Permission to work

Not everyone needs permission to work in the UK:

  • British Citizens
  • Swiss nationals
  • Nationals of countries in the EEA
Do not need permission to begin working in the United Kingdom.

The EEA includes these countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

The European Economic Area Agreement gives nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway the same rights to enter, live in and work in the United Kingdom as EU citizens.

Work Permits

For some employment you need a work permit.

Already in the UK

If you are already in the UK, check that you are allowed to work there by looking at the stamp in your passport. Not everyone who comes to the UK is allowed to work so you need to check before taking up employment.

Your status may only allow you to stay in the UK for a limited amount of time. When the time is finished it may be the case that you cannot apply to stay longer. If however you are eligible to extend your stay, you will need to make an application before your original permission ends.

Outside the UK

If you are outside the UK, you may need to apply for entry clearance before you travel to the UK. To find out if you need entry clearance visit this website where they have an enquiry form and further information: They can tell you whether you need entry clearance as well as providing details of the nearest British post where you can make your application.

Before you make your entry enquiry, you need to know which scheme you are interested in applying for.

What work schemes does the UK offer?

The UK offers various work schemes such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Program.

For details of the various schemes offered under the United Kingdom Immigration Rules check out this website: This site provides clear information about the various routes open to Foreign Nationals who want to start living and working in the UK. It is a great source of information.

More Sources

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate does not help people find jobs or provide information about tax or National Insurance contributions. For help finding work in the UK contact Job Centre Plus.

For details about National Insurance and tax contributions, you should contact: