This section provides details of most of the categories available to people who want to come to the United Kingdom to work. You should make sure you read the eligibility requirements in full before you applying as each category has different requirements.
If you want information about how you can employ migrant workers if you are a United Kingdom employer, see the employers and sponsors section.
During 2008 and 2009 we are introducing a new points-based system. This system replaces most of our existing work-based categories. For more information about how the new system may affect your application, see changes to our immigration system.
If you are coming to the United Kingdom as a business, sports, entertainer or special visitor for a short time, see business and special visitors for information on how to apply.
Highly skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs and foreign students who have graduated from a United Kingdom university can apply under our new points-based system. You do not need to have a specific job offer, but you will need to pass a points-based assessment to be eligible to apply.
If you have a job offer from a UK-based employer who is prepared to sponsor you, you can apply for permission to enter or stay in the United Kingdom.
If you want to come to the United Kingdom to undertake short-term, temporary work there are specific arrangements for you.
If you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you are free to enter and stay in the United Kingdom. If you are a national of a state that recently joined the EU you may have to register with us or apply for our permission before you start to work.
This section contains information about other work-based categories. The categories within this section are domestic workers; sole representatives of overseas firms; and representatives of overseas newspapers, news agencies and broadcasting organisations.
A formal request you make to us, asking us to consider giving you a particular thing. For example, you may make an application for permission to stay in the United Kingdom, for British citizenship, or to be recognised as a refugee. An application will usually be in writing, using an official form (application form) we produce for that type of request. Applications to be recognised as a refugee are known as asylum applications, and these do not require an application form. See the Asylum section for information on this type of application.