UK Work permits and Visas for Non-UK Supply Teachers

Like all UK employers we are subject to Section 8 of the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act which requires that we must check the eligibility of all new employees to work in the UK.

The following groups of people are not subject to immigration control and therefore do not require permission to live and work in the UK (however we will still need to see documentary evidence of your status):
  • British citizens
  • Commonwealth citizens with the right of abode
  • Nationals of all other European Economic Area (EEA) countries (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden);
  • Spouses and children, irrespective of nationality, of non-British EEA nationals, provided the EEA national is lawfully residing in the UK and, if the family member is a spouse, the marriage has not ended.
If you are unsure of your status then please follow the link below for more information:

Information on UK work permits and working visas

For information specific to your country please contact your nearest British High Commission office.

New Zealand
South Africa

If you do not fall into any of the above categories then you may still be eligible to come and work in the UK as a teacher. There are various routes which may be open to you including:

Sponsored Work Permits

In order to obtain a sponsored work permit you will need to have a firm offer of a job from a UK school. You should mention the fact that you require a work permit at the time of your application to the school as the application process can take some time and delay in starting the application may mean you have to wait until you can take up your post. There are various agencies who will manage the process of gaining a sponsored work permit however many schools will be happy to apply on your behalf.

As an agency we are unable sponsor teachers for work permit applications since our contracts are not for permanent or full time employment.

UK Working Holidaymaker Visa

If you are a Commonwealth citizen aged between 17 and 30 (inclusive) then you may be able to come to work in the UK for a 2 year period of which you may be in paid employment for up to 12 months.

To be eligible then you must:
  • be aged between 17 and 30 years (inclusive).
  • either a commonwealth citizen, a citizen of a British Dependent territory or a British overseas citizen.
  • not be coming to the UK primarily for work.
  • be either single, or married to a person who qualifies for the scheme in their own right and will be joining you on the holiday.
  • not have any dependant children who are either over the age of five years, or will be before you leave the UK.
  • be able to support yourself throughout the duration of your holiday and for your return trip, without recourse to public funding.
  • intend to leave the country at the end of the duration of your visa.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP is a government initiative 'to allow individuals with exceptional skills to seek entry or stay to work in the UK without having a prior offer of employment, or to take up self-employment opportunities'.

The scheme operates on a points basis with points for age, education, and work experience. A visa granted through HSMP is for an initial period of 2 years however you can apply to stay longer.

As well as securing enough points there are also some essential criteria. All applicants must:
  • have a high level of ability in English.
  • be able to support themselves without recourse to public funding.
  • have never been made bankrupt.
  • have never been convicted of a criminal offence.
  • intend to make the UK their main home.
Disclaimer - Information on this page is provided for guidance only and is not guaranteed to be free of error or to accurately reflect current government policy. It is the responsibility of the reader to verify the accuracy of any information.