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UK Work Visa for Spaniards

Spanish citizens will need a visa to work in the UK for more than six months.

If you are a Spanish national looking for more information on different UK work visa options, what are the eligibility requirements or how to apply for the same, call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online to receive bespoke advice from our immigration specialists.

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    UK Work Visa Route for Spanish Citizens

    Since Brexit, Spanish citizens will need a valid work visa in the UK to engage in paid and unpaid employment for any length of time. There are several UK work visas available, with varying eligibility criteria and documentation requirements. You will need to choose the appropriate option among these depending on your circumstances.

    Alternatively, Spanish nationals wishing to work in the UK may check whether they are still eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. If yes, then they will be able to live and work in the UK for any duration without a visa.

    A Spanish citizen planning to engage in business activities in the UK for less than six months, may travel without a visa as long as they meet the Standard Visitor eligibility criteria for business purposes. They, however, will only be allowed to conduct certain activities, such as attending training, meetings, conferences and seminars, signing contracts, visiting trade fairs, site visits and inspections etc.

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    Types of Work Visas UK

    The UK work visas may be categorised depending on their common attributes. In this article, we have summarised the main features of each visa category for an overall understanding.

    Skilled Worker Route

    Eligible Spanish nationals may apply for a Skilled Worker visa to come and work for an employer holding a valid sponsorship licence in the UK. The Health and Care Worker visa also falls under the skilled worker route, meant for qualified doctors, nurses and other health and care professionals.

    Another option for skilled Spanish nationals is a Scale-up visa. Unlike a Skilled Worker visa, it allows you to change jobs and/or employers after six months without permission from the Home Office. All of these visas provide a settlement route to the UK.

    Global Business Mobility

    If your Spanish employer wishes to send you to work in their UK branch or subsidiary, or to set up and run their business operations, your option will be the Global Business Mobility route, which includes:

    • Senior or Specialist Worker visa
    • Graduate Trainee visa
    • Secondment Worker visa
    • Service Supplier visa
    • UK Expansion Worker visa

    You will be able to live and work in the UK from six months to five years under this route. However, none of the above options will allow you to settle in the UK.

    Representative of an Overseas Business Visa

    If you are employed by a Spanish newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation, your employer may post you in the UK on a long-term assignment as a representative of an overseas business. This visa provides a settlement option.

    UK Work Visas Without a Job Offer

    You may also apply to work in the UK without a job offer, provided you meet the eligibility criteria. These unsponsored work visa options include:

    • Global Talent visa, for recognised leaders or potential leaders in academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology
    • High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, for foreign nationals graduated from an eligible university in the past five years
    • Graduate visa, for international students who have successfully completed an eligible course in the UK

    Apart from the Global talent visa, none of the above provides a settlement option in the UK.

    Other UK Work Visas

    In addition to the above categories, there are certain other UK work visa options for Spanish nationals to consider, such as:

    • Overseas Domestic Worker visa, for foreign domestic workers in a private household (e.g. cleaners, chauffeurs, cooks, nannies, personal care providers etc.)
    • International Sportsperson visa, for elite sportspersons or qualified coaches with international reputation
    • Minister of Religion visa (T2), for a minister of religion, missionary, or member of a religious order who has been offered a job within a faith community in the UK
    • Innovator Founder visa, if you want to set up and run an innovative business in the UK

    Temporary Worker Route

    There are also six Temporary Work visas that will permit you to work in the UK for six months to two years, such as the:

    • Seasonal Worker visa
    • Government Authorised Exchange visa
    • Creative Worker visa
    • Religious Worker visa
    • Charity Worker visa
    • International Agreement visa

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      How to Apply for a UK Work Visa From Spain

      A UK work visa application process from Spain starts with filling in an online application form. You will need to create an account on the Home Office website with a valid email ID. Please have all your supporting documents and other relevant information ready to answer the questions on the application form completely and accurately.

      Please submit the completed application form along with scanned copies of your supporting documents online, and pay the visa fees. You will then have to book an appointment with a UK visa application centre to submit your biometric information, your original passport and physical copies of supporting documents.

      TLScontact is the official third-party UK visa services provider in Spain. They have visa application centres in Barcelona and Madrid; you may choose the one nearest to your location. You may be required to attend a visa interview on your appointment date.

      Documents Required for a UK Work Visa

      Document requirements for UK work visa applications vary depending on your chosen visa option as well as your immigration circumstances. In general, you may need the following documents:

      • Your current Spanish passport (or any other valid travel document) with at least one blank page for your visa
      • Proof of academic qualifications, skills and experience
      • Proof of funds
      • Criminal record certificate
      • Proof of English language knowledge (if applicable)
      • Proof of job offer, job occupation code, salary details, employer details and Certificate of Sponsorship, where applicable
      • Start-up business plan and endorsement, where applicable etc.

      Please note that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may ask you for additional documents.

      UK Work Visa Processing Time and Fees

      Based on the current volume of visa applications, UKVI estimates a processing time of three weeks for work visas applied from outside the UK (i.e. Spain in this case).

      However, this timeline may increase if the Home Office requires you to provide further evidence, or your supporting documents need to be verified etc.

      UK work visa fees range from £167 to £1,638 depending on your chosen option.

      EU Settlement Scheme for Spanish Nationals

      Spanish citizens might also be able to work in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme instead of applying for a work visa. The application deadline under this scheme was 30 June 2021. However, if you already have had pre-settled status in the UK before that date, the deadline will not apply in your case.

      Moreover, if you (or any of your family members who are EEA/Swiss nationals) were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you either meet one of the criteria for a later deadline to apply or have ‘reasonable grounds’ for applying late, you may still apply.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        The Home Office has rigorous rules and strict policies in place when it comes to foreign workers’ right to work in the UK. Work visa applications are subject to stringent checks by UKVI to rule out any potential immigration abuse.

        It is, therefore, highly recommended to get in touch with professional immigration advisers to increase your chances of success in receiving a positive decision with your UK work visa application. Total Law can help.

        Our team of competent and knowledgeable immigration lawyers have the required expertise and empathy to understand your case and assist you, regardless of how complex your circumstances might be. Call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online today, to know more about the bespoke immigration services we provide, and how we can help you.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No, since 1 January 2021, an EU passport is no longer a valid proof for right to work in the UK. You must have an appropriate visa, permission to remain or pre-settled/settled status that explicitly allows you to work in the UK.

                  Most of the UK work visas will require proof of your English language knowledge.