Employing overseas nationals and right to work in the UK

When you're appointing someone, you'll need to consider whether they're eligible to work in the UK.

Who can work in the UK?

If your appointee falls into one of the following categories, they are able to work:

  • They're a UK or Irish national
  • They're an EEA/Swiss national (until 30 June 2021 their right to work can be evidenced by their passport or national ID card; afterwards, they'll need pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or a visa)
  • They hold a valid work visa
  • They have Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK
  • They're a dependent (spouse/partner, fiancé/fiancée/proposed civil partner, child, parent) of someone who has an existing right to work in the UK, and they have a dependent visa
  • They're a dependant (spouse/civil partner, child or grandchild under 21 years old, dependent child/grandchild of any age, dependent parent/grandparent) of an EEA/Swiss national or their spouse/civil partner who has an existing right to work in the UK and they have a dependant visa
  • They have a valid Student/Tier 4 visa which allows them to work on a part-time basis - this is normally limited to a maximum of 10 or 20 hours per week during term-time, subject to the permission of their course supervisor, and they must complete a Tier 4 Student Declaration form (download below) at least once per academic year.

If they don't, you can still offer them the role, but they'll need to get permission.

Types of permission

EEA/Swiss nationals and their non-EEA/Swiss family members

If resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, EEA/Swiss nationals are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status. Indeed, they must apply to the Scheme by 30 June 2021 to able to continue to access services and benefits in the UK beyond that date. As long as they lived in the UK by 31 December 2020, their family members who are coming to/already in the UK based on their relationship with the EEA/Swiss national will also be eligible, even if they're not in the UK yet.

If they enter the UK from 1 January 2021 and don't already have a status under the EU Settlement Scheme, they won't be able to apply. Freedom of movement with the EU ended on 31 December 2020 and therefore, from 1 January 2021, EEA/Swiss nationals must have permission to work in the UK as with the rest of the world. 

Sponsored visas

If they’ve indicated in their job application that they don’t have an existing permission to work in the UK, the University can provide information on the options they have to apply for permission. This may involve the University applying to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to allow us to appoint them to a role (sponsorship).

If sponsorship is needed and is granted, they’re responsible for applying for a visa. The University can’t act on their behalf or offer any detailed, professional advice. Sponsorship doesn’t automatically mean they (and any dependants) will be granted a visa; the decision is at the discretion of UKVI and the University has no influence.

Unsponsored visas

Certain types of visa don’t need to rely on sponsorship from the University (eg dependent visas), though the applicant will need to meet the relevant criteria. Even though we’re not sponsoring them, we’ll still need to know that they have permission to work in the UK, so it’s helpful if they keep us up to date on their application progress.

How long does a visa last?

If their visa application’s approved, they’ll be able to enter, live and work in the UK for the period stated on their visa, which may be attached to their passport or may be a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Each visa type has different maximum residence timescales.