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Specific information for those from...
Right to work in the UK - Visas / Work Permits
There is demand for teachers from all over the world to fill vacancies in both primary and secondary schools. At Axcis we aim to give the necessary advice to any qualified teacher on their ability to work in the United Kingdom. There are a number of ways to be legally entitled to work in Britain.
Firstly, before we look at the various options please be aware that any Visa or Work Permit must be applied for and accepted before leaving home. At Axcis we can provide more advice once we know more about your specific situation. After reading the following please use the online application form. We will then be in contact on how best to proceed.
If you qualify for a Visa you will be entitled to work in the UK with no restrictions (except working holiday visas - see below). If you do not qualify for any of the Visas below, don't worry it is still possible to teach in the UK - please see the Work Permits section.
The Working Holiday Visa is by far the most popular route by which the majority of Commonwealth teachers are able to work in the UK.
Working holiday maker visas - Who can apply?
Commonwealth citizens aged 17 to 30 inclusive can apply for a visa to come to the UK for up to two years as a working holiday maker.
What are the requirements for a working holiday maker?
Applicants have to show when making the visa application that they have sufficient funds to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds and that they can pay for a return fare. They also have to show that they intend only to take employment incidental to a holiday, and not to engage in business, or to provide services as a professional sportsperson, and in any event intend not to work for more than 12 months during his stay.
What kind of work can a working holiday maker do?
On 7 February 2005 the Government announced significant changes to the scheme. The new rules mean that working holiday makers are only permitted to take employment incidental to a holiday, and not to engage in business, or to provide services as a professional sportsperson, and in any event not to work for more than 12 months during their stay. Detailed guidance on the type of work working holiday makers may or may not perform is expected from the Home Office shortly. All working holiday makers whose entry clearance was obtained on or after the 08 February 2005 are subject to these new restrictions.
All working holiday makers who obtained entry clearance prior to the 08 February will be able to work as a working holiday maker under the previous rules and conditions i.e. without restrictions on the type and amount of employment they may take.
Is switching into work permit employment possible for a working holiday maker?
From 7 February 2005 a working holiday maker may only apply to switch into switch their immigration status into the Work Permit scheme, if they have been in the UK for at least 12 months, as a working holiday maker, and the vacancy or role is one listed on the work permit shortage occupation list.
This restriction in relation to switching relates to all in-country further leave to remain applications which have been submitted on or after 08 February, regardless of when the working holiday maker obtained entry clearance.
Work Permits (UK) regularly changes its policy as regards switching status into the work permit scheme, so they should be contacted for their latest policy position before any application to switch status is submitted and specialist legal advice may be appropriate.
How does a working holiday maker apply?
An application for a visa must be made before the working holiday maker travels to the UK at a British Diplomatic Post overseas. It is expressly prohibited to enter the UK, for example, as a visitor and switch to working holiday maker status once in the UK. The visa is limited to two years from the day the person enters the country. No extensions are granted beyond that period and no additional time is given for periods of time spent outside the UK within the two year period.
Anyone with a European Union passport is automatically entitled to work in the UK. Your European Union passport is all you require to prove this.
Anyone with dual nationality in Britain, or another European Union country, is automatically entitled to work in the UK. A dual second passport is all you require to prove this.
Commonwealth Citizens with a British parent or grandparent are entitled to claim partiality and therefore have the right to work in the UK for up to four years.
Applying for a Partiality Visa you will need the original (or official copy) of your birth certificate, your parent and grandparent's birth certificate and their marriage certificates. Your passport will get a partiality stamp, which entitles you to work in the UK for four years.
Note: If you have a parent or grandparent who was born in one of the other European Union countries, you may be able to claim partiality through this route.
If you are married to a British national you will be entitled to work in the UK. Likewise, if you are accompanying a spouse who has dual nationality or partiality you will also be entitled to work in the UK. In most cases the same applies if your spouse is a national of a European Union country or has Dual Nationality or Partiality in other European Community Countries. Please double check this with Axcis first as the rules change frequently.
If you are unable to work in the UK through any of the routes outlined above, you will need a work permit to take up employment legally. Work permits relate to specific jobs and to apply for a work permit you will need to have been offered a teaching post lasting at least 12 months.
Axcis can assist you in finding permanent work, distributing your resume to employers (schools) but is not legally entitled to apply for work permits. Once a school has accepted you for a position they will complete the necessary forms. Axcis will keep you informed of the progress and the date a decision will be made.
For more information, please see our Work Permits page.
Is it possible to extend a visit visa or to switch immigration status while in the UK?
“It is not normally possible to extend a visit visa or to switch immigration status while in the UK.”
Please contact Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office for more information at:
Public Enquiry Office
Immigration & Nationality Directorate
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR9 2AT
Tel: 0870 606 7766
Fax: 020 8604 5781/5782