Visa requirements of foreign employees










If you are employing individuals with language skills and in-depth knowledge of culture, it’s likely you’ll be employing foreign people.


In these cases, you need to ensure the staff you employ are legally allowed to work in the UK. As a guide, nationals from the following EEA and EU countries (excluding Bulgaria and Romania*) are allowed to work freely in the UK without restriction:

Austria France Liechtenstein Poland
Belgium Germany Luxembourg Portugal
Czech Republic Greece Latvia Slovakia
Cyprus Hungary Lithuania Slovenia
Denmark Iceland Malta Spain
Estonia Ireland Netherlands Sweden
Finland Italy Norway Switzerland


Here is an outline of the kinds of visas available and who they apply to:


-Bulgarian and Romanian* nationals are able to work and live in the UK but do need to obtain permission from the UK Border Agency first. If they are granted permission to work in the UK, they will be issued with either a blue, yellow or purple work certificate. Each certificate will show how long that individual can work in the UK, for how many hours and with what restrictions, for example, if they are a student, self-employed or related to a UK resident, their permissions will differ.


-For those who are related to UK citizens, there are two visas: The UK Ancestry Visa and the UK Spouse Visa.


-General visas work on a tiered points-based system dependent on the visa requirements and person’s circumstances. Tier 1 visas are for post study employment; Tier 2 visas are for skilled workers and are applied for by the employer; Tier 4 visas are for those people who wish to come to the UK to study at a university or college for a specified amount of time depending on the course being studied; and Tier 5 visas are for young people from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco and New Zealand who want to work temporarily in the UK to experience life and work in the UK.


-In addition to working visas, foreigners can apply to remain in the UK indefinitely. After a UK visa holder has lived in the UK for a specific period of time, they can apply for ILR which entitles them to live in the UK for as long as they wish, and even apply for British citizenship.


There are of course exceptions to every rule with visa applications so please check with for detailed information on each situation