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How To Find A Job In The United Kingdom

How to Find a Job in the United Kingdom

With the United Kingdom encompassing some of the most historic and naturally beautiful countries in the world — England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland — you may have your sights set on relocating there. However, finding opportunities for work in the United Kingdom can be challenging without the right approach. Just like with most job markets, certain industries are more competitive than others. That is where having the right information can help.

Discover how you can find suitable work in the United Kingdom and what you will need to consider before you start working there. If you have specific questions, find qualified U.K. Advisors on Relocate who have the expert knowledge you need.

What to Consider Before Starting Your United Kingdom Job Search

As you get started with your research, this page will help you navigate the process of getting a job as a foreigner and applying for any necessary residency requirements to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Overview of Visa Requirements for the United Kingdom

It is essential to know how the visa and immigration systems work in the United Kingdom, as these are the gateways for you to work and live in the country legally. Your immigration status may also impact the types of jobs you can get.

Applying for work permits and visas in the United Kingdom is a bit more complicated than in other countries. Additionally, obtaining full residency status can be a lengthy process, particularly if your family requires sponsorship as well.

For example, if you’re interested in a health and care worker visa, you must be a qualified health care professional and work in an eligible health or social care job. Additionally, your employer must be approved by the Home Office and provide a certificate of sponsorship that confirms you have been offered a role in the U.K.

Eligibility requirements for one type of work visa may vary drastically from another. Generally, though, the process will require you to:

  1. Check if you will be required to apply for residency.
  2. Decide if you want to apply for permanent or temporary residency status, or a work visa or work permit.
  3. Apply for a work visa, work permit, or citizenship, depending on your needs and long-term goals for living and working in the United Kingdom.
  4. Prepare and submit your application with the documents and personal information required.
  5. Pay any application or visa and permit fees.
  6. Choose and pay for your United Kingdom health care plan, which is part of the application process.
  7. Get tested for tuberculosis, prepare your biometric residence permit, and other health requirements for the application.
  8. Receive confirmation of your work visa electronically and get ready to relocate to the United Kingdom.

Applying for a U.K. Work Visa

Keep in mind that this quick rundown is meant to provide you with a general overview of the visa and residency application process. Typically, applying for a work visa or permit will be a much faster process than applying for full citizenship in the country.

That being said, work visas can accumulate a high range of fees and expenses, which is why many companies offer sponsorship to help you with your visa application. There are also long-term and short-term work visa options, investor, business development, and talent visa options, as well as many other work visas and exemptions available that you may qualify for.

Obtaining a Visa to Work in the United Kingdom

Keep in mind that the application process will vary depending on your current country of citizenship. In fact, depending on your length of stay and other personal factors, you may not be required to obtain a visa at all. Feel free to submit a general inquiry for free and get answers from licensed UK Immigration Solicitors through Relocate.

Meanwhile, here are some more tips on United Kingdom visa eligibility and applications:

  • A visa is not required for U.S. citizens with a valid passport residing in the United Kingdom for business purposes during stays up to 180 days.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, it might be best to apply for a standard visitor visa.
  • Partners and family members, including dependent children of temporary migrant workers and British citizens, can apply for visas to help keep families together.
  • Provided that you have been living in the United Kingdom as a migrant worker for a designated period, you might be eligible for permanent residency status. There are other ways to obtain British citizenship, but a visa might be the best option to start, depending on your employment offer.

Where to Find Jobs in United Kingdom

Below, you will find the top resources to find jobs in the United Kingdom as a foreigner. A quick tip: Consider searching for jobs that specify visa sponsorship details, as this will provide you with a list of employment opportunities that offer sponsorship for a work visa. Give one or all websites a go to see what your search efforts come up with. After all, you never know until you try.

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Jobs.ac.uk

Jobs.ac.uk is a widely known United Kingdom employment search website that helps job seekers with everything from finding a job and career advice to direct referrals to recruiters and Ph.D. programs. You can refine your search by job title, academic discipline, field of expertise, and location within a specified geographic area or number of miles.

There are also options to use additional filters to narrow down your job search even further by sector, whether professional, managerial, or support services. Each drop-down section contains a list to choose from.

Job seekers can also benefit from the website’s “Featured Employers” tool that allows you to browse particular employer and organization profiles that have recently or consistently advertised employment opportunities on the platform and are actively searching to fill roles. You can narrow your search of the list by region and select profiles of interest for further information. There is also a “Studentships” section where you can search for master’s and Ph.D. programs with employment opportunities.

To make your search even easier, use the spotlight section for new or actively recruiting job postings, a featured jobs section, and a featured industry section. Sign up for job notifications that fit your specific search criteria by email through your profile or by subscribing with your email address to save time on the website. Either way, make sure to create an account to save your searches and apply directly to job listings through the website.

Gov.uk/find-a-job

Another great place to start your online job search is on the United Kingdom's Employment Website. The government-operated job website enables you to search for employment opportunities based on specific criteria and designated industry categories for full-time or part-time jobs in England, Scotland, and Wales. There are also tools for career skills training, communication support for a job interview if you have a disability or health condition (also known as Access to Work), and even help with adjusting from receiving benefits and getting back into the workforce.

This website also has great resources for becoming familiar with employment law once you start working in the country. The website empowers job seekers with information on the rules and regulations for employment policies, including everything from holidays, time off, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, specific legal requirements pertaining to workplace and personal pensions, and your rights at work and trade unions. You can also learn more about the National Minimum Wage rates, tax information, and your pay rights as an employee.

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Tips for Getting a Job in the United Kingdom

Applying for a job in the United Kingdom as a foreigner poses a fair set of challenges. Most employers prefer to meet candidates in person. Moreover, the United Kingdom job market tends to move quickly, so it is not infrequent for migrant workers to get lost in the crowded economy. However, there are some tactics you can use to get a step ahead of your competition.

The easiest way to secure a job in the United Kingdom is to find one that qualifies for the short-skilled area where demand for your professional skills is extremely high. The job type on this list will vary but has a specific set of criteria.

If you are still looking for a job but are in a rush to move, consider securing a placement holder role until you can secure one more aligned with your career. For example, jobs in the hospitality sector like bartending, waitressing, or other service industries have a quick turnover rate that may work in your favor as a foreigner. You can easily have a service job lined up fairly quickly, thanks to the size of the industry.

That way, you can still move within your ideal time frame while also having at least some kind of financial footing to support yourself while getting settled there. There are numerous other large industries with ample employment opportunities, including teaching, teaching assistant roles, social work, and administrative support (particularly in the finance sector).

Live-in pub jobs are another fun, pre-arranged job opportunity. Best of all, the role will provide housing accommodations — one less thing to worry about. Similarly, some nanny or child care roles can provide a transitional means of moving into the country and securing a stable place to live and work right off the bat. The demand is high within this sector, so there is ample room for flexibility and negotiation on the terms and conditions of employment with a family.

Workaway experiences operate employment in a similar fashion — you delegate your time working in labor roles, either skilled or unskilled, which is returned with the benefits of board and lodging. There is no direct monetary compensation involved in this type of agreement, so you will not be required to obtain a visa. Contract work similarly provides an alternative employment structure that can allow you to quickly find employment with flexibility, which might translate into extra time off to travel and financial advantages like lower tax rates.

Learn More About the UK and Immigration on Relocate

There is a lot that can go into finding and getting a job in the United Kingdom. However, you do not have to go about the process alone.

In addition to engaging with reliable and trustworthy content, our independent marketplace can help you browse licensed United Kingdom solicitors (i.e., lawyers), where you can request direct consultations and get the answers that will assist you in making informed decisions for moving to the U.K.

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