Here at SearchDATA Group we get many capable and skilled candidates applying for roles. Unfortunately, many of these desirable candidates are foreign nationals and do not have the right to work in the UK.
The right to work in the UK is already a confusing minefield of information and misinformation, leaving applicants unsure of how to proceed. Throw in the UK’s recent departure from the EU and things get even more difficult to understand.
In this blog we want to share with you the facts in an understandable and digestible form on how to establish of you have the right to work in the UK and if not, how you can secure a UK employment visa.
Are you eligible to work in the UK?
If you fall into the following three categories, then you are eligible to work in the UK without the need of an employment Visa.
1. You are a British citizen.
2. You are a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen and have worked in the UK before 31st December 2020.
3. You are a Swiss national who worked in the UK before 31st December 2020.
Don’t fall into one of the above categories?
If you don’t fall into the categories mentioned above then don’t worry you may still be able to work in the UK but before you can you will need to apply for a UK employment visa.
If you are here it’s probably because you work in the IT industry so let’s assess the most common work visas associated with that business sector.
1. Highly qualified foreigners – Global Talent Visa
This is the new UK programme for attracting exceptional talent into the UK and formally replaced the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa in February 2020.
The Global Talent Visa offers up to 5 years of work in the UK without the need of a sponsor or job offer if the candidate is a “leader or potential leader” in the field of digital technology.
This visa offers the unlimited renewal, and the holder can change jobs without notifying the immigration authorities.
2. Skilled foreign workers with a job offer in a shortage area – Tier 2 (General) Visa/ Skilled Worker Visa
The skilled worker visa is part of the British Points Based System. If you are highly skilled worker with a job offer in a shortage area and are from outside the EEA and Switzerland, then this is the visa for you.
Applicants must have a proof of a job offer from a licensed sponsor in the UK to apply.
3. Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa
The Tier 2 Intra-Company Visa is available to skilled workers working for a multinational company in a foreign country. Applicants must have at least 1 year of work experience in such a company and are being transferred to work in a UK branch.
4. Indefinite Leave to Remain
If you are a non-EEA citizen and have spent a certain amount of time living in the UK then you may be granted Indefinite Leave the Remain settlement status.
This allows the person to live, work and study in the UK without any restrictions and is essential to naturalisation and British Citizenship status applications.
ILR is generally granted after 5 years of legal residence in the UK but is subject to stipulations such as the original visa you were granted and your current living situation.
We hope this has helped you to assess your current situation a little better and given you a better idea of how to proceed with your visa application.
For a full list of EEA countries please visit
For full information on EU and EEA UK working rights please visit
For full details on UK visas please visit
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