Settlement Requirements in UK for Employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant or representing a Foreign-Owned Business


The visa process for any person wishing to enter the United Kingdom varies according to the visa category the person applies on. Such as, a person applying on the UK immigrant investor program will go through a different procedure than a person applying on the UK Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa or Tier 5 temporary worker visa.

In relation to any non-UK national who wishes to go to the UK for work purposes, there are different regulations and requirements that are mentioned in immigrations laws of United Kingdom. However, the entry and stay process for EU nationals are exempt from immigration control and can enter the UK freely under the free movement agreement. The Home Office is the official government department of the UK that handles all cases for all visa categories (such as Tier 1 immigration on the investor visa, entrepreneur immigration UK visa, Tier 2 general visa etc.) including cases related to employment for non-UK nationals. The requirements that must be met vary depending on the nature of work, duration of work along with other such factors.

To legally work in the United Kingdom as a non-UK national, the person must possess a work permit. The work permit has with it specific conditions attached depending on the applicant’s case, such as if he/she wishes to temporarily or permanently stay in the UK. The requirements for different cases of the work permit are explained in detail in this blog.

General Requirements to Permanently Stay in the UK for Employment 

  • The person must have spent a consistent 4-5 year period in the UK, where this time period is calculated by a mechanism adopted by the Home Office, where time spent in the UK along with travel outside of the country is considered and assessed;
  • The person wishing to come to the UK for work must not have been outside of the country for at least 6 months in a 1-year period, where he/she was staying in the UK on a temporary basis;
  • Where the person was granted permission to temporarily stay in the UK before applying for permanent residency, he/she must not have overstayed on their visa past the allotted period of stay. However, a period of staying past the due date for less than 28 days is not considered a breach of immigration law and can be waivered;
  • In the scenario where the person stayed in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Isle of Man or the Bailiwick of Jersey, he/she should not have been considered to left the country and broken their continuous residence period;
  • In the scenario where during the person previous period of stay in the UK, the person became unemployed, he/she must have been employed again in a new job within 60 days;
  • The travel history of the person’s previous period of stay will be assessed and every leave from the country must have a compelling reason attached or should be in accordance with his/her yearly paid leave;
  • The person applying for nationality of the United Kingdom must not be in defiance of any of the laws of the UK;
  • The applicant must not fall under any grounds for being denied entry into the country described in Part 9 of the Immigration Rules of the UK;
  • The last original salary slip or the financial records of the person applying for permanent residency will be required to be produced. Also, in the scenario where a salary slip cannot be produced, an official letter from the person’s employer must be submitted that conveys this information. Furthermore, the last financial statement must be submitted that clearly shows relevant details of the person along with being an official letter from the financial institution;
  • In the case of any absences from the employment during the period of stay in the UK, a letter from the employer must be submitted in the visa application detailing the reasons and dates of absence. Furthermore, a written statement must also be produced by the person applying detailing the reasons for absence along with proof regarding the reasons;
  • In the scenario where the person applying was not paid in full due to scenarios of maternity or paternity, the salary slip preceding the maternity/paternity and the salary slip after it will have to be submitted. Furthermore, the financial statements issued by the bank for both month preceding the maternity/paternity along with the month(s) after must also be submitted;

In the scenario where any of the requirements that apply on the person applying are not fulfilled, the Home Office will be obligated to deny permanent residency.

Requirements to Permanently Stay in the UK for Employment as a Highly Skilled Migrant

Any person staying in the UK on the Tier 1 visa is usually referred to as a Highly Skilled migrant. The categories in this visa include the Tier 1 (general) visa, Tier 1 investor visa, Tier 1 graduate entrepreneur visa and the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa. The requirements to permanently stay in the country on this visa are:

  • A consistent time period of 4-5 years must have been completed to lawfully stay in the country for permanent residency;
  • During this period of stay in the country for employment purposes, the person applying must have provided for his/her own accommodation along with paying for accommodation for any dependants without requesting money from public funds;
  • The person applying for permanent residency under this category must have been economically active in the UK during the temporary period of stay;
  • The person applying must show that his/her English language skills are of an adequate level and as that required by law;
  • The person applying for permanent residency under these circumstances must show that he/she possess adequate knowledge about life in the United Kingdom;
  • The person must not be subject to any grounds for being refused entry into the country described in the Immigration Rules of the UK;
  • The person must not have committed any act that could result in him/her breaking the immigration laws of the country. However, staying in the country past the allowed due date for less than a 28-day period does not count as having broken any laws;
  • Any documents submitted to the Home Office under these circumstances must not have been falsified, or any information in them misrepresented. In the scenario where an Immigration Officer wishes to confirm the legitimacy of any document submitted by the person, requests for further documentation must be complied with;

Requirements to stay in the UK for Employment as representing a Foreign-Owned Business

  • The head office of the business that has employed the applicant must be located outside of the UK;
  • The employee must have been hired in his/her current position while he/she was outside of the UK;
  • The main operations of the business must be outside of the UK;
  • In the scenario where the business is sending a senior employee to handle majority operations of the business in the UK, no other subsidiary or branches must be present in the country engaging in contradictory activities. Furthermore, the senior employee should be authorized to handle any changes in the nature of the business and should not hold any shares in the business;
  • The nature of the job in which the person is employed by the foreign-owned business must be a full time position;
  • The employee will not seek any other employment opportunity other than the one under which he/she entered the UK;
  • The English language skills of the employee are adequate enough so that he/she falls within the required level (which is A1 for this category) for entry into the country;
  • The educational qualification of the person must equal that of a similar degree being taught in the UK. Such as, the person’s bachelor’s degree must equal that of a bachelor’s degree of the UK. Furthermore, the academic qualification must be recognized in standard by UK NARIC;
  • The language under which the person’s degree was taught must have been English, where the standard of the language equals a C1 level;
  • The person must prove his/her financial stability under these circumstances and any necessary proof that he/she is capable of providing for his/her accommodation in the UK along with the accommodation of any dependents joining the person;
  • The employee must be in possession of an entry clearance document relevant to these circumstances;
  • The employee must provide any relevant travel documents to prove his/her identity and nationality (such as a passport). In the scenario where he/she is unable to produce any such documents to prove his/her identity, a written statement issued by the government that confirms this fact must be submitted by the person applying;
  • In the case where the employee is unable to provide his/her complete documentation of educational qualification, he/she will only be required to submit a transcript issued from the educational institute. Furthermore, the transcript must clearly show the employee’s name, degree title, name of the educational institution, duration of study and stating that the employee has graduated;
  • The employee, during his/her stay in the UK, will not resort to public funds to carry out his/her stay at any point in time;
  • The employee must make the necessary registrations with the police, if he/she is required to do so by the UK government

In the scenario where temporary stay is sought by the employee, the Home Office will grant the employee permission to stay in the country for a period not greater 3 years. In the scenario where any of the requirements that apply are not met, the Home Office will reserve the right to deny the visa application.

Requirements to extend stay in the UK for Employment as representing a Foreign-Owned Business

  • The employee is currently staying in the UK on this visa category that was first granted for a temporary period of stay. Furthermore, the employee can also be the representative of a media organization in this regard;
  • The employee must show the necessary proof of the business proving his/her employment such as salary slips, financial statements etc;
  • Necessary proof must be submitted showing that the business is still headquartered outside of the UK along with having its main operations outside of the country;
  • The employee must still have the same job on a full-time basis under these circumstances;
  • If the extension to stay in the UK in this regard is granted, the employee must show that the business is still dependant on his/her;
  • The employee must submit proof of the necessary financial requirements stating his/her financial stability to provide for accommodation of himself/herself along with that of any dependants;
  • Where the person was granted permission to temporarily stay in the UK before applying for permanent residency, he/she must not have overstayed on their visa past the allotted period of stay. However, a period of staying past the due date for less than 28 days is not considered a breach of immigration law and can be waivered;

The period of stay granted under this extension ranges from 2-3 years where the necessary requirements by the employee have to be met such as registering with the police if need to, stating that he/she will not request finances from public funds, no other employment will be sought after etc. The immigration laws allow employees to make a request for nationality of the UK under this category after the period of extension has ended.

Furthermore, the Home Office holds the right to deny any person visa on any category such as entrepreneur immigration UK visa, UK Tier 1 (General) visa, Tier 1 immigration, Tier 4 student visa, Tier 5 temporary worker visa etc. if he/she feels the requirements are not adequately met.