UK Work Visa From Pakistan

Many Pakistani citizens choose to pursue work in the UK. There are a wide range of UK work visas, and the exact route which is best for you will depend on numerous factors, such as the type of work which you wish to perform.

Applying for a UK work visa can be a lengthy and confusing process. At Total Law, we are adept at offering high-quality legal assistance with cases exactly like this. Contact us today on 0333 305 9375 to learn more about our services and to receive bespoke immigration advice.

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    UK Work Visas For Pakistani Citizens: Overview

    If you are a citizen of Pakistan, it is likely that you will require a work visa in order to work in the UK. There is a wide range of UK work visas available, and the route which is best for you depends on a range of factors, including how long you wish to live in the UK, whether you eventually intend to permanently settle, and the field in which you work.

    Some work visas allow you to stay in the UK for a number of years and to eventually obtain permanent residence, such as the Skilled Worker visa. Others allow you to work in the UK for a few months on a temporary work visa, such as the Seasonal Worker visa.

    This article outlines some of the work visas which you might choose to pursue as a Pakistani citizen.

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    Types of UK Work Visas and Eligibility Requirements

    Overview

    The UK has a wide range of work visas, each with different conditions and rules attached. This section gives an overview of some of the main work visa routes which you might pursue as a Pakistani citizen and the eligibility criteria you must satisfy in order to apply for them. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, it gives an insight into the types of UK work visa available.

    The visas described in this section all allow the holder to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months. Temporary visas, which allow the holder to stay in the UK for up to 6 months, will be discussed in the next section.

    Skilled Worker visa

    This visa allows its holder to perform eligible jobs in the UK with an approved employer. Whilst the specific eligibility criteria depend on the job in question, the general eligibility criteria for this visa type are as follows:

    • You must have a confirmed job offer when you start your application
    • The job offer should be from a Home Office-approved UK employer
    • You must have received an official ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your prospective employer in which the details of the role are outlined
    • The prospective job should be from the list of eligible occupations
    • You must have sufficient proficiency in the English language
    • The job itself must pay the minimum eligible salary, which will vary depending on the field of your job

    Health and Care Worker visa

    Health care worker visa type is intended to allow care workers to work in the UK, either for the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in an adult social care capacity. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • Have a confirmed job offer when you start your visa application
    • Be qualified as a doctor, nurse, healthcare professional, or adult social care professional
    • Have been offered an eligible healthcare or social care position
    • The employer must have been approved by the Home Office
    • The job must pay the minimum eligible salary, which will depend on the role in question

    Senior or Specialist Worker visa

    This visa type is intended to allow you to come to the UK in order to work for the UK branch of your foreign employer. If you work for a Pakistani company which has a UK branch, you may be eligible for this visa.

    The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You must already be an employee of the company in question, and the company must have been approved as a sponsor by the Home Office
    • You must have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer, which lists the details of the role which you would be performing
    • The job must be on the list of eligible occupations
    • The job must pay at least £45,800 a year

    Graduate visa

    The Graduate visa allows you to work in the UK for at least 2 years after graduating from a UK university course. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You must still be in the UK
    • You must currently hold either a Student visa or a Tier 4 (General) Student visa
    • You must have received a UK Bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or an equivalent qualification
    • Your university or college must have confirmed to the Home Office that you completed your course successfully

    Global Talent visa

    The Global Talent visa allows leaders or potential leaders in certain fields to work in the UK. The fields are as follows: academia and research, arts and culture, and digital technology. In order to be eligible, you will generally need to first have received an official endorsement which proves that you are either a leader or a potential leader in one of the eligible fields. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply without an official endorsement if you have won an eligible award in one of these fields.

    High Potential Individual visa

    This visa allows individuals to work in the UK who have been awarded a qualification by an eligible global university in the last 5 years. The universities which are eligible will depend on when you graduated. Note that UK universities are not eligible under this scheme- if you graduated from a UK university, you should instead consider the Graduate visa.

    The eligibility criteria for the High Potential Individual visa are as follows:

    • You must have graduated from an eligible university (no UK universities are eligible)
    • You must have received a Bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, PhD, or the equivalent from the eligible university
    • You must have sufficient proficiency in the English language
    • You must have sufficient personal savings to support yourself whilst you are in the UK, unless you have already been living in the UK on another visa for at least 12 months

    Note that you do not already need to have received a UK job offer in order to be eligible for this route.

    International Sportsperson visa

    This visa type allows elite sportspeople or coaches to work in the UK. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You are an elite sportsperson or qualified coach and your application is endorsed by the governing body of your particular sport
    • You have an internationally established professional reputation
    • Working in the UK will allow you to develop your sports career at the highest level for your particular sport

    Temporary Work Visas: Eligibility Criteria

    Overview

    As mentioned in the previous section, there are also a number of work visas which authorise the holder to work in the UK on a more temporary basis, generally for up to 6 months. These visas do not provide a route to settling in the UK unless you ultimately switch to an eligible long-term work visa.

    The main temporary UK work visas are as follows:

    Seasonal Worker Visa

    This visa type allows you to work seasonally in the UK in either horticulture (e.g. picking fruit and vegetables) or poultry. You can work in horticulture for up to 6 months per year and in poultry between 2nd October and 31st December. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You must be over 18 years old
    • You must have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK employer
    • You must have the financial means to support yourself whilst in the UK (usually around £1,270 in savings, as of December 2023)

    Government Authorised Exchange Visa

    This visa is intended to allow the holder to come to the UK for a short period of time in order to gain work experience, training, an Overseas Government Language Programme, or to attend another approved scheme. Examples include the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships Plan, the Diplomatic Missions Interns Scheme, and the Foreign Language Assistants Programme.

    In order to be eligible, you must:

    • Be paid at least the minimum wage by your prospective employer
    • Have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK employer
    • Have the financial means to support yourself whilst in the UK (usually around £1,270 in savings, as of December 2023)

    Religious Worker Visa

    This visa type allows you to work in the UK in a short-term capacity in order to perform religious work. The eligibility criteria are as follows:

    • You must be over 18 years old
    • You must have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK employer
    • You must have the financial means to support yourself whilst in the UK (usually around £1,270 in savings, as of December 2023)

    Charity Worker Visa

    Charity Worker visa type allows you to volunteer in the UK in an unpaid capacity. In order to be eligible, you must:

    • Be over 18 years old
    • Have a certificate of sponsorship reference number from your UK employer
    • Have the financial means to support yourself whilst in the UK (usually around £1,270 in savings, as of December 2023)

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      Work Visa Application Process

      The exact application process for your work visa will depend on the particular visa for which you are applying. Generally, however, you will need to complete the following steps.

      First, you will need to fill out the relevant application form in English and submit it online to the government website. You will also need to pay the application fee, which varies depending on the visa for which you are applying.

      You will next need to make an appointment to provide your biometric information. If you are applying from outside the UK, you will need to attend an appointment at your local UK Visa Application Centre in order to have your biometric information collected (your photograph and your fingerprints). In Pakistan, these centres can be found in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Mirpur. If you are applying from within the UK, you can have your biometric information collected at your local UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services service point, which are located all around the UK.

      Once you have submitted your application, it will then be processed. If your application is successful, you will generally be given a biometric residence permit and will be able to legally commence work in the UK.

      What Documents Will I Need?

      The specific documents which you need will vary significantly depending on the particular work visa for which you are applying. You will generally require a combination of the following, however:

      • Passport
      • Job offer from eligible employer (if applicable)
      • Proof that the salary on offer meets the minimum requirement for your field (if applicable)
      • Evidence of clean criminal record
      • Sponsor licence number (if applicable)
      • Proof of sufficient proficiency in the English language
      • Evidence of sufficient savings to support yourself (if applicable)

      Note that the documents which you provide must be translated into English by a verified translator.

      You may also require further documents depending on the visa for which you are applying. To learn more about the specific documents which are required for your intended visa type, contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375.

      UK Work Visa Cost

      The exact cost of a UK work visa application varies significantly depending on the particular visa type for which you are applying. Costs can range from around £200 to £1500. They also vary depending on whether or not you are applying from within the UK.

      In most cases, you will also need to pay for the annual healthcare surcharge. This will allow you to use the National Health Service (NHS). You may also need to pay in order to have your documents translated into English, though the exact cost of this will depend on the translator which you hire (note that they must be a certified translator).

      Processing Time

      As of December 2023, the processing time for most UK work visas is 3 weeks. However, this is subject to change depending on how many other applications are also being processed and whether or not your application is submitted correctly. If your application is missing necessary documents, for example, this will lead to delays.

      In order to make sure that your application is processed as quickly as possible, you should ensure that all of the required documents are submitted correctly and that your application is not missing any information.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Working in the UK provides access to a strong economy and numerous professional opportunities. UK work visas allow you to work in a number of fields, including healthcare, the arts, business, and sports. You can also access a number of fellowships and training opportunities through obtaining a UK work visa.

        As the UK and Pakistan have strong cultural and historical ties, many Pakistani citizens choose to live and work in the UK. Many also choose to eventually settle in the UK after living in the UK for a sufficient number of years. However, the process of obtaining a UK work visa is often complicated, with recent changes to UK immigration law sometimes causing confusion. At Total Law, our legal experts have many years of experience in helping to make the visa application process as smooth as possible. We offer a range of services, and can help you with every stage of the process. Contact us today on 0333 305 9375 to learn more about how our legal team can help with your immigration journey.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The UK is indeed open to applications from Pakistan. There are a range of work visas for which Pakistani nationals are eligible, including the Skilled Worker visa and the Graduate visa. To learn more about the specific route which is best for you, contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375.

                  How difficult it is to obtain a UK work visa from Pakistan will depend on whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen work visa and if you submit your application successfully. You may find it easier to obtain a UK work visa if you seek legal assistance with your application.

                  Between 2022 to 2023, the highest number of work visas were granted to Indian citizens, with 150,405 work visas granted.  Nigeria was the second highest, with 49,787 visas granted. Pakistan was the 5th most common nationality to which UK work visas were granted, with 14,865 work visas granted to Pakistani citizens.

                  When you are in the UK on a Student visa, you will likely be able to undertake paid employment in a limited capacity. You will generally be able to work up to 20 hours a week during term time, and full-term outside of term time. However, you will not be able to accept permanent work contracts, and study should be the main reason behind your stay in the UK.

                  Once you have graduated, you can switch to a Graduate visa. This will allow you to take on a permanent contract and to work in the UK for 2-3 years, depending on your degree level. Once this time expires, you may be eligible to switch to a different category of work visa.

                  Whether or not you can settle in the UK on a UK work visa will largely depend on the visa type in question. For example, temporary visas will not allow you to settle in the UK unless you transfer to an eligible long-term visa. It is also the case that not all long-term visas provide a direct route to permanent residence. For example, the Graduate visa, whilst it will allow you to work in the UK for 2-3 years, does not allow you to settle in the UK unless you switch to an eligible UK work visa.

                  A number of UK work visas do allow you to eventually settle in the UK, however. These include the Skilled Worker visa, the Global Talent visa, the Minister of Religion visa, and the International Sportsperson visa. The amount of time after which you can settle varies depending on the work visa in question.