UK Work Visa from Ireland

If you permanently and legally reside in Ireland but are not an Irish citizen, it will require a specific work permit valid in the UK.

If you have any questions regarding the UK Work Visa as an Irish resident, you can contact our expert immigration lawyers to discuss any concerns you may have, or for some help navigating the application process. You can call us on +353 (0) 61 518 025, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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    Common Travel Area

    The UK is a highly sought-after destination for people to gain employment, including Irish citizens. With an impressive and market-oriented economy, the UK offers jobs from varied industries, great working conditions, and high salaries for Irish citizens.

    Irish citizens can move to the UK for a job freely, due to the long withstanding agreement between the UK government and Irish governments, which permits citizens to freely work, live, study and reside without immigration obstruction. It is called the “Common Travel Area.” As such, Irish citizens and British citizens do not need any immigration control that citizens from other countries need to do to obtain employment in the UK.

    However, residents in Ireland who are not citizens, such as those who hold long-term residency status, may require a UK work visa if they wish to work in the UK.

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    Who is eligible for a UK work permit?

    As per UK law, people who are not British and Irish citizens, including people who live in the European Union, are allowed to visit the UK for up to 6 months without needing a UK visa.

    According to UK immigration law and immigration rules, during those six months, UK visitors can travel, spend time with family members, undertake short-term study, attend job interviews, events and conferences.

    Irish citizens do not require any applications for a work permit to live and work in the UK. This is due to free movement, protected by the Common Travel Area for Irish citizens. The Common Travel Area permits Irish nationals to public funds, social housing, employment, and more. This includes the citizens of Northern Ireland. As such, both Irish and British citizens in the UK have the same rights as each other. They have permanent immigration permission.

    Anyone who doesn’t fit into these categories, however, such as non-Irish citizens living in Ireland wishing to work long-term in the UK, must apply for a UK work visa.

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    Points-Based Immigration System

    Those who need a UK work visa must apply online, through the UK immigration points-based system according to UK immigration law. There are varied eligibility criteria that are associated with the different visas, including work permits/visas.

    With the point system, the idea is that it allows UK employers to obtain highly skilled workers for their company/business. Various accomplishments garner points and 70 points are needed to be eligible for a work permit. For example, a job offer from an approved sponsor is 20 points and English proficiency is 10 points.

    Within the point-based system, there are some mandatory fields and others are not mandatory. The mandatory are:

    • Job offer from an approved sponsor in the UK
    • Job at an appropriate level
    • English proficiency (depending on country origin)

    Not mandatory elements:

    • An annual Salary of £23,040 to £38,700 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)
    • An annual salary of £38,700 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher)
    • A job in an industry that has a shortage as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee
    • Holding a Ph.D. in a subject relevant to the job
    • Holding a Ph.D. in a STEM subject relevant to the job

    As such, in most cases, to be eligible to come and work in the UK, you’ll need a confirmed job offer from an approved sponsor, or to be in an existing role and transferred to your company’s UK branch.

    Types of Work Visas available to work in the UK

    There are a lot of different work visas, for both short and long-term stays.

    The right visa will much depend on:

    • Your specific set of skills and qualifications
    • Whether or not you have a job offer or sponsorship
    • The type of work you’ll be doing
    • How long do you want to be in the UK
    • Whether you want to bring your family members with you to the UK
    • Irish citizens do not need visas
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    Long-term work visas in the UK

    Below is the non-exhaustive list of options available to work in the UK.

    • Skilled Worker Visa: This visa allows its 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 renewal is needed. To be able to get this visa you must have a confirmed job offer. 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.
    • Intra-company – Transfer or Graduate Trainee: these visas are reserved for people who are being transferred, therefore allowing you to live, stay in the UK and work at your employer’s UK branch.
    • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility): There’s also an intra-company visa reserved for recent graduate trainees being transferred as part of a programme for managerial or specialist roles. Similar to the Skilled Worker visa, for an Intra-company Transfer visa, one would need to work in a qualifying role and be paid at least £48,500 and at least £25,410 for an Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility) visa. The time frame allotted for each visa will be dependent on your salary and whether you’re being transferred as a graduate trainee or not.
    • Health and Care Worker visa: is a visa reserved for medical professionals to work an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care. You can stay up to 5 years before renewing. You’ll need a valid job offer and there’s a minimum salary that you need to be paid, but this depends on the type of job you’ll be doing.
    • Minister of Religion visa (T2): is a visa reserved for workers that work jobs in the faith community, so ministers, members of an order, missionaries, etc that hold a valid job offer. This visa grants you just over 3 months in the UK.

    For all these long-term visas, you’ll need to work in an eligible role and obtain a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your Home Office-approved employer. This certificate is an electronic record, and each certificate has a unique number that the worker uses for the visa application.

    These three long-term visas permit bringing family members (i.e. a spouse or your children) with you to the UK.

     

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      Temporary or short term work visas available in the UK

      Temporary or short term work visas available in the UK include the following:

      • Seasonal Worker: a temporary visa for people wanting to come to the UK to do varied farm work, or drive heavy good vehicles to transport food for up to 6 months. To be eligible you’ll need to be 18 or over and hold a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from a UK sponsor.
      • Graduate: a temporary visa granting allowance to work in the UK for up to 2 years after completing a course in the UK, or up to 3 years for 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.
      • Creative and Sporting: is a visa reserved for people working in creative industry professionals such as paid actors, dancers, musicians, and elite sportspeople with valid work offer to come and work in the UK for up to 12 months.

      Other UK visas to consider

      Other visas available include:

      • Innovator visa: a work visa that is reserved for people who wish to go to the UK to establish and run their “innovative business.” This business has to be deemed unique and 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: A work visa reserved for people who can prove they have a grandparent(s) that were born in the UK, be 17 years or older, and intend to work while in the UK.

      Holders of this visa may stay in the UK for 5 years on this visa, before the ability to renew. Again, Irish citizens do not need any visa to move to the UK.

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        How to apply for a UK work permit?

        After selecting the visa for your specific needs and circumstance, you’ll be able to apply and pay for it online via the UK government website, which also provides further information. The earliest one can apply, typically, is approximately 3 months before the job you have is due to begin.

        Each visa has a unique list of required documents and proof of identification that you’ll need to provide.

        Some countries will be permitted to go to an appointment at their local visa application centre to confirm their identity with a valid passport, valid identification like a driving licence, whereas other citizens can do it online using the UK Immigration: ID check.

        Generally, for applications from outside the UK, the waiting time for a decision is usually about 3 weeks for work visas.

        What are the fees associated with a UK work permit?

        The costs associated with applying for the right to work in the UK differ depending on the visa or permit. For example:

        • Skilled Worker: Application fee is between £719 to £1,636 per person (or less if the occupation is on the job shortage list) with a yearly access healthcare payment of £1,035 per year and saving of £1,270 per person
        • Intra Company Transfer: Application is between £719 to £1,636 with a health care payment of £1,035 per year and proof of saving at a minimum of £1,270 per person.
        • Health care worker: Application is between £284 – £551 per person and proof of saving at a minimum of £1,270 per person

        Irish citizens won’t have any fees besides standing moving fees, like a flight, housing, etc.

        How can Total Law help?

        For Irish residents and citizens of other countries, UK work visas are an important way to gain entry into the UK and settle there.

        If you require any additional help with obtaining your UK work visa, Total Law can help.

        We are expert immigration lawyers dedicated to helping you with your case, whatever it may be. Whether you’re looking to apply for a UK work visa but unsure of which one is right for you, need extra assistance with putting together your application, or anything else, we can help.

        Call us today on +353 (0) 61 518 025, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Many categories of visas permit you to bring family members to the UK with you. Family members are defined as your legal spouse, civil partner, and/or children(s) 18 years.

                  It does not permit you to bring other family members such as parents, or grandparents.

                  When/if granted a visa, the rules will state if family members can come with you.

                  Irish citizens may have to apply to bring the family to the UK if their family member is not also an Irish citizen.

                  If you do not use your Certificate of Sponsorship before the expiry, you will need a new certificate and pay the fee associated. Irish citizens do not need a certificate of sponsorship.

                  Yes, as Irish citizens benefit from the long withstanding agreement between the UK government and Irish government they hold the right to freely work, live, study and reside without immigration obstruction in either country.

                  It is regarded as the “Common Travel Area.” Irish citizens who move to the UK have the same rights as British citizens.