Long Term Work Visa
LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Cathryn Davies Updated:

If you are planning to work for more than 2 years in the UK, a long-term work visa may be suitable for you. There are a wide range of long-term visas.

Skilled Worker Visa

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to live in the UK whilst you work in an eligible job with an approved employer. Your employer will need to have a sponsor licence. The Skilled Worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General Work) visa.

To be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa you’re required to:

  • Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office and holds a UK sponsor licence.
  • Have been issued a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK.
  • Work in a job that is listed on the eligible occupations list.
  • Be paid a minimum salary (this depends on the type of work you do).
  • Have a confirmed job offer before applying for your visa.

Your Skilled Worker visa can be for as long as 5 years. After this, you may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain to live permanently in the UK. Additionally, you can extend your visa as many times as you may require if you do not wish to settle permanently in the UK.

If you change jobs or employers, or when your visa runs out, you will need to apply to extend or apply for a new visa. You can apply for your dependants to join you in the UK.

Health and Care Worker Visa

A Health and Care Worker visa allows a medical professional to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with either the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must:

  • Be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional.
  • Work in an eligible health or social care job.
  • Work for a UK employer who has been approved by the Home Office
  • Have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role that you have been offered in the UK.
  • Be paid a minimum salary (this will change depending on your job).
  • You must have a confirmed job before you can apply for the Health and Care Worker visa.

The Health and Care Worker visa can last up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You can extend this type of visa as many times as you need, and you will need to update your visa if you change jobs or employers. You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after spending 5 years in the UK with a Health and Care Worker visa.

Senior and Specialist Worker Visa (Global Business Mobility)

A Senior or Specialist Visa allows an individual to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job at your employer’s UK branch. This visa has replaced the Intra-company Transfer visa, also known as the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Long-term Staff visa.

To be eligible for the Senior or Specialist Worker visa you must:

  • Be an existing employee of an organisation that has been approved by the Home Office as a sponsor.
  • Have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with the information about the work you will do in the UK.
  • Do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations.
  • Be paid a minimum of £42,400 per year.

You can stay in the UK for whichever of the two is shorter:

  • 5 years
  • The time that is given on your ‘certificate of sponsorship’ plus 14 days.

You can apply to extend your visa or apply for another one as many times as you like up to the maximum total stay. The total maximum stay allowed for a Senior and Specialist Worker visa is 5 years in any 6-year period if you’re paid less than £73,900 a year, or 9 years in any 10 year period if you’re paid £73,900 or more a year.

Any time that you spend in the UK on one of the following visas will be included in your maximum total stay.

  • Intra-company Graduate Trainee visa
  • Intra-company Transfer visa
  • Graduate Trainee visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Secondment Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • Service Supplier visa (Global Business Mobility)
  • UK Expansion Worker visa (Global Business Mobility)

With a Senior or Specialist Worker visa, you can apply for your dependants to join you in the UK. Unlike a Skilled Worker visa, you cannot apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. You may be able to switch to another visa category that provides a route to settlement. For example, you can switch to a Skilled Worker visa.

Minister of Religion Visa (T2)

You can apply for a Minister of Religion visa (T2) if you’ve been offered a job within a faith community such as the minister of religion, a missionary, or a member of a religious order in the UK.

You can apply for a Minister of Religion visa (T2) if you meet the eligibility requirements which include:

  • Having a certificate of sponsorship for your job from a licenced sponsor
  • Prove your knowledge of English
  • Have personal savings so you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK
  • Show you can travel and your travel history over the last 5 years
  • Be 18 or older when you apply

You can stay in the UK with a Minister or Religion visa (T2) for up to 3 years and 1 month, or the time is given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 14 days (whichever is shorter). The visa can be extended to a maximum of 6 years in the UK on the T2 Minister of Religion route.

Additionally, you can apply for your dependants to join you in the UK. You may be eligible to apply for settlement after spending 5 years in the UK on this visa.

International Sportsperson Visa

You can apply for an International Sportsperson visa if:

  • You’re an elite sportsperson or qualified coach, who is recognised by your sport’s governing body as being at the highest level of professional internationally
  • You have received endorsement from your sport’s governing body
  • Your employment will develop your sport in the UK at the highest level
  • You meet the other eligibility requirements

The International Sportsperson visa has replaced the Sportsperson (T2) visa and the sporting element of the Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting visa (T5)

With the International Sportsperson visa, you can stay in the UK for up to 3 years. After this period, you can extend your long-term work visa if you’re still eligible. Additionally, after 5 years, you may be able to permanently settle in the UK. You can also apply for your dependants to join you in the UK.

The Benefits of Choosing AWH

Applying for a long-term work visa can be a complex and time-consuming process.

Depending on your circumstances, you may need a quick decision, help with the application, more understanding of the process or assistance meeting its requirements, such as passing the English language test. Our expert solicitors can provide all the help you need.

We fully understand the complexities of UK immigration law and can guide your application with care and attention to detail.

To find out more about the long term work visa, speak to one of our immigration solicitors today or request a call back at a time that suits you.

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