Work

6 months or less 

If you intend to work in the UK for 6 months or less you will not need a visa for some academic or work visits, but you will need to obtain one if you want to work full-time.

You will be able to come to the UK without a visa:

  • if you are invited as an expert in your profession and you will be paid (Permitted Pay Engagement)
  • if you have travelled to the UK for some commercial or academic activity, but you will not be working in the UK full-time.

However, you may wish to apply for a visa if you have a criminal record or have previously been refused entry to the UK.

If you have been invited as an expert in your profession, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 1 month without a visa, but you may only be paid by a UK-based organisation to do certain things, such as giving guest lectures at a higher education institution, providing legal assistance in legal proceedings or participating in arts, entertainment or sporting activities (full list of permitted activities in the Permitted Paid Engagement visa section).

At the UK border you will need to provide a passport which must be valid for the duration of your stay in the UK.

You may also be asked to prove that:

  • you are fit to carry out the activities you intend to do
  • you have made arrangements for accommodation for the period of your stay
  • you will leave the UK as soon as your visit is over
  • you are able to support yourself and your employees during your visit (or have funding from someone else to support you)

If you are travelling to the UK for other business or academic activities: you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa, but you will only be able to carry out certain academic or business activities, such as going to a conference or meeting, attending a specific sporting event, performing as an artist, entertainer or musician, doing academic research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.

However, without a visa you will not be able to carry out paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a freelancer, undertake an internship or apprenticeship, sell directly to the public or provide goods and services.

It is important to check the visitor rules to see the full list of what it is possible to do.

At the border you will have to provide a passport which must be valid for the duration of your stay in the UK and you may also be asked to prove the same requirements as outlined in the previous step.

If you intend to do paid work in the UK for up to 6 months, you will need to apply for a visa if you want to work:

  • as a volunteer through the Temporary Worker – Charity Worker (T5) visa
  • as an intern or temporary trainee by applying for a Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange (T5) visa
  • for a charitable organisation on a Temporary Worker – Charity Worker (T5) visa
  • for a religious organisation on a Temporary Worker – Religious Worker (T5) visa
  • as a domestic worker in a private home on a Domestic Workers in a Private Household visa
  • in transfer to your employer’s branch office in the UK on an Intra-company visa
  • in a skilled job through the Skilled Worker visa
  • in work that falls under international law, for example for a foreign government or as a private domestic servant in a diplomatic house using the Temporary Worker – International Agreement Worker (T5) visa
  • to provide a service on behalf of a Swiss company using the Service providers from Switzerland visa
  • in sports using the Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting (T5) visa
  • in the arts or entertainment using the Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting (T5) visa

If you want to work in the field of sports, arts or entertainment for less than 3 months, you will not need a visa when entering the UK using the Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting (T5) visa.

You will, however, need to bring a certificate of sponsorship and proof of savings to show to officials at the UK border. In this case you will need to meet a Border Police officer and not use ePassport automatic entry.

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More than 6 months

If you will be working in the UK for more than 6 months you will need a visa and the type of visa will depend on your circumstances.

A ‘skilled worker’ visa may be suitable if you have been offered:

  • a skilled job in the UK
  • a job in the public sector such as health or social care, for example in the NHS
  • a role in the UK branch of your employer abroad 
  • a job in a religious community
  • a job as an elite sportsman or coach

A ‘temporary worker’ visa may be suitable if you want to work in the UK for a short period of time:

  •  in sport
  •  in the arts or entertainment
  • as a volunteer for a charity
  • in a work experience or research and training programme
  •  for a religious organisation

It is important to remember that if you are between 18 and 30 years old, are from San Marino and want to work in the UK for up to two years, you can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme (T5) visa.

You can also apply for an international agreement visa if you will be carrying out work covered by international law while in the UK (for example working for a foreign government or as a private servant in a diplomatic post).

If you want to start a business in the UK, you will need to apply for:

  • a Start-Up visa, if you are starting a business for the first time
  • an Innovator Visa, if you are an experienced entrepreneur with funds to invest.

Other types of visa to apply for are

  • Global talent visa, to work as a leader in academia, research, arts, culture and digital technology
  • Investor Visa, if you want to invest £2 million or more in the UK

You can also apply for a UK Ancestry visa if one of your ancestors was born in the UK.

You can also apply as a domestic worker in a private household or as a representative of an overseas company.

The Honorary Consulate of San Marino endeavours to keep the information above updated but strongly recommends checking the UK government website for any eventual changes.

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