How difficult is it for foreigners to get a job in London?

Updated on : January 17, 2022 by Lewis Hunt



How difficult is it for foreigners to get a job in London?

Although the myth has spread among non-natives, while living in England you will find a surprising number of English speaking broken English and grammatically incorrect. Therefore, this is not necessarily a reason to be rejected.

However, putting this aside, in terms of your question, I'd say it depends on three things: what skills you have, what type and size of company you choose to work for, and how much money you expect in return.

  1. The reason I chose skills as the first item is that it all comes down to your application (CV, cover letter, and interview). The Internet is full of work sites that wi
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Although the myth has spread among non-natives, while living in England you will find a surprising number of English speaking broken English and grammatically incorrect. Therefore, this is not necessarily a reason to be rejected.

However, putting this aside, in terms of your question, I'd say it depends on three things: what skills you have, what type and size of company you choose to work for, and how much money you expect in return.

  1. The reason I chose skills as the first item is that it all comes down to your application (CV, cover letter, and interview). The internet is full of job sites that will list the skills required for a position (as an office assistant). A good one with many articles is Monster Jobs. Pick a job for Office Assistant and take a look at the required skills: being a quick learner, Microsoft Office knowledge, etc. Check how your skills and those written on your CV match those that the company needs. This can help you a lot in both the initial application and the interview.
  2. The size of the company (be it a corporate technology company or a family company) is very important both in terms of application and its daily function, that is, what you learn, how difficult it is to get the job, what you do each day, how you can progress to earn more money.
  3. London is a large and highly competitive city. Luck and salary expectation can play an important role when applying for a job. Always check the websites that show roughly how much the rank is for that position, so you don't get sabotaged once you get to the interview.

To conclude, you can get a job as an office assistant in London if you are a foreigner. The likelihood of this happening depends on luck, skills, and expectations. I wish you the best of luck.

Everything from impossible (for an undocumented worker, trying to enter investment banking with no experience) to a little easier than a local (for a native Italian speaker, from Italy, with great qualifications and excellent experience, trying to get a job in an Italian fashion house)

Barriers generally will be.
1) Can you work legally?
2) Can you speak English well enough?
3) Do you have the right qualifications?

After that, the issues that matter are much smaller.
4) Are you likely to be less connected to those who have?
5) Is your experience a little less relevant here?

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Everything from impossible (for an undocumented worker, trying to enter investment banking with no experience) to a little easier than a local (for a native Italian speaker, from Italy, with great qualifications and excellent experience, trying to get a job in an Italian fashion house)

Barriers generally will be.
1) Can you work legally?
2) Can you speak English well enough?
3) Do you have the right qualifications?

After that, the issues that matter are much smaller.
4) Are you likely to be less connected to those who have?
5) Is your experience a little less relevant here?
6) Are employers a little less positive towards outsiders?

Here's the value of my two cents:
As Richard Guy and Tom Goodwin have mentioned, the first level of challenge is whether the job seeker is an EU or non-EU citizen. Furthermore, immigration rules are getting stricter every year, even more so if you are not a citizen of the EU. However, this does not mean that you have no chance if you are not an EU citizen; it's just that getting a job here in that case isn't exactly a walk in the park.
The next point is your desired job profile. If there are already many people in London who meet that criteria, the challenge becomes much more difficult, for obvious reasons.

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Here's the value of my two cents:
As Richard Guy and Tom Goodwin have mentioned, the first level of challenge is whether the job seeker is an EU or non-EU citizen. Furthermore, immigration rules are getting stricter every year, even more so if you are not a citizen of the EU. However, this does not mean that you have no chance if you are not an EU citizen; it's just that getting a job here in that case isn't exactly a walk in the park.
The next point is your desired job profile. If there are already many people in London who meet that criteria, the challenge becomes much more difficult, for obvious reasons. And if you believe the Reuters news (London tops New York as most popular destination for workers, poll), your challenge has already escalated.
Then comes English proficiency and the required experience and qualifications.
Overcome these hurdles and interviews and a job in London is there for the taking.

Not difficult. Of all the places in the UK, London is the most multicultural and the most accepted by people from abroad (not to say that anywhere else it is not). However, there are always jobs in London, being a global hub city, it can be a demanding place to work in any sector. There is a very high turnover in the retail trade, restaurants and bars and the construction trade; people are always hiring, but they expect experience. Your biggest problems will be meeting immigration demands (unless you are an EU citizen) as they have tightened in recent years and the language. It is not easy to get a job in London unless

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Not difficult. Of all the places in the UK, London is the most multicultural and the most accepted by people from abroad (not to say that anywhere else it is not). However, there are always jobs in London, being a global hub city, it can be a demanding place to work in any sector. There is a very high turnover in the retail trade, restaurants and bars and the construction trade; people are always hiring, but they expect experience. Your biggest problems will be meeting immigration demands (unless you are an EU citizen) as they have tightened in recent years and the language. It's not easy to get a job in London unless your English skills are at least reasonably good;

Normally very easy but…. COVID-19 and Brexit.

Due to COVID-19 In the last three months, unemployment has gone from being the lowest to the highest in 4 decades. Because of Brexit, in addition to this, it is going to get a lot worse in the short term. 2020–2022.

Brexit succeeded in a wave of "controlling borders" and "controlling immigration" with high unemployment there will be even more resentment against foreigners in many areas of the UK.

For the next 3-10 years, the UK will not be a good place for foreigners. Which is a great shame, especially since the UK has done this to itself.
However Scotlan

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Normally very easy but…. COVID-19 and Brexit.

Due to COVID-19 In the last three months, unemployment has gone from being the lowest to the highest in 4 decades. Because of Brexit, in addition to this, it is going to get a lot worse in the short term. 2020–2022.

Brexit succeeded in a wave of "controlling borders" and "controlling immigration" with high unemployment there will be even more resentment against foreigners in many areas of the UK.

For the next 3-10 years, the UK will not be a good place for foreigners. Which is a great shame, especially since the UK has done this to itself.
However, Scotland is likely to become independent (and rejoin the EU) and Scotland wants immigration. Northern Ireland will unify with RoI, so there will be opportunities there. It is only England that will shoot itself in both feet.

Some sectors are always understaffed and dependent on immigrants. Catering, bar and hotel work is pretty easy to find. Anyone can be a seller or a passenger, but this does not guarantee income.

Finding a "suitable" job is much more difficult. Parking guards used to be a common choice for migrants and bus drivers.
People cannot afford to live in London, so there is always a shortage of people doing low-paying jobs.

There is a shortage of skilled builders and traders, construction sites tend to employ South Africans and Poles.

You will not get a job without a passport, employers are fined for employing immigration

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Some sectors are always understaffed and dependent on immigrants. Catering, bar and hotel work is pretty easy to find. Anyone can be a seller or a passenger, but this does not guarantee income.

Finding a "suitable" job is much more difficult. Parking guards used to be a common choice for migrants and bus drivers.
People cannot afford to live in London, so there is always a shortage of people doing low-paying jobs.

There is a shortage of skilled builders and traders, construction sites tend to employ South Africans and Poles.

You won't get a job without a passport, employers are fined for employing immigrants, so you will need to have documentation.

What "kind" of foreigner?
If you are a janitor or daily wage worker from any country, then it is almost impossible.
If you are an expert in machine learning, artificial intelligence or finance from any country, somewhere between "possible" and "very easy".
I assume by 'foreigner' you mean someone who has no right to work in the UK.
To hire someone outside the UK, the employer must:
Show the Home Office that you are the best person for the job. This includes skills in the domain of the particular job and in the language.
Obtain a certificate of sponsorship for the worker.
Pay the NHS surcharge

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What "kind" of foreigner?
If you are a janitor or daily wage worker from any country, then it is almost impossible.
If you are an expert in machine learning, artificial intelligence or finance from any country, somewhere between "possible" and "very easy".
I assume by 'foreigner' you mean someone who has no right to work in the UK.
To hire someone outside the UK, the employer must:
Show the Home Office that you are the best person for the job. This includes skills in the domain of the particular job and in the language.
Obtain a certificate of sponsorship for the worker.
Pay the NHS surcharge,
After all this, the worker can come to the UK.
The British immigration system is simple but requires a little time.
After Brexit, the rules are the same, regardless of the country of origin. They will treat you the same, whether you are from Pakistan or Poland, Netherlands or Nigeria, Germany or Ghana.
I recently went through the system and it was generally fine and everything was smooth enough.
My employer paid for the NHS and everything else, so I'm very, very grateful to them.

It is not difficult at all. Some institutions actively encourage foreign nationals because of their bilingual skills. Banks are particularly good at this. So if you are good with numbers and people, I would suggest something like this. A large percentage of Londoners are foreigners, so this makes sense.

Finding work is possible for a foreigner, but the ease will depend on:

  • what is the status of your visa. Currently, it is even easier for EU citizens than for people from other countries.
  • value it brings to any business. Do you have any qualifications and references?
  • your command of English, especially for office jobs (sorry to say, but from your question, you obviously have room for improvement). While some foreigners are at least as good as native English speakers, there is a minimum to qualify. I suggest you look for something like IELTS.
  • the particular job market you are reaching
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Finding work is possible for a foreigner, but the ease will depend on:

  • what is the status of your visa. Currently, it is even easier for EU citizens than for people from other countries.
  • value it brings to any business. Do you have any qualifications and references?
  • your command of English, especially for office jobs (sorry to say, but from your question, you obviously have room for improvement). While some foreigners are at least as good as native English speakers, there is a minimum to qualify. I suggest you look for something like IELTS.
  • the particular job market you are entering (depends on industry and arrival time).

Have you thought it through? London can be a difficult place if you don't have a well-thought-out plan. Life is not cheap and some employer will take advantage of foreigners willing to work for very low pay, which will mean that you may have a hard time making ends meet.

That depends on what you are looking for.
Strictly about jobs, I got my first job (ever) in a pub, 8 days after moving in. Zero experience.

But you need a place to stay (or proof of address), a bank account, and a national insurance number. It takes a month for the NIN to arrive, but once you have that and a bank account, you're readable for anything, as long as you can qualify.

I'd say your grammar isn't good enough to get a job in London. You also haven't said where you really are from. If you do not have British or EU citizenship, you have almost no chance of obtaining a work visa and consequently many places will not even interview you. You cannot just come to the UK and look for work without proper documentation. It will be even more difficult when we leave the EU and you may be forced to leave even with EU citizenship.

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