Visas for the UK

usvisacapThe UK is one of the most popular destinations in the world. The heart of the English-speaking world, the UK is a leading political, cultural and economic centre which is at the very forefront of 21st century multiculturalism.

If you would like to move to the country, there are several visa options available depending on what country you are from, what you intend to do in the UK and how long you intend to stay.

 Work Permit

If you already have an offer of employment in the UK, your employer may apply for what is known as a Tier 2 work permit on your behalf.

There are several types of work permit available:

  • Skilled Worker – if you work in a particular occupation or have specific needs required in the British workforce you may qualify as a skilled worker.
  • Intra-Company Transfer – If you are simply moving to a UK based branch of a company you already work for.
  • Sports People – If you are entering the country as an elite athlete or sports personality.
  • Minister of Religion – Ministers of bona fide religions are eligible for tier two work permits.

A Tier Two UK visa holder is allowed to live and work in the UK for the same employer for up to three years, which can then be extended. After residing in the UK for five years, Tier Two UK visa holders are eligible to apply for permanent residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Student Visa

A student visa allows the holder to live in the UK while studying for at least 15 hours a week at any one of the many accredited education institutions in the UK.

In order to qualify for a student visa, an applicant must:

  • Have already secured a place at an accredited institution
  • Meet certain English language requirements
  • Have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your study
  • Return home after finishing your course of study

Tier 5 Temporary UK Work Visa

The Tier 5 UK visa is for holders who intend to enter and work in the country in for a limited period of time. In order to qualify for a Tier 5 UK visa, an applicant must already have a specific offer of short-term, specific employment with a licensed sponsor.

Applicants will require a valid Certificate of Sponsorship before applying under one of the following five categories:

  • Charity worker – for holders intending to undertake temporary voluntary work
  • Creative and sporting – for holders entering the UK to work as athletes, artists or entertainers for limited periods of time
  • Religious worker category – for holders intending to undertake pastoral or preaching work while on holiday from permanent employment
  • Government authorised exchange – this category has been used in the past to help share worker knowledge and skills between countries
  • International agreement category – for holders contracted to provide services in the UK under international law

Family Visa

If you would like to move to the UK to join a UK based partner, spouse or other family member, alternatively, if you would like bring a dependent child to the country, the range of UK visa options available include:

  • Fiancé visa – If you are intending to marry a British citizen or permanent resident, provided the marriage is genuine, an applicant will be given six months to enter the UK and get married. After which they can remain in the UK for 60 months before applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).
  • Marriage visa – If you are already married or in a civil partnership to a British citizen or permanent resident, provided the marriage is genuine, applicants can be granted a marriage visa for a total of 60 months (with a renewal at 33 months) before being eligible for ILR.
  • Unmarried partners visa – people who have been involved in a genuine ‘marriage like’ relationship for at least two years can be eligible for an unmarried partner visa which carries the same conditions as the marriage visa.
  • Elderly dependent visa – British citizens or permanent residents are permitted to bring elderly dependent relatives to the country typically if they are a parent or grandparent and aged 65 or over, although other circumstances are often considered. The holder is usually eligible for ILR.

For further information ask the experts