Who is entitled to work in the UK?

The following groups are considered to be 'settled workers' who aren’t subject to immigration control and therefore have no restrictions on working in the UK:

  • British citizens
  • European Economic Area (EEA) nationals.  Member countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia (with effect from 1 July 2018), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
  • Close family members of British and EEA citizens: spouses, civil partners, durable partners (ie living together for at least 2 years), dependant children and parents who have an existing right to work in the UK (Dependant or EEA family member visa)
  • Citizens of Switzerland
  • Individuals with permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Commonwealth citizens who are allowed to enter or to remain in the UK on the basis that a grandparent was born here (Ancestry visa)
Other groups (visa nationals) require permission to enter and work in the UK under the Home Office Points Based System. Higher education-relevant visa types are:
  • Tier 1 (General) - this is an historical visa and is no longer issued
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • Tier 1 Post Study Worker visa - this is also an historical visa and is no longer issued;
  • Tier 2 (General) 
  • Tier 4 (General) - a student visa which entitles the holder to work on a part time basis (limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time)
  • Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme)
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange)
  • Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme
Short term visas are also available:
  • Standard visitor - academic or business routes (6 months or up to 12 months)
  • Permitted Paid Engagement (up to 1 month)
  • Short term study (6 months or 11 months)