If you’ve never worked in the UK, you don’t know what your rights are or you don’t even know if you are eligible – finding the right information can be a challenge.
To keep you informed of the facts, here are your rights to work in the UK:
Am I eligible to work in the UK?
You are allowed to work in the UK and therefore do not need to obtain a work permit if any of the following situations apply:
- You are a British citizen
- You are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) – see the list below
- You have Swiss nationality
EEA countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Country – Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
You must also apply for a UK residence permit or prove your right to work in the UK as an EU citizen (for example, a valid UK national insurance number).
What if I am not allowed to work in the UK?
If any of the above settings do not apply or if you are not from one of the countries listed, you must apply for a visa and/or work permit before finding employment in the UK.
If you are not a UK citizen, EEA citizen or Swiss citizen, you may need to apply for a visa to work in the UK.
You must be able to apply for a visa from a British mission abroad in your own country or from the British Embassy.
But keep in mind that having a visa does not necessarily mean that you can work in the UK automatically and that you may also need a work permit to start working.
If you have already found a job in the UK and have been hired to work, or if you have a visa but are prohibited from working, you may need a work permit.
You cannot directly apply for a work permit. Your UK employer must apply on your behalf. The duration of your permit depends on the type of work you do and the type of permit issued.
Do I need to be sponsored to apply for a visa?
To apply for most work visas, you usually first need to get a job with the sponsorship of an employer in the UK.
However, you can apply for a Level 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa without sponsorship if you:
- You want to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years
- Are between 18 and 30 years old
- Save £ 1,890Have certain types of British nationality or come from certain countries
- Meet the other conditions of participation
What jobs am I entitled to?
It depends on the individual employer, the type of role and your relevant skills and experience.
Although some organizations are allowed to sponsor temporary and / or permanent employees to work in their company, not all of them can.
If you would like to know if the position is suitable for EU, EEA and Commonwealth citizens or for applicants outside these areas, see the job description or contact the employer directly.