To qualify for a work visa in the UK, you must meet certain requirements under the country’s point-based system. Obtaining a work visa with a job offer may be easier because many visas require a job offer from a UK company. Those without an employment offer have alternatives, such as applying for business or investment visas.

Business Visas

If you want to establish a business in the UK and have a viable business idea, you can apply for either an Innovator visa or an Entrepreneur Visa (closed to new applicants). These visas are intended to attract entrepreneurs to the UK and provide them with the resources necessary to launch and develop a successful business.

To qualify for a UK Business Visa, it is essential you have at least £50,000 in investment funds and be endorsed by a recognised endorsing organisation. With this visa, you can stay in the UK for up to three years, and if you satisfy the requirements, you can apply for an extension or settlement.

This visa is for those in the initial phases of establishing a business in the UK. You do not need investment capital, but a recognised endorsing organisation must endorse you. This visa allows you to remain in the UK for up to two years, and you may be able to transfer to an Innovator visa after that.

Investor Visas (closed to new applicants)

You can apply for an Investor visa if you have enough money to invest in the UK. To qualify for this visa, you must invest at least £2 million in the UK. With this visa, you can remain in the UK for up to three years and four months, with the option to extend your stay.

Other Visas

There are also other Work Visas that don’t require a job offer like the Graduate Visa for those Graduating from a UK University and the Youth Mobility Program Visas.

Essential Requirements

For each of these visas, you must satisfy specific eligibility requirements. There could be further requirements based on the type of visa you wish to obtain. They are made up of the following:

  • Possessing the required English language skills: You must demonstrate English proficiency by completing an English language test or holding a degree in English.
  • Possessing sufficient funds to cover your expenses and those of any dependents while in the UK: You must demonstrate that you can support yourself and your family without government assistance.
  • Compliance with health requirements: A tuberculosis test might be needed if you are travelling from a country where tuberculosis is prevalent. In addition, you must include the immigration health supplement fee with your application.
  • Provide proof of your business concept or investment objectives: You must have a viable business plan and endorsement from an authorised endorsing organisation for business visas. For investor visas, you must demonstrate your investment funds and intent to invest in the UK.

Obtaining a work permit in the UK without a job offer can be challenging, but there are alternatives. Understanding your options and the requirements can increase your chances of obtaining a visa to work or conduct business in the UK.

People also asked

Can you get a Skilled Worker Visa without a sponsor?

You cannot get a Skilled Worker Visa without a sponsor in the UK.

Is there an interview for a UK work visa?

Yes you are required to attend a face-to-face interview and submit biometrics for all UK Visas

Is the Innovator Founder Visa the only visa in which you can start a business?

Currently the Innovator Founder Visa is the only visa that allows you to start a business in the UK as the alternatives are currently closed to new applicants

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