Can I get lawyers to apply for a work permit on my behalf?

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Visa nationals and non-visa nationals

The UK Borders Agency makes a distinction between visa nationals and non-visa nationals.

A visa national needs permission to enter the UK for any purpose, including to visit, study or work, and must obtain a visa, such as a work visa.

Lawyers working in immigration will make applications on behalf of the applicant to the British Embassy or High Commission in the nearest country to which they are a national. A list of the countries whose nationals are visa nationals is contained within the Immigration Rules which provides the majority of rules on immigration into the UK.

Non-visa nationals are different in that they are able to come to the UK as a visitor for up to six months, although they will also need a visa if they intend to stay in the UK for longer than six months, or if their stay is for any other reason than a visit. This can include work, in which case they will need to obtain a work visa.

Obtaining a work permit

Work permits are no longer the correct terminology for the visas granted by the UK Borders Agency; the relevant visa will now be under the Tier 1 or Tier 2 schemes. Tier 2 workers are roughly equivalent to workers who previously held a work permit. Solicitors will advise that to come to the UK under Tier 2 means that you will require a sponsor: a job offer from an employer.

These points-based schemes require you to obtain sufficient points in different categories, such as education level, previous earnings or funds available to you. For the most up-to-date information on the new system, visit our pages on Tier 1 and Tier 2 immigration schemes and the new points-based system.

Settlement in the UK

Lawyers can assist you in working out the best type of visa for you to use to enter or stay in the country. If you have already been in the UK for five years and have been working with permission in the form of a work permit, then you may need assistance in applying for settlement in the UK.

The settlement application is costly and for this reason it is important to ensure that you get your application right the first time, particularly if you think that there may be some complex aspects of your application.

Lawyers will advise on the completion of the relevant forms, the evidence you need to send with your application and the applicable fees. If you want to know the most up-to-date fee information, including incidental costs, you can get this information from immigration lawyers.

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Important information

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