How to secure the right to work in the UK

Want to work in the UK but not sure if you’re eligible? To find out the options, you’ll need to get up close and personal with post-Brexit visa rules and regulations.


Please read on for a brief overview of the two main routes open to non-British nations – the EU Settlement Scheme and the Skilled Worker visa. Note that Irish citizens need neither to be able to work in the UK.



This is a scheme agreed upon by the UK and the EU which allows EEA, EU and Swiss citizens to stay in the UK beyond 30th June 2021. If you are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – and fulfil a few other criteria – you can still apply. For details, please visit


Pre-settled and settled status

If your application to join the EU Settlement Scheme is successful, you’ll get either pre-settled or settled status. With the first, you’ll enjoy the right to live, work and access the NHS healthcare service in the UK. With the second, you’ll also be able to access the same welfare benefits as British citizens.

If you are awarded pre-settled status, you need to apply for settled status before your pre-settled status runs out. This is usually five years from the date you started your ‘continuous residence’ in the UK, during which time you cannot spend more than six months outside the UK over a 12-month period.

Once you are awarded settled status, you can stay in the UK for as long as you wish. You’ll usually be able to apply for British citizenship 12 months after you’ve received your settled status.



The Skilled Visa Sponsorship programme enables you to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. Note that you’ll need to apply for an updated visa if you change jobs or employer.

The visa can last for up to five years before you need to extend it and you can do this as many times as you wish providing you still satisfy all the eligibility criteria.

You can find the details at but, in brief, to be eligible for the Skilled Worker visa, the following conditions apply:

– You must have a confirmed job offer in writing.

– A business can only sponsor you if they have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from the Home Office and your job features in the list of eligible occupations.

– Your entry-level annual salary must be £25,600 or more. If your role’s average salary exceeds this figure, you’ll need to be paid at least that.


If you don’t fulfil all the criteria, all is not lost! You may be eligible for another type of visa to work in the UK. Again, has all the information you need.


We hope you found our above guide useful. For advice on a more recruitment-based flavour, please get in contact. ABL Recruitment has been matching great people to perfect job opportunities for over 30 years. Thanks to our longstanding relationships with 400+ leading companies worldwide, we will be able to help you fast-track your search for your next dream job. And we’ll help you to nail the interview. Please get in touch at or on 020 7092 3911 to brainstorm the options today!