EU Member state). If you are a student from an A2 country you will need permission from the UK Border Agency to work. You will be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week and full time during vacations or if you are on a vocational course. If you are a student from an A8 country and you wish to work you should check whether you need to register the work with the Worker Registration Scheme.

Otherwise, you should check the visa stamp in your passport. If it says ‘prohibited’ you can’t work in the UK. If it grants you leave to enter or remain in the UK as a student, you can work here provided you:
• don’t work more than 20 hours a week during term time, unless the employment is part of your studies or is an internship
• don’t engage in business, are not self-employed and don’t provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer
• don’t take a permanent full-time position

Points-based system

If you want to work in the UK, you must apply under the new points-based system. If you are not from an EEA country or Switzerland, you’re likely to need to apply under one of these tiers to work here.

There are five tiers within the points-based system:
• tier 1 - highly skilled workers
• tier 2 - skilled workers with a job offer
• tier 3 - low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labour shortages
• tier 4 - students
• tier 5 - youth mobility and temporary workers

Tier 1 of the new points-based system was introduced earlier this year. You should apply under this tier if you are a highly skilled worker, entrepreneur, investor or post-study worker and you want to come or extend your stay in the United Kingdom. This applies if you are here now under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme which closed when tier 1 was introduced.

Tiers 2 and 5 were opened for migrants on 27 November 2008. If you wish to enter the UK via these routes you must have a Certificate of Sponsorship provided by an organisation granted a sponsorship licence by the UK Border Agency. You will then use this as part of your application to work. You will also need to provide evidence of meeting other criteria which will earn you points towards your application.

Tier 3, the route for low-skilled workers is currently suspended. The points-based system route for students, tier 4 will be introduced in 2009.

What proof an employer will need

If you’re from an EEA country, you’ll need to show a prospective employer your passport, national identity card or Home Office registration certificate, or if you are from an A2 or A8 country and need permission to work from the UK Border Agency your work document.

Employers can face unlimited fines if they employ illegal workers, so they need to make sure that no one they employ is working in the UK illegally. However, to protect themselves against discrimination laws they should treat all job applicants equally. So don’t be offended if you’re asked to prove your nationality, as even UK nationals will be asked to provide proof.

Whether you’ll be caught should be your least of worries, and therefore you should make sure your being employed is legal in the UK. Imagine worrying all the time if you’ll get caught and deported — your concentration and dedication to work may be slashed because of your anxiety.

Source: Direct

UK Jobs


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