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On the average, about 1.5 million non-EU foreigners work in the UK every year and there are a lot of Africans especially Nigerians who dream of working and residing in the UK for a period of time. If you are part of the many who have this dream, then this article is for you as it is targeted at giving you details on getting a work visa, what type of visa to get and the other things involved in the process.
There are two types of work visas for the UK and these two types have their categories. The types are the Tier 2 visa and the Tier 5 visa.
Tier 2 Visa
The Tier 2 visa is usually applied for by those who have been offered a skilled job in the UK and those who are outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This visa allows a maximum stay of 5 years and 14 days. Those on this visa are not allowed to go into the UK earlier than the 14 days scheduled in their certificate of sponsorship.
For this visa, there are validity options: there is the Tier 2 General that lasts up to 3 years. The second is the Tier 2 General (up to 3 years) for shortage occupation i.e. a skilled job where there is a shortage of workers in the UK. The third one is Tier 2 General that lasts more than 3 years and the fourth is the Tier 2 General that lasts more than 3 years and is for shortage occupation.
The Certificate of Sponsorship is a certificate issued by your potential employer who is also your sponsor in the UK. You are to ensure that the work you do is provided for at the employing company. In a case where you want to extend your stay, you can apply for that some months before the expiration of your visa.
Tier 5 Visa
The Tier 5 visa is issued to temporary workers. These temporary workers visas are in categories which include the Charity Workers visa, Creative and Sporting visa, Government Authorised Exchange visa, International Agreement visa, Religious workers visa and Youth Mobility Scheme visa.
The Tier 5 visa allows a stay of 12 -24 months. Note that the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme is for young people to experience life and work for up to two years in the UK and it does not require a sponsor or a specific job offer since the young person is sponsored by his or her own Government.
Getting The Work Visa
Applying for the UK work visa starts from the employer applying for the worker’s work permit as this grants the worker permanent residency for the period of time they would be working in the country. The employer can only do this after it has been certified that the employer is licensed.
After knowing what kind of visa you need to get, all you have to do is apply for the visa online and get it printed out. Then you are expected to have booked an appointment with the embassy during the application process and note the date of the embassy interview you have been given. You would also need to prepare well for the interview.
Documents needed for application
- A current passport with a validity of 10 years within the application period and at least two blank pages for stamps.
- A 2×2 passport-sized photograph following the necessary requirements for UK passport photos.
- Proof that you can meet the maintenance funds requirements for their visa (such as bank statements etc).
- A clear tuberculosis (TB) test result letter.
- A signed and detailed letter explaining the purpose of travel to the UK.
- Travel medical insurance that covers the entire duration of your stay.
- An original marriage certificate is required if you are married and would be travelling with your spouse.
- An appointment letter from a credible organization in the UK.
- A Certificate of Sponsorship from the organization of employment.
The visa fee for a Work Visa to the UK is £ 348.
The time it takes to process the UK work visa can span between 10-20 working days.