Help and FAQ’s
If you experience any technical difficulties with our website, please contact us. Please also get in touch if you are unclear in any way about the information presented on this website, or if you are unclear with regards to any of the terms used.
If you are trying to use our Points Based System calculators and you are unclear on the precise meaning of the terms used, you can click the red “question mark” symbol for a more detailed explanation, and some examples are also provided.
If you are an individual based overseas who has been offered a job in the UK, have been asked to pay money to secure the job, work permit, or accommodation, and you have concerns about whether the offer is bogus, then click here.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions, and also some general explanations that some people may find helpful.
Are you part of the government?
No. We are a private immigration consultancy, and we specialise in work-related UK immigration. In the case of visa applications, the service we offer is to prepare and present an application on behalf of our clients. A client can be either a UK employer, a candidate wishing to obtain leave to enter or leave to remain in a work-related immigration category, or applying for settlement. Sometimes our client will be an external agency or other concerned party. All applications made within the UK are received and processed by UK Visas and Immigration. UK Visas and Immigration is a division of the Home Office, part of the UK government, that administers applications made under the Points Based System and the immigration rules. UK Work Permits Ltd simply acts as an official representative in such applications for Points Based System applications, Indefinite Leave to Remain, Naturalisation, and other specific categories listed on our website.
What value do you add to the process of applying for a visa?
It is absolutely the case that individuals and employers can apply directly to the Home Office without representation. However, Immigration Law is notoriously complex, open to interpretation and subject to frequent and unpredictable changes. As with any other area of law, immigration applications benefit from expertise and experience. Our service is designed to provide this expertise and experience, and our clients benefit from it in the following ways:
- A successful application where it may have been unsuccessful had the individual applied themselves without assistance;
- A more streamlined process that often ends up being resolved quicker than if the individual had applied themselves without assistance;
- A stress-free experience, and the reassurance that your application is being handled by experts.
I want to get a work permit so that I can get a job in the UK; what can I do?
There are only a limited number of ways that non-EEA nationals can obtain permission to work in the UK. The term “work permit” is often used broadly to mean “permission to work”. In truth, the work permit scheme was a very specific type of visa (where a person’s right to work was employment-specific) and its main purpose is now served by a Certificate of Sponsorship issued under Tier 2 of the Points Based System. There are other visa types that some individuals are able to apply for that grant permission to work freely, for any employer, offering flexibility that a Certificate of Sponsorship or work permit doesn’t provide. Employers will sometimes state that applicants for a role “must have a work permit”. What is really meant is that a person must have permission to work freely (and perhaps indefinitely) in order to be considered for a role.
If you are able to convince an employer that you are necessary to their business, then they may make a decision to assist you. Tier 2 of the new Points Based System is for skilled workers with a job offer, just like the previous work permit arrangements. Under this new system, the first part of the process will be for the employer to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship. Without this certificate the individual will not be able to qualify under Tier 2. This main process will continue to be fundamentally employer-driven.
If you are an individual wishing to work in the UK (without an employer willing to sponsor your work permit application) then you may wish to check your eligibility under the Tier 1 (General) scheme. If you have been studying for a degree level qualification in the UK then you may also qualify for permission to work through the Post Study Work provisions of Tier 1 of the Points Based System. The Tier 1 schemes are not employer-driven or employment-specific. They offer the opportunity for highly skilled individuals to live and work freely in the UK providing they remain economically active. All other parts of the Points Based System require sponsorship from an organisation.
Can UK Work Permits Ltd help to find me an employer, or sponsor my application?
No, we can do neither. Only the UK employer that is going to directly employ an individual can issue a Certificate of Sponsorship for them. We are not involved in recruitment and do not help individuals to find employers, or help employers to find staff. Our ability to operate as an impartial representative depends on our lack of involvement in this way.
Can UK Work Permits Ltd set me up with my own limited company, to allow me to work as a contractor in the UK?
If an individual gains leave to enter or remain in the UK under the highly skilled “Tier 1″ of the Points Based System, they are permitted to work through a Limited company. UK Work Permits Ltd are able to prepare and oversee immigration applications in these sub-categories. We do not offer company formation, accountancy, or company secretarial services, however there are a large number of specialists in these areas, and approval under Tier 1 will serve as permission (from UK Visas and Immigration) for a person to work on this basis.
The rules affecting Tiers 2 of the Points Based System are designed to allow established UK employers to fill permanent or fixed term roles within their organisations. Visas issued under tiers 2-5 are not issued to employment agencies to send an individual on different assignments, and they do not allow individuals to work as self-employed consultants. These forms of approval will only be issued to allow an individual to be employed directly by a particular company with a guaranteed amount of pay, and the individual is normally expected to work on the premises of the employer. Where the sponsoring company is simply “selling on” the candidate’s time, a visa issued under Tiers 2-5 would not be suitable.
My job isn’t on the shortage occupations list; can I still get a Certificate of Sponsorship?
Please contact us and find out! The vast majority of Tier 2 applications dealt with by UK Work Permits Ltd are for positions that are not on the shortage occupations list. The only key difference with Tier 2 applications for non-shortage roles is that a resident labour search is required, and this normally means that the position needs to be advertised in the UK. For such roles, if the requirement to advertise the post is not met, then a Tier 2 application will not normally be viable.
If a proposed application is no longer viable (perhaps because of the lack of recruitment advertising), then in theory the UK employer will still need to fill the position, and at some point they will need to take steps to find a suitable candidate, normally by advertising the role. UK Work Permits Ltd can help ensure that any recruitment advertising that is carried out by an employer meets the requirements of the immigration rules.
Do you offer a “no-win no-fee” service?
We could offer this service, and it would reduce the risk to our business, and reduce our incentive to make every application as strong as it can possibly be. If we offered this service and an application was refused, we would gain nothing, but we would only lose our time. Instead, we work on the basis of a flat fee and promise that (after we have initially assessed the case and opened a file) we will get an application through. Most applications that we deal with are on the basis of a 110% refund guarantee. If an application is unsuccessful in these cases, we refund our entire fee, and pay out an additional 10% as a penalty. Our clients know that, in our agreements with them, we truly “put our neck on the line”, and unlike most service providers, we voluntarily include a penalty in our own agreement. This level of commitment, along with our comprehensive but clear terms and conditions, is what gives our clients the confidence to work with us and to trust us with what is usually a life changing matter.
What is your success rate?
Our regulator, the OISC forbids Immigration Advisors it regulates from making any claims in relation to success rates. However, we hope that potential clients who are not aware of our reputation will be reassured by our initial free feedback and assessment, our strong and clear terms, and our refund guarantee. We will will always offer a no-obligation assessment of the strengths and weakneses of each particular case, enabling you to make an informed decision as to whether to proceed with the application and our services.
Can I visit your offices?
Visitors are seen at our office strictly by appointment. In general we do not need to see clients, either employers or individuals. In terms of employers, we deal with applications for businesses across the UK, as well as some that have not yet arrived! In terms of individuals, we help people based all over the world, and our ability to help them is not hindered by the fact that we can’t yet meet them. We are not ever able to see individuals without first having received some initial assessment information. Experience has taught us that we can provide a more efficient and effective service to our clients by communicating, initially at least, via telephone, fax, email and post.
Can I be a reseller of your services?
Our services depend on clear communication, and accurate information. Adding extra links in the chain of communication can inhibit clear communication and cause misunderstandings. Our service is not one that is appropriate for reseller agreements.