How to Make Your Dream of Working in The UK a Reality


Thousands of people come to the UK to work every year, but not all of them are accepted.  If it’s your dream to experience living and working in the UK, here is some advice to help you make the right decisions.

Know your immigration status

There are typically five ways that people are able to come to the UK for work, which are:

    • Arriving for a “working holiday” – there are restrictions by age and nationality for this type of work, which may involve applying for a special visa, which may be known as a Working Holiday Visa or a Youth Mobility Visa, depending on who you speak with.
    • Arriving as a temporary skilled worker to fill a specific short-term need – normally you’ll be sponsored by an employer or employment agency, who will assist with the process of getting the necessary clearances for you to work.
    • Arriving as a long-term skilled or unskilled worker, on a settlement basis.  This is a little more complicated than arriving as a temporary worker, and you may be subject to very strict conditions that are intended to ensure you are more likely to be a benefit than a burden to the nation.
    • Arriving as a refugee.  There are very strict controls in place for those seeking to be accepted as a refugee.  If you are even considering this option, you will most likely already know the requirements, the most important of which is that there must not be any reasonable chance you could return to your homeland without a serious and credible threat to your. 
  • Arriving as an illegal immigrant.  This is definitely not advisable, as it places you at risk of imprisonment, fines, deportation, and a criminal record.  It will also negatively impact your ability to return to the UK in the future on any basis.  Obviously you shouldn’t do it, and if you are considering it, you should seriously 

Get in touch with people who can assist you

For working holidays and temporary work, it is best to go through an agency or to contact employers directly.  Trying to do everything without help is taking a huge risk and can also leave you without a leg to stand on if anything goes wrong after you’ve arrived in the UK.

Having someone helping you before you arrive definitely gives you an advantage, and you’ll be able to have confidence that your application for permission to work is more likely to be successful, that you’ll face less problems obtaining employment, and that you’ll be fairly compensated for your work.

This is especially important if you’re travelling to find work as a nanny, because it is a highly competitive field with stricter requirements than many other occupations.  Working with an agency smooths the entire process for you, and helps you every step of the way.

Make sure all your paperwork is in order

One of the biggest mistakes made by many people applying to work in the UK is that they don’t take the time to make sure they have all the documentation they need before applying.  If anything is missing, incorrect, or requires clarification, it can delay or even prevent the acceptance of your application.  Again, working with an agency in this situation can help to make sure you don’t experience problems of this nature.

Have at least enough money to support yourself for the first month after you arrive

Another really colossal mistake is to arrive with insufficient funds to support yourself.  Even if you have help from family or friends, things can happen that you don’t expect.  You may find that you need money for all kinds of things, and it’s good to know that you have it.  Certainly it’s better than not having it.  Make sure you know what your expenses are likely to be, and bring more than enough to cover what you think you’ll need.