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Working in the UK

This page shows information about working in the UK.

Disclaimer: Hongkongers in Britain is not a legal firm. Our advice shall never be regarded as professional legal advice. You must seek professional legal advice from your legal advisor in order to protect your maximum interest.

Last Updated: 8-5-2022

Your right to work

There are five important points you need to know if you are a BN(O) visa holder and you wish to find a job :

  1. You have the right to work as soon as you have been granted the BN(O) visa.

  2. However, you CANNOT work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach.

  3. To work in the UK, you will need a National Insurance number (a.k.a. NI number).

  4. You can start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK. You can ask your employer to view your right to work here.

  5. If your potential employer or recruiters are concerned about your BN(O) visa and your right to work, you may send them the 'To whom it may concern letter' from the UK Government for their information.

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List of Skills Advisory Panels and local skills reports

To understand the skills needed in each region you can look at the Skills Advisory Panel webpage for the area you are interested in: 

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National Careers Service

National Careers Service is a FREE Government service in England provides careers information, advice and guidance. They can help you to make decisions on learning, training and work at all stages in your career.

  • Skills assessment - Learn more about your skills and match them to potential new careers.

  • Explore Careers - Choose from over 800 career profiles to discover what a job involves.

  • Find a course - Look for learning and training opportunities local to you.

  • Action plan - Taking the next step in your career can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s helpful to break down a big decision into small steps that you can do one at a time. Use your action plan to keep track of the goals and actions you and your adviser set during your appointment.

  • Careers advice - The National Careers Service can help you make career decisions throughout your life. From deciding your education route, planning a career change at any age or getting the job that is right for you.

  • How to write a CV - Check their CV advice on what to include and how to make it stand out.

  • How to write a cover letter - Learn more about cover letters, why they're important and how to use them.

  • Interview tips - Find out about the different types of interviews and how to do well in them.

  • Common interview questions: how to answer - Learn how to answer interview questions with confidence and make a good impression.

  • Phone interviews: how to do well - Follow their advice on how to prepare and succeed in phone interviews.

  • Video interviews: how to do well - Follow their advice on how to well in live or pre-recorded video interviews.

  • Explain gaps in work history - Get advice on how to tell employers about gaps in your employment history.

  • Create a LinkedIn profile - Develop your job search and network by creating an online LinkedIn profile.

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Job searching platforms

Run by the UK Government:

Disclaimer: Hongkongers in Britain does not have any contracts with and does not make any benefits from the companies listed below.

NOT run by the UK Government (in alphabetical order):



Ecctis - Ecctis provides official UK national agency services on behalf of the UK Government in qualifications, skills, and migration:

  • UK ENIC is the UK National Information Centre for recognition of global qualifications and skills.

  • UK Visas and Nationality services are provided on behalf of the UK Home Office. Visas and Nationality statements support applications to the Home Office for visas and for settlement.

  • The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UKCPQ or CPQ) provides official advice and support for the recognition of international professional qualifications in the UK. They operate the UKCPQ on behalf of BEIS, the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)

DBS - DBS helps employers make safer recruitment decisions. DBS is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.

The types of check are as follows:

  • a basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions

  • a standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings

  • a enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role

  • an enhanced check with a check of the barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the adults’ barred list, children’s barred list or both

Applicants (job candidates) can’t do a standard or enhanced check on themselves - you will need to get an application form from the employer who asked you for a disclosure check.

You can request a basic check for yourself.

The type of work you are doing, or will be doing, will determine the level of check that you need.

You can find out more about the DBS check process in this guide.

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UK Police Forces

When you are applying for Certificates of No Criminal Conviction (CNCC) outside Hong Kong, you are required to provide a full set of your fingerprints taken and certified by the UK Police Forces. In this regard, you may need to find out whether your local Police Force is providing this service by searching the keyword 'fingerprint' on their website.

Please find out your local Police Force's website here.


Please note that some local Police Forces may not provide fingerprint service for application for CNCC. If this is the case, you may need to book your appointment with other Police Force instead.


FREE Employment workshops &
FREE One-to-one career coaching sessions

If you are still in Hong Kong and planning to move to the UK, or you are in the UK and looking for a job, you may sign up to attend our FREE employment workshops and/or one-to-one career coaching sessions which are provided by our deliver partner, Renaisi.

For details, please visit our dedicated webpage here.


FREE 20-week career development mentoring scheme

If you are aged from 16 to 24 and looking for personal development, please sign up and join our FREE 20-week career development mentoring scheme provided by one of our delivery partner, New Creation.

For details, please visit our dedicated webpage here.



Please send an email to our Employment Coordinator, Alex Mak, at if you have any enquiries regarding employment or starting a business in the UK. Alex has a heavy workload so please forgive him if he cannot reply to you so soon.