- What are the eligibility requirements for Canadian citizens wanting to work in the UK?
- What are the work visas available for Canadians?
- Long-term UK visas
- Temporary worker and short term UK work visas
- Other available UK work visas
- How can interested Canadians apply for a UK work visa?
- What are the required documents for a UK work visa?
- What are the fees for a UK work permit?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are the eligibility requirements for Canadian citizens wanting to work in the UK?
To meet the very strict requirements for a UK work visa, which includes working in Northern Ireland, you must first be a Canadian citizen that is living outside of the UK when you make your work visa application.
Eligibility requirements may include having a job offer from a Home Office-approved sponsor, as well as meeting minimum financial requirements.
Some work visas may also require you to have certain qualifications or be specialists in certain industries.
What are the work visas available for Canadians?
You will need to pick the right work visa before you move to the UK. Work visas are broken down into four specific visas:
- Short-term work visas
- Long-term work visas
- Investor, business development, and talent visas
- Other work visas
There are certain folks who do not need to apply for UK visas before they move to the UK. These people include:
- Political diplomats
- Overseas government ministers going the UK to perform official business
- Members of Commonwealth or Overseas Territories armed forces who are posted to the UK
- Professionals working as a head of state
The skills which determine the right visa type will depend on:
- Your qualifications, if you’re a skilled worker
- Whether or not you have a job offer, sponsorship, skilled job
- The type of work you’ll be doing
- How long you would like to stay in the UK
- Whether you want to bring your family members with you to the UK
Long-term UK visas
Some long-term UK visas may require the intended employer grant a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ (CoS) to the applicant. CoS’s are an electronic record, with a unique number that the applicants use for the visa application on the application form.
Furthermore, it should be noted that long-term visas allow dependent family members (i.e. a spouse or your dependent children) to join you in the UK.
Skilled Worker Visa
This visa permits holders to live or stay in the UK, and work in a qualifying role with an approved employer/sponsor. The visa lasts for up to 5 years before a UK visa renewal is required. To get this visa, you have to have a confirmed, valid job offer that is approved by the British government. The role must also be in an eligible occupation, and you’ll need to be paid a minimum salary specific to the type of work you’ll be doing.
Health and Care Worker
This is a visa reserved for medical professionals who would like to work an eligible job with the National Health Service, an National Health service supplier, or within adult social care. This visa allows 5 years in the UK before renewing. To get this visa, you need a valid job offer and there’s a minimum salary which will depend on the type of job you’ll be doing.
Intra-company – Transfer or Graduate Trainee
These UK visas are reserved for people who are being transferred from overseas, therefore allowing you to live, stay and work at your employer’s UK branch at the UK offices. The intra-company visa is reserved for recent graduate trainees who are being transferred as part of a programme for managerial or specialist roles.
The Minister of Religion visa (T2)
This UK visa is reserved for Canadians who work within the faith community, such as ministers, members of an order, missionaries, etc that hold a valid job offer. This visa grants you just over 3 years in the UK.
Temporary worker and short term UK work visas
Short-term work visas permit entry authorization to the UK on a temporary basis. Depending upon the visa and immigration status, applicants can get between 6 months – 12 months to work in their job in the UK.
Creative and Sporting
For people working within the creative industry professionals including paid actors, dancers, musicians or elite athletes with valid work offers to come and work in the UK for up to 12 months.
This is a temporary visa for people to come to the UK in order to do varied work on farms or drive heavy goods vehicles to transport food for a period of up to 6 months. For this UK work visa, applicants need to be 18 years or over and have a valid ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from a UK sponsor licence.
This temporary UK work visa grants holders the chance to work in the UK for up to 2 years after completing an educational course in the UK, or up to 3 years for a Ph.D. or other doctoral qualification.
The completed course must be either a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or another eligible course. A graduate visa must be applied for before the student visa expires. This visa has the possibility of extension/renewal and requires a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from a UK sponsor licence.
Other available UK work visas
This work visa is for people who want to work in the UK in order to establish and run an innovative business. To be eligible, the business has to be deemed unique and truly stand out from the market. The visa applicant must be 18 or older and it permits you to stay for 3 years, before the ability to renew.
UK Ancestry visa
This work visa is reserved for people who can prove they have at least one grandparent that was born in the UK. Applicants must be 17 years or older and intend to work while in the UK. Holders of this visa may stay in the UK for up to five years on this visa, before the ability to renew.
Youth Mobility Visa
The Youth Mobility Scheme visa is available for young people aged 18 – 30 who wish to live, work and travel in the UK for up to two years.
A full list of all work visas available in the UK can be found on the UK government website.
How can interested Canadians apply for a UK work visa?
After determining which UK work visa fits your specific needs and circumstances, you will then be able to apply for it online via the UK government visa page.
Typically, the earliest that a Canadian citizen can complete the online application form is 3 months before the job in the UK is due to start. One can browse job boards for recognized workplaces to try and get a job offer in the first instance from Canada.
Depending on the visa category, each has a list of required documents needed for the application and proof of identification that applications are required to provide.
After a Canadian citizen applies online for their UK visa from Canada they must wait around 3 weeks for a decision.
How Can Total Law Help?
The UK offers a huge variety of potential work visas for Canadians wishing to immigrate.
However, the range of eligibility criteria for each may be overwhelming when choosing which one to apply for.
If you require any additional assistance with your UK work visa application, however, Total Law is here to help.
We are a team of expert immigration advisers fully committed to helping you move to the UK and obtain the right work visa for you. Whether you need extra advice on the application process, the eligibility criteria for your chosen work visa, or practical advice on how to make the immigration process from Canada easier, we can help.
Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.
What are the required documents for a UK work visa?
Each visa type requires different documents. In general, you can expect to submit documents such as the following:
- Certificate of the sponsorship reference number, which will be provided by your employer
- Proof of personal savings, like bank statements, showing you can financially support yourself in the UK
- A valid Canadian passport, with at least one blank page, or travel document that shows your identity and nationality
- Any expired but valid passports/travel documents to show your travel history
- Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)
All documents need to be submitted in English or Welsh. Some Canadian citizens may have documents in French, so they must be translated by an approved translator first.
What are the fees for a UK work permit?
The costs for the right to work in the UK will be different depending on the visa category you are applying for. Some visa fees costs are as follows:
- The Skilled Worker visa application costs between £610 (1,046.11 Canadian Dollars) – £1,408 (2,414.64 Canadian Dollars) per person with an additional payment towards the immigration health surcharge payment of £624 (1,070.12 Canadian Dollar) per year
- The Intra Company Transfer visa application costs between £610 (1,046.11 Canadian Dollars) to £1,408 (2,414.64 Canadian Dollars) with an immigration health surcharge of £624 per year and proof of saving at a minimum of £1,270 (2,177.72 Canadian Dollar)
- Health care worker visa application is between £232 (397.82 Canadian Dollar) – £464 (795.64 Canadian Dollars) per person plus a bank statement showing savings of £1,270 ((2,177.72 Canadian Dollar)
There may be additional fees for biometric information and biometric testing in order to get a biometric residence permit.
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Yes, this is an important step and one must have a job offer before you apply for a UK work permit. In addition, the UK company that is sponsoring must have a valid sponsor license. To get a valid sponsor license, the company should first check if their business is eligible, then ensure the job is suitable for sponsorship, apply for the right license, select a person to be the liaison at the company and pay the fees.
A Tier 2 UK work permit is an employer-specific work permit for professionals, executives, or highly skilled persons and there’s no age limit.
The Youth Mobility Scheme visa allows young any Canadian citizen aged between 17-30 years to go to the UK for a maximum of two years.