// Work Permits in the UK Explained

What Is A Work Permit?

Welcome to the UK! Probably one of the first things you will wonder having just arrived, is what is a work permit?

Read below for our short guide on work permits.

You will see this mentioned a lot on employer's websites when you are applying for jobs. With questions like:

"Do you have the right to work in the UK?"

"Do you require a work permit?"

"Do you require us to apply for a Tier 2 on your behalf?"

The use of so many different terms can be confusing, so let's simplify this.

A work permit is also known as a Tier 2 Visa. If you don't know what that is, check our handy infographic here.


A work permit gives you the right to work in the UK, if you are a national from outside of the EU you will need one to lawfully work in the UK. All responsible employers will have to give you a permit to work in the UK and act as your sponsor. They have to explain what your job is to the Home Office through a SOC Code which gives a description of the tasks you have to do in your day to day job. 

Also you need to be paid a minimum salary of £20,800 in the UK.

How Long Will It Last?

Generally, your permit will be granted for 3 years, but it can be anywhere from 3 months to a maximum of 5 years


You will need to have been educated to at least a Bachelor's Degree level, which means that you are eligible to do an NQF Level 6 job.

NQF means National Quality Framework, which sets the skill level needed to do certain jobs. Anything below an NQF Level 6 role is not eligible for a work permit.

This is why students will struggle to find entry level jobs in certain industries like Marketing, Public Relation and Human Resource Management

The NQF Level 6 roles for these industries are all at a Management level, which means you need a minimum of 1-3 years work experience.

Still Confused?

Career Interactive has spoken to tens of thousands of international students just like you.

If you want some advice about how you can get a work permit you can contact us here

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