Immigration to UK

The UK offers a wide range of UK immigration, UK residency, UK naturalization, UK work permit and UK visa options. A UK work permit and UK HSMP Visa are two of the work permit categories that count towards a future UK residency application.

One of the most popular forms of immigration to the UK is the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme ( HSMP UK). This allows you to enter the UK before finding a job and means that you do not need a UK employer to sponsor your work permit. This is a points based system .One of the biggest advantages offered by the UK HSMP Visa (Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) is that it is effectively a UK work permit that allows you to work in the UK for any employer. Naturally, with an employer sponsored UK work permit you can only work for the employer that sponsors your work permit in the UK.

If you have a job offer from a UK Employer then you should consider an Employer Sponsored UK Work Permit. An employer sponsored UK work permit will allow you to work for that employer for up to 5 years and counts towards UK residency in the same way that the UK HSMP Visa does.

UK Residency – Permanent Residence in the UK

Permanent residence [ or indefinite leave to remain ] depends on the status of your stay in the UK to date and consequently how long you need to have been here to qualify.


Also popular with members of Commonwealth Countries is the Working Holidaymaker Visa. This can be gained for a period of up to two years and allows you to work in the UK during that period, although it does not count towards UK residency.

We can also help if you need to bring your family or dependents to the UK, perhaps to join you after you have gained your UK work permit or Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Visa and settled in the UK.

UK Naturalization
You can apply for naturalization in the UK if:

Status ( Type of Visa currently ) Qualifying period
Ancestry 5 years
Work permit 5 years
Investors 5 years
Writers,composers and artists 5 years
Sole representatives 5 years
To establish in business 5 years
Unmarried partners 2 years
Marriage 2 years
Illegal stay on any basis 14 years
legal stay on any basis 10 years
  • you are over 18 years old and can speak English or other British languages like Gaelic
  • you intend to live in the UK or abroad working for the UK Government
  • have lived in the UK for 5 years with limited occasions when you have been away*
  • are not in breach of any immigration rule

* No more than 450 days away in the 5 years and 90 days away in the last year.Please note, naturalisation applications can take up to one and a half years.British nationality can also be secured by marriage.


UK Work Permit Information for Employees

There are many ways by which you can live and work in the UK. Not all of them need you to have a job offer before getting a UK Work Permit or Visa. You are a valuable commodity and rules are changing all the time to help your move. Your family are of course also most welcome and can enjoy the same benefits as you in the UK.

A UK Work Permit in the UK is usually obtained by a company sponsoring an employee. We can assist with this Work Permit process if you already have a UK employer that is prepared to make you a job offer. If you already have a job offer from a UK employer then please feel free to contact us for more information about gaining a UK Work Permit.

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme ( UK HSMP Visa ) was created where by you can come to the UK to look for work rather than having to find it first without being here. You will need to be highly skilled and should assess yourself to see if you have the minimum 65 points required ( with all associated supporting evidence ) to qualify for the HSMP visa. You are not tied to a single sponsoring employer and can also work for yourself as self employed.

If you are a national of a country belonging to to the British Commonwealth, the Working Holiday Maker Scheme may allow you up to 2 years to live and work in the UK. You are not tied to a single sponsoring employer and can also work for yourself as self employed. The Working Holiday Visa does not count towards UK Residency, whereas the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (UK HSMP Visa and Employer Sponsored UK Work Permit do count towards UK Residency.

These are major steps forward in allowing you, the talent, to come to the UK and make your career happen.

With an Employer sponsored UK Work Permit, which after all allows the longest time in the UK (up to 5 years) once you have successfully found work, your new employer must apply for your work permit (and not you as the individual). Although the employer must do this, the work permit actually belongs to you, not your employer, but the work permit is specific to you working only for that employer. If you want to change jobs, a new work permit must be obtained. This transfer process is much easier than your first application as long as your new employer can qualify and especially if the work permit is for a similar job. The sponsoring process is also much easier if your skills or occupation are on the official skills shortage list.

You are wise at this stage to advise your new employer that we can ensure your UK work permit is obtained quickly and correctly. It may be that a better option exists such as some of the above options. There is no point risking failure at application. Let us handle the work permit application process for you both.

You will also be aware of several Eastern European countries now becoming part of the EU.

This means that work permits per se are not required but Worker Registration Applications for nationals of these new countries is required.

It is also possible that you could take advantage of the SEGS (The Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme).The scheme allows non-EEA nationals who have graduated from UK higher or further education establishments in certain physical sciences, mathematics and engineering subjects with a 2.2 or higher to remain in the UK for 12 months after their studies in order to pursue a career.

This could save you a fair amount of time. It needs to be evaluated and applied for very carefully considering tight guidelines.

You may also be able to apply under the sectors based Scheme whereby workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to enter the United Kingdom to take short-term or casual jobs.

If potential employers ask you to get your own work permit before applying for their jobs, they either do not understand the processes or would rather you looked at some of the above options.

HSMP(UK Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) is an extremely popular points-based visa, allowing independent immigration to the UK for Highly Skilled Migrant Workers.

  • The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme was made available to more people as the qualifying score was lowered to 65 points.
  • Those under 28 years of age at the time of application are awarded 5 points towards their HSMP visa application simply for being under 28. Also, they do not need to prove as much work experience or earnings to qualify for the Highly Skilled Migrant Program.
  • Those who are married or living together as if married can now claim additional points for the education and work experience of their partners.

The UK HSMP Visa is a points based system now in its third year. There are 6 areas where you can score and you must get a minimum of 65 points to be considered.

The pass mark is 65 points. HSMP applications will not be progressed if 65 points cannot be achieved.