If you are an Indian citizen and want to work in the United Kingdom, you must have a current Indian passport and a valid U.K. work permit. The United Kingdom runs a points-based immigration system divided into five tiers. So to qualify for a work permit you must score enough points under one tier. Indians are one of the largest foreign groups to receive Tier 1--highly skilled migrant visas--to Britain, according to workpermit.com.

Tier 1 Work Permit

Many highly skilled Indian workers, such as entrepreneurs, software engineers, scientists, and medical professionals, apply under Tier 1. You will be scored based on age, earnings and education, and you must speak English proficiently. You must also have at least GBP 800 in your bank account at all times for three months leading up to your visa application. You do not need to have a job secured in the United Kingdom to apply under Tier 1.

Tier 2 to 5 Work Permit

Unlike Tier 1, with Tiers 2 through 5 you must have sponsorship from a sponsor licensed by the UK Border Agency. This could be an employer, the government or an educational institution. Tier 2 visas are for skilled workers, professional sports workers and clergy members. Tier 3, for low-skill workers, is defunct as of May 2010. Tier 4 is for students. And Tier 5 is for temporary volunteer workers, people taking part in sports events and visiting clergy.

U.K. Identity Card

As of November 2008 the UK Border Agency changed the way it issues permits for residence in the United Kingdom. Now foreign nationals outside of the European Union--including Indians--must have a residence permit in the form of an identity card. This replaces the old sticker in the passport system. When applying for the card, all applicants over 6 years old must give their biometrics, namely scans of all 10 fingerprints and a digital photo. You can apply for an appointment to get a residence permit through the UK Border Agency website.


A number of companies can help you with your application for a work permit for a fee. SkillClear has experience providing an immigration consultancy service to skilled workers. This includes Indian citizens seeking work and residence in the U.K. GlobalVisas, which promotes itself as "the world's largest U.K. immigration company," provides the same service.