There are several ways for Australians to secure the right to work in the UK, depending on the type and length of work they want to undertake and whether or not they have a sponsor. Some of the most common routes are explained below.
If you do not have a work sponsor, but are between 18 and 30 (18 and 35 from 31 January 2024) years of age, you can apply for the Youth Mobility visa. This route allows you to live, study and work in the UK for 2 years, with some restrictions; for example, if you are self-employed and have set up a company, the business premises must be rented, the equipment used in the business must not be worth more than £5,000, and you cannot have any employees. Still, it is a great way to get started in the UK, because you have the freedom to look for work in a variety of careers. To apply, you will need to fill in a form online, prove your identity (either by getting your fingerprints and photograph taken or by scanning an identity document and uploading it digitally), and pay the relevant application fee and healthcare surcharge.
Another good option would be to try to obtain a Skilled Worker visa, through which a UK employer can sponsor you to work for them. The employer must be approved by the Home Office and give you a “certificate of sponsorship” for a job on the list of occupations seen as eligible by the UK government. Under this visa, you can be sponsored for up to 5 years at a time (always working for an approved sponsor), study (subject to this not interfering with your work), bring dependants with you and undertake additional work outside your main job, subject to meeting the conditions. After 5 years under this visa route, you can either apply to extend your visa or apply to settle permanently in the UK, subject to meeting the requirements. The Skilled Worker visa application process is slightly more complex than the Youth Mobility visa process, as you need to secure employment from a licensed employer. You will need to prove your identity, pay the relevant application fee and the healthcare surcharge
There are several other work categories that may be applicable to you. If you have a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you may be eligible for the UK Ancestry visa. There are several routes designed for temporary workers, such as the Seasonal Worker visa and the Creative Worker visa, depending on your specific circumstances. An Innovator Founder visa may also be applicable to you if you wish to start a unique business in the UK. Those who are deemed to be “leaders” or “potential leaders” in academia or research, arts and culture, or digital technology may be able to secure a Global Talent visa. If you would like to discuss your particular circumstances to see what works best for you, feel free to reach out to Gherson LLP.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.