UK Work Permit

The UK Work Permit, also known as the Tier 2 (General) Work Visa, is a crucial document that enables skilled foreign workers to live and work in the United Kingdom. Administered by the UK government, this permit allows employers in the UK to hire non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to fill specific roles that cannot be filled by a resident workforce. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key aspects of the UK Work Permit, including eligibility criteria, application process, and the privileges it offers to successful applicants.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a UK Work Permit, prospective applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Job Offer: Applicants must have a valid job offer from a UK employer who holds a sponsor license. The job offer must be for a skilled role that meets the skill level and salary requirements set by the UK government.

  2. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): The UK employer must issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the applicant. The CoS is a unique reference number that confirms the job offer and the specific details of the employment.

  3. Appropriate Salary: The offered salary must meet the minimum salary threshold defined by the UK government for the specific occupation.

  4. English Language Proficiency: Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency at the required level, usually by passing an approved English language test.

  5. Maintenance Funds: Applicants must show that they have enough money to support themselves and any dependents without relying on public funds.

Application Process

The application process for a UK Work Permit involves the following steps:

  1. Sponsorship by Employer: The UK employer, who is willing to hire the foreign worker, must first apply for a sponsor license from the UK Home Office. Once the license is obtained, the employer issues a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to the applicant.

  2. Online Application: The applicant then submits an online application, providing all the necessary documents, including the CoS, proof of qualifications, English language proficiency, and financial capacity.

  3. Biometric Appointment: In most cases, applicants are required to attend a biometric appointment to provide their fingerprints and photograph.

  4. Decision and Visa Issuance: The application is processed, and if approved, the applicant is granted a UK Work Permit (Tier 2 Visa) for the duration specified in the CoS.

Privileges of UK Work Permit Holders

Holders of a UK Work Permit enjoy several privileges, including:

  1. Work Authorization: Work Permit holders are allowed to work in the UK for the sponsoring employer in the specified job role.

  2. Residence: Work Permit holders can live in the UK for the duration of their employment as specified in the CoS.

  3. Family Reunion: In some cases, Work Permit holders can bring their dependents (spouse/partner and children) to join them in the UK.

  4. Public Services: Work Permit holders can access public services, such as healthcare and education, on the same basis as UK citizens.

Renewal and Settlement

The UK Work Permit has a limited duration, usually linked to the length of the employment contract. Before the permit expires, individuals may apply for an extension, provided they still meet the eligibility criteria.

After residing in the UK for a specified period (usually five years) on a Work Permit or other eligible visas, individuals may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), granting them permanent residence in the UK without immigration restrictions.


The UK Work Permit (Tier 2 Visa) provides skilled foreign workers with an excellent opportunity to work in the United Kingdom, contributing their expertise to the UK economy while gaining valuable experience. By understanding the eligibility criteria and the application process, individuals can navigate the path to obtaining a UK Work Permit successfully. With the privileges it offers, the UK Work Permit serves as a stepping stone for many foreign nationals to build a stable and fulfilling career in the UK.


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