Home UNITED KINGDOM Finding a Job in the UK as a Foreigner

Finding a Job in the UK as a Foreigner


Are you in need of a good-paying job in the UK? If yes, then this article is a great read. Finding a job in the UK as a foreigner can be a bit overwhelming since it’s a country where you have little or no work experience. However, there are numerous opportunities available for foreigners in the UK.

The United Kingdom is one of the best countries globally that offer foreigners various employment opportunities. Furthermore, the country has a thriving economy and a very low unemployment rate of 2.2%. Therefore, finding a job in the UK as a foreigner will open you to a wide range of high-paying, in-demand jobs.


Even though the cost of living is a bit high, workers in the UK earn a commendable salary of £10.41 per hour. Finding a job in the UK as a foreigner is far more attainable than it might initially seem at the beginning. Therefore, to help you handle the UK job market, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on how to go about getting a job in the UK.

In this article, we’ll discuss the requirements to get a job in the UK, how to secure a good-paying job, and its benefits. Let’s get started!

Requirements Needed to Get a Job in the UK

As the saying goes, “preparation is the key to success”; therefore, you must prepare for the various processes involved in your job search. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom welcomes thousands of foreigners yearly, hoping to start a new life and career. Although, if you do not know the rules and regulations involved with working in the UK, the process may appear complicated.

Knowing the right information will make the application process easy and yield a


positive result. Below, we will take you through the requirements to find a job in the UK as a foreigner.


While this may not necessarily be a prerequisite, many companies in the UK would rather accept internationally recognized qualifications. This is because the job market is highly competitive. Therefore, you need to find out how qualifications awarded in your home country will be equivalent to the British qualifications.

National Insurance (NI) Number

Whether you are a British, European, or international citizen, every employee in the UK must have an NI number. However, if you can prove your right to work in the UK, you may start working before obtaining your NI number. You must inform your potential employer that your NI number is awaiting and provide it once you receive it.

Earlier this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) established an online NI application service for employees. Meanwhile, the application process is now online except your documents are not complete yet. Furthermore, when you want to apply, you must submit the following documents below.

  • Your international passport.
  • Your biometric residence permit (BRP).

Even if you don’t have these documents, you can apply but may need to make an appointment to show your identity. Many people who are already working but do not have an NI number will experience higher emergency taxes until it’s issued.

Resume Preparation

Once you’ve begun the necessary process, you should start searching for a job by preparing your resume. However, you must ensure your resume meets UK standards exactly. A chronological CV is the right structure to use.

It follows a simple pattern, presented in reverse chronological order, and first highlights your latest experience and achievements. Furthermore, employers get to see and assess the worth of your latest and relevant work experiences easily and faster. You should customize each of your resume to the job description and the company you want to apply to.

Note: You should remember to:

  1. Provide only the important information.
  2. List statistics and metrics that show the employer your professional value.
  3. Avoid listing hobbies that are not relevant to the job description.
  4. Have all necessary documents available.
  5. Use the correct resume format (chronological format is most common in the UK).
  6. Avoid grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
  7. Use headings, bullet points, and spacing to break information up for easy understanding.
  8. Ensure that the words you use match the keywords in the job description.
The National Careers Service (NCS) has helped compile a basic resume builder to guide you. Most times, job applications in the U.K. usually consist of an application form or a CV and cover letter. This will serve the same purpose as your statement. You can also use MyPerfectCV to write your CV, which isn’t free.

Add your Resume to Application Portals

A standard resume that is properly uploaded will reflect a positive image of your professionalism. This will further increase your chances of getting picked for the position. Employers usually receive many applications and may overlook applications with incorrectly uploaded resumes.

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Furthermore, this may delay the recruitment process should the employer need to contact you for another copy of your resume. We have outlined some simple steps to consider when uploading your resume online.

  • Step 1: Choose a suitable and understandable name for your file.
  • Step 2: Pick the correct file format (.doc, .docx, and PDF are preferred).
  • Step 3: Save the file on your computer.
  • Step 4: Ensure you double-check the file before uploading it to be sure the document can be opened.
  • Step 5: Click the ‘upload’ button and select the file.

In case you encounter difficulty uploading your resume, it may be that the website has some issues. Nonetheless, try to contact the employer to see if there’s another way you can submit your resume.

How to Find a Job in the UK Job Market

After you have completed your resume, let the job hunt begin. However, most candidates apply for jobs through recruitment agencies instead of applying to the company directly. These recruitment agencies usually have suitable contacts and can put you forward for jobs that need your skills.

You should first check out the recruitment agencies’ website for the available jobs, as some specialize in certain industries. Furthermore, no one understands what employers want than the recruitment agencies. Make sure you register with lots of agencies at the same time, to increase your chances of finding a job.

There are other ways to search for job opportunities; these include:

  1. Government of UK Job portal.
  2. Jobsearch websites.
  3. Newspapers and the media.

Tips for Job Interview

After you have secured an interview with a potential employer, you need to make a good impression. Therefore, take note of the following points ahead of the interview.

  1. Make the necessary research about the company and position.
  2. Compile a list of interview questions and answers to revise.
  3. Be at the interview venue at least ten minutes early and call if you will be arriving late.
  4. Dress decently and officially, as it is better to overdress than underdress.

However, during the interview, do not forget to:

  1. Be confident and friendly.
  2. Speak loudly and clearly, and be detailed and sincere with your answers.
  3. Demonstrate that you are the stronger candidate for the position.
  4. Ask meaningful questions if necessary.

Obtaining a UK Work Visa

After graduating from a UK institution, your graduate visa will permit you to remain in the country for two years after completing your studies. This will give you time to search for jobs and apply for a work visa. A Skilled-Worker visa will allow you to remain in the UK for an additional five years, after which you can apply for permanent settlement.

However, you must apply for the visa three months before starting work. Also, you will provide evidence of your job offer from an approved employer. You could get a Health and Care Worker visa to meet demand within the healthcare sector.

Furthermore, you must be a qualified health professional such as a doctor, nurse, or adult social care. Your employer must also be certified by the Home Office. Other visas available include the Innovator and Start-up visas issued to the self-employed.

However, these work visas will guarantee you two to three years of residence so you can demonstrate that your idea is feasible and genuine. But if you are visiting for work, study, or pleasure, the short-term visa will allow you to stay up to six months. Remember that the visa type you need will vary based on the purpose of your visit.

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Industries to Consider for Getting a Job in the UK

Below, we have outlined some common jobs for you to consider when finding a job in the UK as a foreigner. Read on!

1. Healthcare

Searching for jobs in the UK, you could pursue a career as a healthcare provider. This will allow you to work in the public or private sector to positively impact people’s lives. Furthermore, these jobs require a diploma or undergraduate degree, which you gained internationally but preferably from the UK.

Jobs in the healthcare sectors include:

  • Doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Public health specialist
  • Psychologist

2. Engineering and Manufacturing

The engineering and manufacturing sector is a dynamic one with numerous job opportunities in construction, transport, and technology, among other sectors. However, studying engineering courses at the undergraduate level in any UK university will also land you great opportunities. Ensure you make connections during your course and apply for jobs after graduation. Alternatively, you can search for engineering apprenticeships or apply for jobs awarding you internationally acquired degrees.

3. Retail

Getting a job in the retail sector involves selling goods to customers in supermarkets, shops, online, door-to-door, and market stalls. There are various types of retail job opportunities and these include:

  • Retail management.
  • Customer service.
  • Buying and selling.
  • Online retail.
  • Visual merchandise.
  • Warehouse and logistics.

4. Accounting and finance

In the UK, you can search for jobs in banks, accounting companies, and other organizations with accounting and finance departments. However, the accounting and finance sector involves filing corporate taxes and returns and preparing financial documents. As well as cash flow statements, balance sheets, and developing budgets and reports.

Furthermore, you can upgrade yourself and improve your chances by associating with professional bodies. Such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) or the Association of International Accountants (AIA).

Benefits of Working in the UK

1. Financial Improvement

One of the major advantages of working in the UK is that your earnings will be in pounds. Meanwhile, if you consider the high exchange rate of the British pound, you’ll realize that you are earning a high salary. This will guarantee you a great quality of life, a sustainable future, and earnings above your home country’s.

2. Permanent Residence

In the United Kingdom, if you have been working for at least five years, you can apply for permanent residency. Moreover, having a permanent residency will allow you to live and work anywhere in the UK without a visa. A permanent residence will allow you to relocate your family to the UK.

3. Healthcare and Education Facilities

Healthcare and educational institutions offer free medical and educational services to residents in the UK. Furthermore, this is an advantage for immigrants to acquire special health plans and access the best form of emergency/medical treatment. These services could be free or come at subsidized rates. Additionally, the UK has many reputable schools and universities offering free educational services.


4. Social Security Benefits

Five important social security benefits are offered to employees in the UK. They include:

  1. National Insurance (NI): Employees are provided with financial assistance in case of sickness, unemployment, death of a partner, retirement, and more. However, only individuals that pay for National Insurance contributions can qualify for these benefits.
  2. National Health Service (NHS): This insurance scheme provides medical, optical, and dental treatment to individuals in the UK. Generally, it is a free service for residents in the UK.
  3. Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit: This scheme provides cash benefits for people raising children in the UK.
  4. Non-contributory Benefits: This scheme is created for specific disabled people or careers.
  5. Other statutory payments made by employers to employees: These may include maternity, paternity, adoption leave, and many more.