UK visas, work permits, proof of right to work documents, how to prove you can work in the uk, 	 what counts as proof of eligibility to work in the uk, working in london visa, international nurse, international social worker

What documents do I need to work in the UK?

By Keith Pilkington

​So, you’re planning to come and work in the UK’s rewarding health and social care sector. But, what documents do you need to do this?

Visas for non-EEA citizens

A visa gives you permission to enter the UK. It’s different from a work permit, which gives you permission once you arrive. If you’re not a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you may need a visa to travel here (list of EEA countries). To get a visa, you’ll need to apply at a British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in your country. Your ‘entry clearance certificate’, or Visa, will then be inserted into your passport or travel document.

Work permits

If you’re from the EEA or Switzerland, you can work in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland without a work permit. If you’re not from the EEA, you’ll need to apply to get a permit through the Points-Based System (PBS), which manages migration for those wishing to enter the UK for work or study. You must have a job offer from a licensed sponsor and a valid certificate of sponsorship. Usually, permits are only given to people with specialist skills and/or qualifications and can last for up to two years (you’ll need a new permit if you change jobs). The documents you’ll need for a work permit are:

  • A passport issued in your country of origin

  • Your birth certificate

  • Proof of your qualifications and references

  • Copies of any previous work permits

  • Your visa entry

Your employer must apply for the permit on your behalf and needs a sponsor license to bring workers into the country from outside the EEA.

Certain categories of worker don’t require work permits, including Commonwealth citizens with at least one grandparent born in the UK, and Commonwealth citizens with at least one parent who is or was a British citizen. Non-EEA nationals who study full-time in the

UK for more than six months can work part-time during term time, and full-time during holidays.

It’s not clear how an exit from the EU will result in changes to the above.

For more information on moving to the UK, read our collection of blogs.