Before you enter the UK, you may require a visa dependent on your age and nationality. Please look at the following categories to see which visa fits your circumstances. Without an applicable visa and passport you will not be able to enter the UK!
Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)
If you are a Commonwealth national aged 18-30 and haven’t previously entered the UK using this visa or a previous working holiday visa, you will qualify under a Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) Tier 5 visa.
It is a simple online application to start the process and is the most common way for a Commonwealth national to enter the UK, allowing you to work unrestricted for a 2 year period.
There is a fee for processing the YMS along with a separate healthcare surcharge fee. The visa can take approximately 2 months to process but in an emergency situation can be fast-tracked in as little as 1 week.
To find out more and to start the application process please visit: www.gov.uk/tier-5-youth-mobility
UK Ancestry Visa
If you are a Commonwealth national and can prove that one of your grandparents was born in the United Kingdom, you may be eligible for an Ancestry visa. This is a 5 year visa which allows you to work unrestricted in the UK.
There is a fee for processing the visa along with a separate healthcare surcharge fee. Applying for this visa can be started online.
To find out more and start the application process please visit: www.gov.uk/ancestry-visa/overview
European Union (EU Passport)
If you have a passport from any country within the European Union, you will the automatic right to enter the UK. If you don’t have an EU passport but have a parent or grandparent that you can prove was born within the European Union, you may be eligible for a passport from that country. It is worth noting however that some countries are far more restrictive than others in processing passport applications.
These countries within Europe currently allow entry to the UK:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Work Permit (Tier 2 General-Shortage Occupation)
If your circumstances don’t fit any of the previous categories, the final option is to enter the UK on a work permit which must be sponsored directly with a school. This application is more restricted and only officially available to teachers who have qualified as a Maths, Chemistry or Physics specialist.