With close to 700,000 people moving to the United Kingdom each year, the country has become a popular destination for those looking to immigrate from other countries. The reasons behind these migrations encompass motives such as employment, marriage, education, or merely a better life for their family. Although most have a basic understanding of how the immigration process works, we have provided ten things to consider when immigrating to the UK.
1. Marriage Does Not Automatically Qualify for Citizenship
Although marriage to a UK citizen allows one to apply for naturalisation, it is not an automatic qualifier for citizenship. Those who wish to live in the UK with their spouse will be subject to immigration visa requirements until the process of naturalisation sets in motion.
When beginning the naturalisation process certain elements must meet immigration requirements. After establishing a marriage or a civil partnership, the next step is to acquire a spouse visa. The spouse visa allows the non-citizen spouse to remain within the UK and carry on employment until they meet the minimum residency requirements. After three years of living in the UK, an application for naturalisation may begin.
2. You May Qualify for an Ancestry Visa
If living in the UK is your objective, check into the eligibility for obtaining an ancestry visa. People born and living in Commonwealth countries worldwide will qualify for this particular visa if they have a grandparent born within the UK.
The ancestry visa provides a privilege that surpasses other visas when immigrating to the Uk. Benefits include a five-year entitlement to live, work and start your own business and a path leading to British citizenship.
3. The Abolishment of the Labour Market Test
Beginning January 1st of 2021, the skilled workers’ new immigration policy takes effect. A substantial change to the old policy includes the fact that the once strict, labour market test has changed. Under the new policy, companies can recruit foreign workers based on the overall best candidate. The old approach only allowed this if there were no settled workers already available to perform the job.
This new policy means if you are in a specialised field, it becomes much more straightforward to apply for a work visa in the UK.
4. Work Visa Through Irish Legacy
Another thing to consider when immigrating to the UK brings us back to ancestry legacies. Before applying for work in the UK, research if your grandparents were born on the island of Ireland.
The birth right allows a person to secure Irish citizenship. Once citizenship is in hand, one can utilise a special arraignment which allows Irish citizens to work within the UK. With so many descendants of Irish peoples living worldwide, this rule is of great benefit over a typical work visa application.
5. An Overstay Will Result in Negative Consequences
All types of visas involved in the UK immigration process have time limitations. For example, many people around the world visit the UK before filing any kind of long term visa. Some find they enjoy life in the UK and make the mistake of overstaying their visitor visa, a tragic error in judgement.
Under UK immigration, the overstay of a visa is a breach of immigration laws. The decision to overstay or use deception during your stay will affect future applications. One of the requirements of any further visa applications provides you do not have any past breaches of immigration laws, resulting in a costly decision. Violators must wait ten years from the time of the infringement before naturalisation can begin.
6. The Good Character Requirement
Having a checkered past is grounds for denial of citizenship status in most countries. The United Kingdom is no exception to this rule. In order to maintain public safety, the “good character requirement” asks that the applicant for naturalisation not have previous negative conduct.
These unfavorable conditions are quite extensive and include actions as serious as terrorism, and criminal convictions and as mild as notoriety, and dishonesty, plus many more characteristics as the authorities deem out of good character. For those who are unclear whether their personal background will constitute a problem during the naturalisation process will benefit from representation by an immigration attorney.
7. Absence from The UK Prior to Application
The ten things to consider when immigrating to the UK include how much absence you are allowed outside of the country during the naturalisation process. The exclusion of your presence in the UK for more than ninety days and during a twelve-month period immediately before the filing of an application is prohibited. Another time requirement comprises not allowing the applicant more than 450 days of absence during the foregoing five years.
For these reasons, those who share time outside of the UK with other residences, or those with a propensity for long sabbaticals elsewhere, need to understand and abide by the conditions set in place.
8. Financial Responsibility for Student Visa
Each year thousands of students from across the globe acquire student visas to study abroad in the UK. It comes as a surprise to many however, when they learn of the financial responsibility requirements placed upon these visas.
To receive a student visa, each student must show they have enough money to live and pay tuition for the university attended. For tuition, you must show financial proof of monies available and in a standing account to complete any remaining tuition fees. These fees are separate from any living expense costs.
For living expenses, the requirement states evidence of a minimum of £1334 per month for a total of 9 months must exist. A secondary condition called the 28 day rule makes it necessary to show the account used for evidence has at least the required amount needed, present in the account for a consecutive 28 days.
9. Life In the UK Test And English Proficiency
Two qualifications needed for anyone seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK consist of “sufficient knowledge of life in the United Kingdom,” and English proficiency. Administered to applicants to cover these requirements are the “Life in the UK /English Language Settlement Tests.”
The Life in the UK examination is administered with twenty four questions on British history, traditions, and standards. Several online practice tests are available to those who need to familiarise themselves with the test.
10. Consider Immigration Services Are a Must
The final step in the ten things to consider when immigrating to the UK is to make use of immigration services if thinking of moving to the UK. The Immigration Lawyers in these firms have extensive knowledge of immigration law and the nuances of each.
Much time will be wasted by those seeking immigration without proper counsel. Whether the proper filling of documentation or failing to understand requirements not comprehending the issues can set potential immigrants back months or even years in their endeavour.