How easy is it to live and work in the UK?

September 14, 2023

There are many options available to people who wish to work or live in the UK. Each case will depend on the individual circumstances. If you are from the EEA (European Economic Area) then you can move freely to the UK without having to apply for a visa. There is a free movement of people between EEA member states.  If you are not from the EEA, then it is likely you will need a visa to live and work in the UK.

The UK government use a points based system when considering visa applications from individuals outside the EEA who wish to work in the UK.  If you intend to come to the UK to work, you must either fit the criteria for a Tier 1 or a Tier 2 visa. There is set eligibility criteria but the starting point is that you must have an offer of employment (certificate of sponsorship) from a UK organisation). If you are coming as an entrepreneur with money to invest then obviously you do not need an offer of employment.  Before starting any application, it is important to review your options to ensure you are applying for the correct work visa. 


Most work visa applications are submitted online. Before submitting the application, the applicant should have all the required supporting documents ready, once the application is submitted and the fee paid, some applicants will need to undertake an English language test (if English is not their first language) and attend a biometrics appointment.


Processing times vary and applications can be delayed if there is missing information or documentation. As a general rule the applications are usually processed within 10 weeks from the date of submitting the application.

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With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.