Immigrations Matters for non-UK/European Economic Area nationals
The following is general immigration guidance on working at Lancaster University. This can be a complex area, dependent on individual circumstances, and the guidance provided here cannot always be definitive. Further guidance is available on the UK Border Agency website or from your HR Assistant
Entry to the UK is controlled by the Points Based Immigration System (PBS) which allocates points to specified skills and achievements. Details of how to achieve the thresholds for entry can be found at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/pointscalculator
All offers of employment at Lancaster University are conditional on providing evidence of permission to work and reside in the UK. On the first day of employment all staff are required to visit HR to show their Passport and/or other relevant documentation which is granted on the basis of an individual (or close family member) having permission to work in the UK. These documents will be photocopied and retained on personal files.
Members of Staff who are subject to immigration regulation will be required to provide evidence of their continuing permission to reside in the UK on an annual basis.
Members of Staff who are subject to immigration regulation are also required to provide the University with current contact information (address and telephone numbers) by using the self-service functionality available at
Who has permission to work in the UK?
The following categories normally provide eligibility to work in the UK:
1. A legal national of the UK or other country in the European Economic Area (EEA): Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Eire), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.)
2. A legal Swiss national.
3. A Tier 1 Highly Skilled Worker or Post Study Worker status (see section below)
4. A dependent, husband, wife or civil partner of a UK or EEA national or individual who has an existing right to work in the UK, holding an appropriate dependent’s visa.
5. Indefinite leave to remain (settlement) in the UK or holding a UK Ancestry visa
6. A valid student visa which entitles work on a part-time basis (limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week during term-time, and subject to the agreement of your course supervisor).
Working and Living in the UK
Outside of the categories above, valid permission to work and to reside (“leave to remain”) are required. This is a two stage process:
Stage 1: Obtaining Permission to Work
The authorised routes are as follows:
a) Tier 2 Skilled Worker (Job Offer Required)
This requires the University to apply to the UK Border Agency for a certificate of sponsorship.
Evidence of advertising (the “Resident Labour Market Test”) is normally required although in the certain cases e.g. where an individual is named on a grant award letter, this may be waived. Further information is available from your HR Assistant.
The application must indicate that the job is skilled (NVQ Level 3 or above) and cannot be filled by an EEA-area national. Where a Resident Labour Market Test has been conducted, the recruiting manager must provide HR with a justification why each EEA candidate was not appointable.
The preferred candidate must possess sufficient skills and achievements to meet the points threshold of the Points Based Immigration System. A calculator be found at
Provisional approval for employment is normally granted for a maximum of three years but can be subsequently extended subject to a further application. Once an individual has been employed in the UK for five years s/he must apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain).
When an application for a certificate of sponsorship is successful, HR will provide the preferred candidate with the certificate of sponsorship reference. This will enable him/her to apply for a residency permit to enter or for leave to remain in the UK depending on their existing status. See Stage 2.
It should not be assumed that the possession of a certificate of sponsorship will automatically result in entry clearance or Leave to Remain or Further Leave to Remain being granted.
b) Work Permits (Job Offer Required)
Nationals from Bulgaria and Romania, who joined the EU on 1st January 2007, currently require a Work Permit application to be made by Lancaster University. A Resident Labour Market Test is normally required.
Once a Work Permit application has been successful, HR will send the permit to the preferred candidate. This will enable him/her to apply for a residency permit to enter or for leave to remain in the UK depending on their existing status. See Stage 2.
It should not be assumed that the possession of a work permit will automatically result in entry clearance or Leave to Remain or Further Leave to Remain being granted.
c) Tier 1 - Highly Skilled/Post Study Workers (Job Offer Not Required)
This scheme applies to workers who are highly skilled and will be required to use those skills in their employment. “Highly Skilled” normally relates to employment requiring advanced qualifications at a PhD or equivalent level, such as Research Associate posts. Details of the scheme and how to apply can be found at
The advantage of the Highly Skilled Worker scheme is that permission relates to the individual, and is transferrable across jobs for the duration of the permit (normally initially three years, renewable for a further two, with a potential then to apply for unlimited permission and leave to remain).
Applications through this scheme must be made directly to the UK Border Agency. Points will be awarded based on qualifications, age, previous earnings, English language ability and availability of current funds to support you and your dependents until you are paid.
A calculator be found at
Stage 2: Obtaining Permission to Enter or Remain in the UK
This is a personal application and involves an assessment of the applicant’s livelihood and suitability to enter or stay in the UK.
For those resident in the UK a fee applies and application forms can be obtained from
For those not resident in the UK a fee applies and applications should be made to the nearest UK embassy or initially made on-line at
Points to Remember
It should never be assumed that an application for permission to work or an extension will be granted. *
An application for Entry or Leave to Remain cannot be considered without first obtaining permission to work. *
Where permission to work has been granted, employment must not commence until Entry or Leave to Remain has been approved. *
An existing member of staff may continue to work while an application for further leave to remain is under consideration, providing the application is made before their existing leave to remain expires.
A student who has submitted their thesis and is therefore deemed to have completed their studies, may remain in the UK and take full-time employment for a maximum period of 4 months (taken from the date of submission), or until the expiry of their student visa, whichever is the sooner.
All non-EEA nationals are required to provide evidence of continuing eligibility to reside in the UK on an annual basis and to provide with the University with up to date contact detail.
* apply to certificate of sponsorship and work permit applications only
16. FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information please your HR assistant.
Updated March 2011