If you’re an overseas student, professional worker – or even a returning ex-pat – it pays to do a little homework to make things easier and increase your chances of success. Here are our top tips to consider when it comes to working in the UK.
- Pay a visit first
If you’re thinking of coming to work in the UK from overseas, our advice is the same as with any form or relocation – why not try and pay a visit first? If you can visit the location you want to take up a career in, maybe even for a short holiday stay, you might pick up the pace of life and see if it’s for you. Remember, all countries have regional differences and even though the UK is small, there are huge variations between cities and towns – London isn’t the only place where people live and work in the UK.
- Find a specialist recruiter
Whether you’re an established professional or a graduate with a particular skill, you could try talking to a reputable recruitment consultancy agency. A consultant will be able to guide and recommend you, with a view to meeting your career needs within your chosen industry. Such companies can also provide you with advice on the work environment and help you with the processes and applications involved.
- Which visa?
Visas are necessary for non-European migrants who want to work in the UK. Various categories of Visas exist, each with different requirements, so you need to do a bit of research and see which one applies to you. The majority of work-based categories are measured on the UK’s points-based system for immigration. Here are some of the more common ones: High-value migrants: Valid on the passing of a points based assessment, applicable to investors, entrepreneurs and those exceptionally talented whereby you can apply to enter or stay in the UK without needing a job offer. Skilled workers sponsorship: Available to those who have been offered a skilled job in the UK; if your prospective employer is willing to sponsor you, you’re eligible to apply to come or remain in the UK and fulfil that occupation. Temporary workers: If you’re a national of a country participating in the youth mobility scheme or if an employer in the UK agrees to sponsor you, you could be valid to work in the UK for a short period. N.B. As an Australian citizen aged between 18-30 you can apply to work in the UK for up to two years under a Youth Mobility Visa. There’s also the option to apply to work in the UK as a domestic worker; being a representative of an overseas news agency, newspaper or broadcasting organisation or as the sole representative of an overseas firm. The UK Visas and Administration, is a useful place to start looking into further information regarding Visa requirements.
- Family ties
Many of the rights to citizenship and work are associated with ancestry, so it pays to really check your family lineage, marital ties, background and proof of parentage. For instance, if just one grandparent was born in the UK you may be eligible for a five year working Visa, and if you’re a dependent of someone already resident in the UK you may be eligible for a two year working Visa.
- National Insurance and bank account
If it looks likely that you’ll be coming to work in the UK, there are two things that can greatly help matters. Firstly, try to apply for your National Insurance number as soon as possible. National Insurance contributions are a tax you pay which entitles you to certain benefits. This includes your state pension, job seeker’s allowance, maternity allowance and incapacity benefit. It also helps speed up any formal employment processes. Secondly, why not open a bank account in advance rather than leaving it until you arrive? Having a bank account can take time, with various administrative processes involved, such as proof of identity references, so setting it up when you have more time makes sense. It also makes paying you faster and allows for easy transfers of money between countries.