Below is general guidance on gaining permission to work in the UK. This is a complex area, dependent on individual circumstances, and the guidance provided here cannot be definitive.

For further guidance please see the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website or contact

Gaining permission to work in the UK

If you do not have an existing right to live and work in the UK, gaining this involves:

  • the University initially obtaining permission to work for you (known as sponsorship)
  • you applying for and being granted a visa to enter and remain in the country for you and any dependants.


If you have indicated in your job application that you do not have an existing permission to work in the UK, the University will apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship for you from UKVI.

Work permission routes are through a number of different programmes under the UK Points Based Migration System - see the visa schemes page for details.

Visa applications

If a Certificate of Sponsorship is granted we will inform you of the reference number to use on your visa application.

You should apply directly to the UKVI within the timescales shown on their website. Obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee that you or your dependants will be given a visa. Getting a visa for you and dependants is your responsibility, and we cannot act on your behalf or offer any assistance or guidance.

If your visa application is approved you will be able to enter, reside and work in the UK for a specific period.

Gaining a UK visa with permission to work requires you to abide by visa rules and responsibilities. These will be set out in the documents provided with your visa. You must ensure that you understand and can comply with these rules. If you have any queries about your visa you must direct them to UKVI or to a qualified immigration adviser. The University, as your employer, will not be able to advise you on personal visa compliance issues.

The visa certificate may be attached to your passport or it may take the form of an Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

The length of the residence visa

The visa is normally valid for a period of one to five years, and may subsequently be extended by a further period (maximum six years). At the end of five years you may apply for Indefinite Leave to remain (ILR) or UK nationality.

We will contact you three months before your visa expiry to remind you about the need to extend your visa or apply for ILR. However, you also have a responsibility to monitor your visa expiry date.

Showing your permission to live and work in the UK

Before you start work you must go to Human Resources in Heslington Hall to show your passport with along with your valid visa. These documents will be photocopied and retained on your personal file.

You must keep your visa and passport safe and keep a note of your visa expiry date. If you need to extend your visa after it is initially granted you must start the renewal application process in line with UKVI timelines and processes. If your circumstances change you must inform your employer and the UKVI. The visa documentation will give details of when and how to contact the UKVI agency.