I'm a graduate student in the United States in biomedical sciences applying for a postdoctoral research associate job at a university in the UK. In the online application, it asks "Do you have the right to work in the UK?"

I have tried to look into this, but don't totally understand the results. I don't currently have a visa to work in the UK, but wouldn't anticipate any difficulties with getting a skilled worker visa. If the question is just asking whether I would be able to work in the UK, the answer is yes. If it's answering whether I already have the authorization to work in the UK, the answer is no.

Any insight would be appreciated!

  • 1
    Further to the answers below, your host institution should have a department that can answer these and other question with significantly better confidence than we do. Aug 26, 2021 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


In short - no, you do not have the right to work in the UK and should not say you do on the application. That question is asking about your situation currently. There may be other questions on the application that ask about if you need a visa to work in the UK (or a text box may be provided that you can use to explain you require a skilled worker visa to work).

  • Thanks for the quick reply! The only questions on the form regarding ability to work in the UK are "Do you have the right to work in the UK?" followed by a comment box "If YES, please note any conditions attached." It seems like I should just select "No" and hope that's not a disqualifying answer then.
    – fcw26
    Aug 26, 2021 at 1:40
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    Correct, you should check no there. Many research institutions (such as universities) are able to sponsor visas for international people hired there, and so they are very used to getting international applicants. There shouldn't be anything immediately disqualifying about being international (unless the company/institution says they can't sponsor visas).
    – mcianster
    Aug 26, 2021 at 1:49

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