Types of permission to work in the UK

There are several types of work visa. The most common at the University are Global Talent (formerly Tier 1 Exceptional Talent), Tier 2 General (now Skilled Worker Visa) and Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5).

Important: until 30 June 2021, EEA/Swiss nationals can prove their right to work using a valid passport or national ID card. After that date, new staff will need to show they have a status under the EU Settlement Scheme or some other form of permission (ie a visa). Irish nationals are not affected and may continue to use a passport to prove right to work in the UK.

For scenario-based guidance, please see our pages on the UK's immigration system from 2021

Global Talent

This immigration route is for highly skilled individuals in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, the arts (including film, fashion design and architecture) and digital technology who’ll enrich the UK’s knowledge, economy and society.

There are 3 fast-track and 1 standard paths:

  1. Fast-track 'academic and research appointments' path (for those who have responsibility for academic/research/innovation leadership and development or who direct or lead an individual or team in a research/innovation project or programme of work)
  2. Fast track 'individual fellowships' path (for recipients of eligible awards under either 'exceptional talent' - those internationally recognised as having made significant contributions as a leader in their field - or 'exceptional promise' - those who’ve demonstrated the potential to contribute significantly as a future leader in their field)
  3. Fast-track 'endorsed funders' path (for researchers and specialists whose name or job title is specified in a successful grant application from an endorsed funder)
  4. Standard 'full peer review' path (for individuals who wish to be considered for endorsement by peer review undertaken by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering or the Royal Society).

This is a work visa, but doesn’t require sponsorship by the University.

Skilled Worker Visa

This immigration route's predecessor, Tier 2 General, is now closed to new applications. This route is for skilled workers coming to the UK to fill jobs at graduate level and above.

They’ll need a job offer from the University, and we’ll need to apply for sponsorship from UKVI. Both they and the University need the meet all of the criteria to be able to employ they.

Temporary Worker - Government Authorised Exchange (T5)

This visa type is primarily for sponsored researchers who want to come to the UK for up to 2 years and, during their time at the University:

  • will take part in financially sponsored research
  • won’t be employed by the University
  • won’t be self-funded
  • will receive funding from a UK/overseas funding body or from their overseas employer which is at least the equivalent of the UK National Minimum Wage
  • won’t fill a genuine vacancy (one that’s part of our normal staffing requirements)
  • will do skilled work at NVQ3 level (‘A’ level in the UK) or above
  • will be able to support themselves (and any dependants) without public funds
  • intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit

They’ll need the offer of a role, and sponsorship by the University, to be able to apply for this visa type.

Dependent visas

We can also employ someone who's in the UK as a dependent of a Points-Based System visa holder, an EEA/Swiss national or a British citizen, and the restrictions on their employment are much less onerous. 

Other work visas

You can find information on other types of work visas on UKVI’s web pages.

If you or your appointee have any questions about permission to work in the UK, you can contact your HR hub.