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UK Work Visas for Albanians

The United Kingdom offers a variety of work visas that Albanians can apply for at every experience level. These working visas are available for short to long-term, depending on your role, allowing Albanians multiple routes towards working and living in the UK.

With so many visas, of course, it can be a challenge to figure out which is the best route for you. Our friendly, expert team of immigration experts here at Total Law will walk you through all of your options and guide you through every step. All you need to get started is to call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use the callback request form online.

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    General Requirements for all UK Work Visas

    While the exact requirements will differ for each visa, there are a few common UK visa requirements for Albanian citizens that you will need for every work visa. These include:

    • A job in an eligible role working for a licensed sponsor
    • The certificate of sponsorship number
    • Proof of funds to support yourself for at least the first month (usually £1,270)
    • A valid passport
    • Two free pages (one sheet) in your passport

    Other Common Requirements

    You may also need to prove your proficiency in English, your expertise/CV (for specialised roles), and a UK-NARIC report that compares your non-UK degree to UK ones (for a fee). While these requirements are common for visas like the Skilled Worker or Health and Care Worker visa, they are not universal. You won’t need to prove your English proficiency or degree equivalence if you are applying for a Seasonal Worker visa, for example.

    First Month Support Funds

    For every work visa, you will need to prove that you can support yourself for the first month. This amount is £1,270 and must be in your account for 28 consecutive days before you apply for your visa.

    If you don’t have this amount, then you can alternatively have your employer sponsor you for the first month by completing the “Sponsor certifies maintenance” section on the certificate of sponsorship, which can be found under “Additional Data”.

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    UK Work Visas for Albanians

    There are several work visas that you can acquire as an Albanian to work and live legally in the UK. Some of these visas are short-term, others are long-term.

    Short-Term (Temporary) Work Visas

    These visas allow you to work and live in the UK for a short period of time, usually less than a year. You can, however, re-apply for these visas on a regular basis.

    Seasonal Worker

    Work either in horticulture (for 6 months) or in poultry (October to December). Can renew yearly. Must be over 18 and make minimum wage at minimum from an eligible sponsor. Seasonal workers don’t need to pay the healthcare surcharge as their stay is less than 6 months.

    Creative Worker

    Allows creative professionals to work in film & TV, music, fashion, visual arts, or theatre in the UK for up to two years.

    Must be sponsored by a licensed UK sponsor in the creative sector, meet minimal salary thresholds (varies by sector), and must be able to prove demonstrable talent in your field.

    Religious Worker

    A religious member who works for the UK branch of their order. Must meet specific role and salary requirements and must be sponsored by an approved religious community.

    Charity Worker

    Allows you to volunteer (work for free) at a registered UK charity. Must be sponsored by that charity and have funds to support yourself during your stay.

    Long-Term Work Visas

    There are also a variety of visas that allow you to stay in the UK for longer, with many of them even offering a seamless path towards the five-year requirement before you can naturalise.

    Health and Care Worker

    This visa is designed for health or care professionals to live and work in the UK. This visa covers a large range of health or care roles, costs less than the Skilled Worker visa, and can be extended until you can naturalise (up to 5 years). As a Health and Care Worker, you are exempt from the Healthcare Surcharge.

    Skilled Worker

    The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) visa and allows those with specific qualifications and experience to work in the UK for an approved sponsor. This visa lasts up to 5 years, after which you can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

    UK Work Visas for Existing Employees

    If you need to be sent to the UK by your overseas employer to work in their UK branch, then there are different sets of work visas available to you. These visas are only available if the Home Office has approved your employer as a sponsor, you have a valid certificate of sponsorship, and you meet the minimum income requirements.

    Overseas Domestic Worker

    Allows those working in a domestic role, such as cooking, cleaning, and child minding, to work in the UK. This visa is specifically for those working for eligible employers, usually diplomats or high-net-worth individuals. This visa lasts up to 6 months and is difficult to acquire due to the high requirements placed on the employer.

    Global Business Mobility Visas

    Remember that the Global Business Mobility program covers several visas, each with its own requirements. For example, a Service Supplier visa requires that your company be hired by a UK business to carry out a contract rather than requiring a minimum income.

    The Global Business Mobility program can be complex, so if you or your employer want more information on which visa is best for the type of work you’ll be doing, get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers by using our callback form or calling +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    Visa Application Fees and Processing Times

    The fees for each visa will vary depending on the length of the visa and also the visa type. Here’s a quick overview of each visa, how long it lets you stay and work in the UK, as well as the processing time and fees associated with each of the visas:

    Visa Stay Duration Application Fees Processing Time (Typical)
    Seasonal Worker Up to 6 months, can be applied for yearly £298 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)
    Creative Worker Up to 2 years £298 + Healthcare Surcharge 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)
    Religious Worker Up to 2 years £298 + Healthcare Surcharge 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)
    Charity Worker Up to 1 year £298 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)
    Health and Care Worker Up to 5 years, with extensions £252 Application Cost 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)
    Skilled Worker Up to 5 years, possible extensions £625 Application Cost + Healthcare Surcharge 8 weeks (outside and inside UK)
    Overseas Domestic Worker Up to 6 months £637 3 weeks (outside UK), 8 weeks (inside UK)

    Understanding the UK Work Visa Application Process

    The good news is that the process to apply for a UK work visa is similar for every type of visa.

    1. Find and accept a job from a UK business that is licensed to sponsor overseas workers from the Home Office.
    2. Get the Certificate of Sponsorship
    3. Get all your documents in order (proof of funds, CV, English language proficiency evidence, etc)
    4. Have a valid visa
    5. Apply online
    6. Get your biometrics taken
    7. Wait for the decision

    Proving Your Identity

    You’ll need to prove your identity at the TLScontact centre in Tirana, which will cost an additional £76.50. During this appointment you will have your fingerprints scanned and photo taken. Not only is this an essential step for the visa application, but it is also the information needed for the biometric residence permit (BRP) that you will have to pick up once you land in the UK.

    We can devise an application tailored to your situation, for you to acquire a UK work visa. Contact Us

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      What You Can and Cannot Do On a UK Work Visa

      While every single visa will allow you to work with a UK-based employer, what you can and cannot do will change slightly on a visa-to-visa basis. That’s why it’s so important that you have experts on your side to advise you on the right visa route to take for your career, as well as outline what you can and cannot do with your specific visa.

      Though each visa is slightly different, there is a lot of overlap, which is why you can expect these limits with your visa:

      What You Can Do with a UK Visa

      With a UK work visa, you can:

      • Work in the UK in the role outlined on your certificate of sponsorship
      • Live in the UK for the duration of your visa

      Most visas, for example, the Health and Care Worker visa and the Skilled Worker visa, will also allow you to study and train in certain situations (for example, if it’s relevant to your career).

      While rare, some visas even allow you to bring dependents, though you will need to check the specifics. Those with a Health and Care Worker visa, for example, can only bring dependents if their job code is eligible. If you are a carer, for example, you cannot bring dependents, but if you are a nurse, you can.

      What You Cannot Do With a Work Visa

      There are, of course, many limitations when it comes to every work visa. In general, you won’t be able to:

      • Change jobs (at least not without changing your visa)
      • Take a second job or work in a role not described in your certificate of sponsorship
      • Gain access to public funds
      • Bring dependents

      Some visas do allow you to change roles, but only if you first update your visa. For example, if you get promoted at an NHS organisation, and your new role doesn’t fit your old visa, you will have to update your visa in order to continue working in the UK.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      It can be challenging to understand what the best visa route is for your specific situation. That’s why our helpful and professional team of immigration solicitors are here to help.

      We can help you understand which visas you can apply for and which visa is the best route for your situation. We can then take the lead so you can rest easy knowing your application has everything it needs the first time around.

      Our team have helped Albanian citizens just like you acquire a work visa in the UK, and we can help you, too. To get started, all you need is to get in touch with our team either by calling us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or using our online callback form.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                How long you can stay depends on the length of your visa. If you remain in the United Kingdom for five years consecutively on your work visa, you can then apply for settled status, otherwise known as Indefinite Leave to Remain.

                You can only bring your spouse and other dependents if you are on a specific work visa. For example, you cannot bring your spouse with you on the Seasonal Worker visa, but you can if you are in an eligible role working under the Health and Care Worker visa. Our expert team will be able to help you understand what you can and cannot do on each specific visa.

                To increase the chances of your visa being approved, you need to have all of your documents in order. If documents are missing or need to be confirmed, there will be a delay in your application process.

                If you are actively looking for a job that can give you sponsorship, your best bet is to start by searching the Skilled Worker visa shortage occupations list and then searching for those roles on job sites.

                The easiest UK work visas to obtain are either the Seasonal Worker visa, or the Health and Care Worker visa (if you are skilled in that field), as these are two areas that have high demand.

                No, if you are travelling from Albania to the UK you will need to get a UK Standard Visitor visa, which lets you stay up to 180 days in total per visit. To stay and work in the UK, you will need a work visa.

                With the Standard Visitor visa, you can do a few business-related activities, for example, going to a meeting with a UK client or attending a conference. You can even speak at events, so long as it’s not paid. Anything more substantial will need a work visa.