The UK is one of the most favourite countries for work visas/work permits. Following are the various UK work visa categories for a person to seek permission to stay in the UK:

Tier 1 General

The Tier 1 (General) category was previously known as HSMP. Tier 1 General category has been closed for initial applications and only those who were previously granted HSMP or Tier 1 General can apply for extension of stay as Tier 1 General Migrants. According to the changes in Immigration Rules effective from 6 April 2014, Tier 1 General Migrants can no longer apply for extension of stay under this category after 5 April 2015 and cannot apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under Tier 1 General after 5 April 2018. The dependants of Tier 1 General Migrant can apply for PBS dependant visa to join the Tier 1 General Migrant or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 1 General Visa Category. 

Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa UK

The entrepreneur category is for those investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over, and being actively involved in the running of one or more businesses in the United Kingdom. You can apply under the entrepreneur category if you are:

The dependants of Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant can apply for PBS dependant visa to join the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Migrant or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Once the Tier 1 Entrepreneur has spent 5 years (3 years under the accelerated route for settlement) residence in the UK under Tier 1 Entrepreneur category, an application for ILR as Tier 1 Entrepreneur can be submitted to the Home Office, UKBA under this category. Read More About Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa Category.

Tier 1 Investor Visa UK

The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high-net-worth individuals who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. The Home Office, UKVI will assess your application based on your ability to invest £1,000,000 (One Million Pounds) in the UK. You can apply for Entry Clearance as a Tier 1 Investor if you have not had entry clearance in this category within the last 12 months. If you are already in the UK with a UK visa under different category, you may be able to switch into Tier 1 Investor visa category from inside the UK. If you are already in the UK with Tier 1 Investor visa, you can apply for extension/renewal of Tier 1 Investor visa from inside the UK. Tier 1 (Investor) Migrants can qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after a 2, 3 or 5 year period. The dependants of Tier 1 Investor Migrant can apply to join the Tier 1 Investor in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 1 Investor Visa Category.

Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) is for people who are internationally recognised as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts, and who wish to work in the UK. These individuals are those who are already internationally recognised at the highest level as world leaders in their particular field, or who have already demonstrated exceptional promise and are likely to become world leaders in their particular area. If you are outside the UK, you can apply for Entry Clearance as a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant. If you are already in the UK, you may be able to switch into Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa from inside the UK. If you are already in the UK under Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, you can apply for extension/renewal of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa from inside the UK. You can apply for apply for ILR as Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant upon completing 5 years residence under this category. The dependants of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Migrant can apply to join the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa Category.

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur

This route is for graduates who have been identified by UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as having developed world class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, to extend their stay in the UK after graduation to establish one or more businesses in the UK. You can switch into Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK. The initial visa will be granted for 12 months and before the expiry of your Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa, you can apply for extension/renewal of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa from inside the UK for further 12 months. The dependants of Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Migrant can apply to join the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Migrant in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Category.

Tier 2 General Migrant

The Tier 2 (General) category is for foreign nationals who have been offered a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. You can apply for Entry Clearance as a Tier 2 General Migrant if you have been sponsored by a Tier 2 sponsor in the UK for a skilled job to fill a gap in the workforce that cannot be filled by a settled worker. You can switch into Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK, if you are already in the UK under a UK visa category which allows you to switch into Tier 2 General visa. If you are already in the UK under Tier 2 General visa category, you can apply for extension/renewal of Tier 2 General visa from inside the UK. You can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 General Migrant upon completing 5 years residence under this category. The dependants of Tier 2 General Migrant can apply to join the Tier 2 General Migrant in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 2 General Migrant Visa Category

 Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer (ICT)

This category is for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred by their overseas employer to a UK branch of the organisation, either on a long-term basis or for frequent short visits. You can apply for Entry Clearance as a Tier 2 ICT Migrant if you have been working for the overseas company for last 12 months after you are sponsored by the UK company to work in the UK under Tier 2 ICT visa category. Switching Into Tier 2 ICT from inside the UK is possible only into Tier 2 ICT: Long Term Staff category. If you are already in the UK with Tier 2 ICT visa, you can apply for extension of stay as a Tier 2 ICT Migrant. If you were granted your initial leave to enter or remain as a Tier 2 ICT Migrant under the rules in place before 6 April 2010, you can apply for ILR as a Tier 2 ICT Migrant. Being Tier 2 ICT migrant, you can sponsor your dependants to stay with you in the UK. Read More About Tier 2 ICT Visa Category.

Tier 2 Minister Of Religion

The Tier 2 (Minister of religion) category is for people who have been offered employment or posts or roles within their faith communities in the UK as ministers of religion undertaking preaching and pastoral work; missionaries; or members of religious orders. If you are outside the UK, you will have to apply for UK visa as Tier 2 Minister of Religion. If you are already in the UK with a valid visa, you may be able to switch into Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa from inside the UK. If you are already in the UK under Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa, you can apply for extension of stay as Tier 2 minister of Religion. You can apply for ILR as Tier 2 Minister of Religion upon completing 5 years residence under this category. The dependants of Tier 2 Minister of Religion can apply to join the Tier 2 Minister of Religion in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa Category. 

Tier 2 Sportsperson

The Tier 2 (Sportsperson) category is for elite sportspeople and coaches who are internationally established at the highest level, and will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport. Your application will need to be endorsed by your sport's governing body. If you are outside the UK, you can apply for Entry Clearance as Tier 2 Sportsperson to come to the UK. If you are already in the UK and meet the switching requirements, you can apply for switching into Tier 2 Sportsperson visa from inside the UK. If you are already in the UK under Tier 2 Sportsperson visa in the UK, you can apply for renewal/extension of Tier 2 Sportsperson visa from inside the UK. You can apply for ILR as Tier 2 Sportsperson upon completing 5 years residence under this category. The dependants of Tier 2 Sportsperson can apply to join the Tier 2 Sportsperson in the UK or switch into PBS dependant visa from inside the UK if they are already in the UK. Read More About Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa Category. 

 Domestic Worker Visa

The 'domestic worker in a private household' category allows overseas employers to bring their domestic workers with them when they come to the UK. If you apply for Entry Clearance as a Domestic Worker, you will be given UK visa as a Domestic Worker for six months which cannot be extended from inside the UK. If you made your initial Entry Clearance as a Domestic Worker under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2012 and you are in the UK on Domestic Worker visa, you can apply for extension of Domestic Worker visa from inside the UK. You can apply for ILR as Domestic Worker upon completing 5 years residence in the UK under this category. The dependants of Domestic Workers who have leave to remain for 12 months according to the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2012 can apply for entry clearance or switch into dependant visa from inside the UK. Read More About Domestic Worker Visa Category.

 Sole Representative Visa

You may be able to come to the UK under this immigration route if you are:

  • the sole representative of an overseas company, intending to set up a wholly owned subsidiary or register a UK branch for an overseas parent company; or
  • an employee of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation who is being posted on a long-term assignment as a representative of your overseas employer.

The initial entry clearance in this category is granted for 12 months and upon seeking extension of stay from inside the UK, the applicant is granted extension of stay for further period of 12 months. Upon completion of 5 years under this category, an applicant can apply for ILR as a Sole Representative. The partner and children under the age of 18 of the Sole Representative can join/accompany him in the UK. If the dependants are already in the UK with valid leave to remain, they may be able to switch into dependant visa from inside the UK. Read More About Sole Representative Visa Category.