When the UK was still a member of the European Union (EU), citizens from Europe could travel to the country without restrictions. However, free movement between the European Union and the UK ended after the UK left EU on 31 January 2020.
A points-based system for immigration was put in place. This system preferred talent and skill over nationality. Now, European citizens will not automatically get a work visa, unless they have the required skillset and qualifications.
Now you must meet proper requirements if you wish to obtain a work visa from Europe to UK. There are a few exceptions. If you became a resident of the UK before 31 December 2020 or enjoy withdrawal agreement rights, you don’t have to take the current route for a work visa.
To obtain a work visa from Europe to UK, you must clear many rounds and checks. For instance, the authorities will conduct criminality checks on you to ascertain your character. All these checks and tests are part of the points-based immigration system.
Before we begin, please check if you qualify under the European Union Settlement Scheme. If you qualify under the scheme, you need not take the points-based route.
Applying for a Work Visa from Europe to UK
The points-based immigration is a flexible and simple system which allows skilled workers to obtain a work visa from Europe to UK. To check eligibility and apply for visa, visit the official UK government website.
For most applicants, the work immigration process is entirely digital. The application process goes like this:
- Identity verification: Download and use the app ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ on your smartphone.
- Create an account on the app under UKVI (UK Visas and immigration).
- Upload your biometric passport.
- For whatever reason if you cannot do this digitally, visit a Visa Application Centre. You may be asked to carry some specific documents with you.
Getting Your Decision
If your application is successfully approved, you will get access to ‘View and Prove Service’. This allows you to check the status of your immigration (eVisa). The feature also lets you know your rights in the country. You can also use this feature to prove your status to the employer, landlord etc. To do this, the app will generate a ‘share code’ which allows others to view your eVisa for a limited period.
To finish your application, ensure you have paid your application fee. The exact fee amount varies between visa routes. Check the official UK government site for more details. Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, the application processing time will vary as well.
Obtaining a Skilled Worker Visa from Europe to UK
- Your job offer comes from a Home Office employer that is licenced and approved.
- The offer stands at the skill level that is required. A formal degree or qualification is not compulsory. But your skill set should match the level of skill necessary for the job.
- Your spoken English is at least at the intermediate level (B1).
- You receive the relevant minimum salary by your sponsor employer. The minimum salary must be at least £25,600.
You can still be eligible for a skilled worker visa if you earn less than £25,600 but more than £20,480. However, to do so you must prove that:
- You job offer comes from an occupation which is in shortage.
- You have earned a PhD in a job-relevant subject.
- You have earned a PhD in one of the STEM fields (short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). But the PhD subject must be related to the job.
- You are applying at the entry level as an entrant. Entrants who are just starting a career will earn 30 per cent less than more experienced workers. But the salary cannot be less than £20,480.
Every eligibility condition or criteria earns you immigration points. You must score 70 points to be able to apply for a skilled worker visa.
Health and Care Work Visa from Europe to UK
If you work in the Health and Care industry, you can obtain a work visa from Europe to UK, if:
- You can speak English well.
- You meet the eligibility criteria of a skilled worker.
- You are employed in an acceptable health profession. You also need a job offer from the National Health Service (NHS) or NHS-affiliated organisations and employers. The job offer can also be from an eligible social care sector.
Dependants are the family members of a skilled worker, like: spouses, partners and children. It is possible a European may not qualify as a dependent under the points-based system or EU settlement scheme. In that case, they must apply under the family immigration rules which are applicable to all non-European citizens.
Obtaining a Global Talents Work Visa from Europe to UK
Individuals of great achievement don’t require a job offer to apply for a global talents visa from Europe to UK. This applies to people who have made great contributions to the world of science, humanities, art etc.
Endorsement by a Home Office-approved UK body is necessary to obtain this visa. The endorsing body will verify your expertise before your visa application. You can approach the following bodies for endorsement:
- For science and medicine: The Royal Society
- For engineering: The Royal Academy of Engineering
- For humanities: The British Academy
- For research: UK Research and Innovation
- For digital technology: Tech Nation
- For arts and culture: Arts Council England
Obtaining an Innovator and Start-up Work Visa from Europe to UK
To obtain the start-up visa, you must be willing to start a new business in the UK. You will have to find employment to support yourself while working on your business venture. Innovator visa is applicable to experienced individuals who possess at least £50,000 in funding.
Before applying for either, you must have an endorsing body’s support. Such bodies will assess if the start-up idea has potential. They also monitor the start-up’s growth and progression.