If you already know how to drive an LGV professionally, then moving to the UK to do it seems like a no brainer. After all, a lorry is a lorry, no matter what country you’re in, and with the UK experiencing a prolonged driver shortage, you’re almost guaranteed a job quickly. But the problem is, if you’re not a British citizen, you will need a work visa to come to the country, and that can be tricky. Today, we’re going to go through how you can drive professionally in the UK on a work visa.
The Work Permit Rules
The main thing you will need to contend with is the work visa rules. Unsurprisingly, the rules around coming into the UK for work are pretty strict, as well as a little confusing. For starters, there are 5 types of long-term work visas available for the UK, as well as 7 short-term work visa options, so you’ll have to choose the right one for you. For most, the General Work Visa (Tier 2) would be the one they apply for, and this means you are a general worker looking to work in the UK. You can be sponsored into a job by a licenced employer, or you can opt to apply individually.
If you are applying for an industry that has a shortage of workers in the UK (like HGV driving), you can apply for a work permit for up to 3 years, your fees will be reduced. At time of writing, a work visa just for yourself will cost just £464.
What You Need To Drive An LGV In The UK
The thing that’s going to cause an even bigger stumbling block is likely to be the qualifications you need. Because to drive a HGV professionally in the UK you need:
- A UK drivers licence
- A Driver CPC
- A HGV licence
You see, the rules around driving HGVs for a living are quite clear, and the rules around driving in the UK with a foreign licence are also quite clear.
If you want to just drive an everyday vehicle for personal use in the UK, like a car or a motorbike, then all you need is a valid license for that vehicle from your country. This will allow you to legally drive in the UK for 12 months from the last time you entered Britain. But this doesn’t cover driving professionally, or driving any vehicle larger than a car.
If you want to drive an LGV professionally, you will need to have a full UK drivers licence. This means you’ll need to study for it here, take lessons here and pass the tests here. So unfortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to just get a job driving an LGV right away on a work visa. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it at all.
Training To Drive An LGV
If you already know how to drive an LGV in your country, all you need to do is retrain in the UK to drive an LGV professionally here. Firstly, as we explained earlier, this means studying for and taking the tests for your UK drivers license, which can be fast tracked if you can already drive.
Then you’ll need to get your Driver CPC through a qualified driver training school. The Driver CPC is the Certificate of Professional Competency, and is the bare minimum you will need to be a professional driver. And finally, you’ll need to do a training course to drive the vehicle size of your choice. There’s a lot of options, so we recommend you choose the vehicle size you’re used to first, and move on to others afterwards if you want to. If you’re not sure which course is right for you, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
At The Surrey & Hampshire Training Centre, we believe anyone should have the right to become an HGV driver. And with driver shortages at an all-time high, we are keen to train as many new divers as possible with these new skills, and get them on the roads earning a living in the UK. If you would like to find out more about working in the UK as a HGV driver on a work permit, just get in touch to speak to one of our experts today.
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