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Immigration to England
Immigration to UK / England �Work permits, Residence permits, HSMP, Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

A UK Residence Permit is required for nationals of non-EEA countries that are planning to stay in the UK for more than six months. All non-EEA nationals and non-visa nationals must apply for entry clearance before travelling if intending to stay in the UK for more than six months. Entry clearance gives permission to enter the UK for the full period of your stay.


If you are coming to the UK as an inward investor you will probably not need a work permit so long as you have obtained entry clearance. This applies if you are coming here to:
1. set up a new business,
2. take over an existing business,
3. join an existing business as a partner, director or sole trader, or
4. establish a UK branch or subsidiary of an overseas firm.
However, any workers you wish to bring in from overseas will be subject to the provisions outlined in the next section.

Skills criteria
Overseas nationals who are seeking work permits must have at least one of the following in order to qualify:
a UK equivalent degree level qualification,
an occupational qualification relevant to the job in question, equivalent to UK Higher National
Diploma (HND) level,
a HND level general qualification plus one year�s relevant work experience, or
at least three years� full-time experience of using high-level specialist skills acquired through
doing the type of job in question, which should be at National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)
level 3 or above. Work permits are not issued for unskilled jobs.

Required information
For employers, you will need to show why you cannot appoint a resident worker to the post. For Tier 1 applications (see page 10) you will only need to describe why you need to employ the person. For all other applications you will need to document your recruitment methods or supply evidence that a recruitment search is inappropriate.

Tier 1 applications
These are applications relating to work positions that meet the skills criteria outlined previously
and that fall under one of the following headings:
Intra-Company Transfers (ICT) � for employees of multinational companies who are transferring to a skilled post in the UK,
board level posts,
inward investment � for new posts that are essential to an inward investment project worth
at least £250,000,
shortage occupations � for posts where suitably qualified people are in very short supply in the
EEA, or sponsored researchers � for posts related to undertaking a period of research at a company or organisation in the UK.


The following do not need work permits to work in the UK:
nationals of European Economic
Area (EEA) countries,
citizens of Switzerland,
citizens of British Overseas
Territories, except those from
Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus
(including citizens from Anguila,
Bermuda, British Antarctic
Territory, British Virgin Islands,
British Indian Ocean Islands,
Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands
and dependencies, Gibraltar,
Monserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St.
Helena and dependencies and
Turks and Caicos Islands),
Commonwealth citizens who were allowed to enter or remain in the UK on the basis that a grandparent was born in the UK,
husbands, wives and dependent children under 18 of people who hold work permits or who are
exempt for any of the above reasons, providing the endorsement in their passport places no restriction on their employment here, or
people with no conditions attached to their stay in the UK

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is designed to allow individuals with exceptional personal
skills and experience to come to the UK to seek and take work. You can find general information, including an outline of the current qualifying criteria.

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