Working in the UK – for Overseas Applicants

Looking for a Job in the UK? CV Made Better regularly writes CVs / Resumes and LinkedIn Profiles for clients from the US, Middle East, Asia and Europe helping them secure jobs in the UK. We also assist Non-UK National living in UK take the next step on their career path. 

When you’re applying for an international job, you’ll need to know the expected CV / resume format and content required, which can vary vastly, depending on the nation you’re targeting. Something written for a job in the UK will be need to different than that written for the US or Middle East.

Clients we helped reported little or no response to their CV / Resume or LinkedIn Profile prior to obtaining our assistance. On reviewing the CV or resume we often found that the document was not presented correctly for the UK market, contained bad English grammar, spelling mistakes and lacked detail regarding key experience or skills the individual had to offer.

Following Brexit the UK employment market still attracts large amounts of non-UK nationals / applying for jobs. To work in the UK, it is essential you can communicate effectively verbally and in written form. Your CV / Resume or LinkedIn Profile is the best opportunity to demonstrate that. Should it be badly written or designed your chances of selection for an interview will be greatly reduced or minimal.

CV Made Better will work with you to create a CV / Resume or LinkedIn Profile that is set up for the country you are applying for, correctly worded using local phrases and terminology, well presented and containing detailed information concerning work experience and skills you have to offer.

Useful Information before applying for jobs in the UK

In order to work within the UK you need to hold a valid work permit or visa. You can obtain a work permit from your local British Embassy/High Commission. There are several different options to consider when applying for a UK visa the main ones are detailed below.

Before starting to look for a job in the UK, make sure that you are legally entitled to work here. It is also worth checking whether your visa restricts the number of hours per week you are entitled to work. Do not work illegally in the UK. If you are caught you risk being deported and may find it difficult to travel abroad or be unable to obtain a future visa for the UK.

For the most up to date information on obtaining a UK visa take a look at the UK Border Agency website

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Skilled Worker Visa

You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa:

  • Your job is eligible for this visa. A job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • You’ll be working for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • You’ll be paid at least the minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing

The minimum salary for the type of work you’ll be doing is whichever is the highest out of the following three options:

  • £25,600 per year
  • £10.10 per hour
  • The ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing

Before you can find out if your job is eligible, you need to know its 4-digit occupation code. If you already have a job offer, ask your employer for your occupation code. Currently, eligible jobs include Engineer, Business Analyst, Project Manager and Software developer, amongst many more.

Look up your job’s occupation code

If you do not know your code, you can search for your job in the ONS occupation coding tool. When you know your occupation code, view the table of eligible jobs to see if it’s included.

The table is very large. It’s sorted in order of occupation code, with the smallest numbers at the top. You may be able to use your web browser to search for your code on the page.

How long you can stay

Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.

If you want to stay longer in the UK

  • You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.
  • After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.

Global Talent Visa

You can apply for a Global Talent visa to work in the UK if you’re a leader or potential leader in one of the following fields and be at least 18 years old.

  • academia or research
  • arts and culture
  • digital technology

Before you apply for a visa

You can usually only apply for a Global Talent visa if you have successfully applied for an endorsement to prove that you are a leader or potential leader.

You can apply for the visa without an endorsement if you’ve won an eligible award. Find out which awards are eligible.

Find out what you can do with a Global Talent visa and how to apply for an endorsement if you work in one of the following fields:

How long you can stay

You can live and work in the UK for up to 5 years at a time.

If you want to stay longer in the UK

There’s no limit to how long you can stay in the UK in total, but you will need to renew (‘extend’) your visa when it expires. Each extension can last from 1 to 5 years – you choose how long you want the extension to be.

You may be able to get indefinite leave to remain so you can settle in the UK after 3 or 5 years, depending on which field you work in and how you apply. This gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.

Spouse Visa

If your husband / wife, civil partner or unmarried partner is a British Citizen, or has UK entry clearance in the form of an Ancestry Visa, Tier 1 visa or Tier 2 visa then you may also be eligible to apply for a Spouse Visa. To be eligible for entry to the UK you will need to provide supporting documents such as a marriage certificate, or if unmarried.

Dependant Visa

This UK visa for immigration of dependants allows an applicant to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (ILR), often referred to as permanent residency after a qualifying period. The application is based upon a candidate’s dependency on a person who is at present settled as a permanent UK resident or a UK citizen, and who needs to support the visa application. One of the positive for this Visa is it has no immigration related restrictions on the type of work or business a person may undertake upon arrival.

Ancestry Visa

You can apply for a UK Ancestry visa if all of the following are true:

  • you’re a Commonwealth citizen
  • you can prove one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
  • you’re able and planning to work in the UK
  • you meet the other eligibility requirements

How long it will take

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.

You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks when you apply from outside the UK.

Find out about paying for a faster decision.


A UK Ancestry visa costs £516.

Healthcare surcharge

You may also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for 5 years on this visa.

Applying to stay longer in the UK

If you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years on this visa, you may be able to either:

What you can and cannot do

You can:

Visting the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and other non-visa nationals do not require a visa to enter the UK when visiting the UK for up to 6 months. All migrants looking to enter the UK for other reasons (such as work or study) will need to apply for entry clearance in advance.