I Want To Move To The UK: How Do I Go About It?
Updated: Apr 11, 2022
A general requirement to move to the UK is with a UK visa and written confirmation of your visa approval. However, there are several categories of UK visas and each of them has its specific requirements and sometimes, this can be confusing. It is imperative to be able to differentiate between these visas, to know the right one for you.
1. Student Visa
If you wish to study in the UK, you need to apply for a Student visa. The Student visa has replaced the Tier 4 (General) student visa. To be eligible for a Student visa, you must be 16 or over and must meet the following requirements:
Have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course - the amount will vary depending on your circumstances
Have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17 - you’ll need evidence of this when you apply. If you’re 16 or 17 and you want to study at an independent school in the UK, you may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead.
The student visa costs £348 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £475 to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK. On a student visa, you may be able to work in the UK, however, this is limited to 20 hours a week and more for health students.
2. A Health and Care Worker Visa
The Health and Care Worker Visa allows medical professionals to come to the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or adult social care. To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must:
Be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
Work in an eligible health or social care job
Work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
Have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
Be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do
The validity period for a Health and Care Worker visa is 5 years. If you want to stay longer in the UK you can apply to extend your visa as many times as possible as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’). This gives you the right to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.
3. Skilled Worker Visa
This visa is applicable to teachers overseas who want to live and work in the UK. You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa up to 3 months before you start work under the following conditions:
You, as the employer, are a licensed Home Office employer sponsor and have offered the overseas teacher a teaching job
The overseas teacher can speak, read, write and understand English
The role pays at least £20,480 or the relevant minimum rate for teachers in England, whichever is higher (minimum rates for teachers are in the School teachers’ pay and conditions document 2021 and guidance on school teachers’ pay and conditions) - if the role is part-time, pro-rata rates will apply as long as the salary is at least £20,480 a year
4. Start-up Visa
This visa is for those interested in setting up a business in the UK. Interestingly, there is no prior investment required to qualify for this visa, however, you must be able to show a certain degree of potential to get your visa approved. Start-up visas are valid for 2 years but cannot be extended, however you can switch to another visa e.g Innovator visa.
To be eligible for a Start-up visa, you must want to set up an innovative business in the UK. It must be an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is approved and supported by an endorsing body. This means your business idea must be original and different from anything else on the market
In addition to the aforementioned requirements, you must meet the other eligibility requirements. The Start-up visa costs £363 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £493 to switch to a Start-up visa from inside the UK.
5. Innovator Visa
This category of visa is for established entrepreneurs seeking to build and grow a business in the UK. It requires an investment of £50,000 in your business, but certain exceptions apply. You will also need to have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea that is approved and supported by an endorsing body.
This visa is valid for 3 years and can lead directly to indefinite leave to remain in the UK at the end of the validity period. Innovator visa applicants can bring their partner and any children under the age of 18 to the UK. The Innovator visa costs £1,021 if you’re applying from outside the UK and £1,277 to switch to a Start-up visa from inside the UK.
6. Global Talent Visa
If you work in tech then the Global Talent visa is the best opportunity for you to move to the UK. The Tech nation global talent visa is a new visa route designed to attract skilled talent from around the world. You can apply for a Global Talent visa to work in the UK if you’re a leader or potential leader in one of the following fields:
academia or research
arts and culture
It costs £608 to apply for the Global Talent visa. If you’re applying based on an endorsement, you’ll pay the £608 in two parts: £456 when you apply for the endorsement and £152 when you apply for the visa itself. If you’re applying based on an eligible award, you’ll pay the full £608 when you apply for the visa and if you’re including your partner or children in your application, they’ll each need to pay £608.
If your visa application is successful, you’ll get a full list of what you can and cannot do with the Visa you’ve been granted.
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