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» UK Visas and Immigration
UK Immigration offers a number of visa options, and knowing which visa to apply for should be the first step taken when making plans to travel to UK.
If you already have a job offer from a company in the UK you may be able to apply for a UK Work Permit.
If you already live in the UK, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. After a few years, you may even be able to apply for Naturalisation. You will have to pass the Life in the UK Test to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain or UK Citizenship. For more information, view our Life in the UK Test Preparation page.
All UK employers wishing to hire an employee from outside of the European Union must have an Employer Sponsorship Licence under the new points-based system for UK Immigration.
The Tier 1 (General) Scheme remains open only to visa extensions and applicants with exceptional talent. As a result, most applicants must now go through Tier 2 (Work Permits).
Tier 2 work permits are applied for by employers who need to fill a vacant position with a specific person.
The Tier 3 work permit category is for lower-skilled temporary workers to come to the UK to fill a specific job shortage.
The UK government offers Student Visas to welcome foreign students who want to study in the UK. No international student is allowed to remain in the UK longer than five years.
The Tier 5 Work Visa category is for temporary workers in the UK including the new Youth Mobility Scheme, which replaces the UK Working Holiday Visa.
UK Family Visas
People who are planning to marry a British citizen or permanent resident in the UK may apply for a fiance / fiancee visa in order to do this. Unlike most other visas of its kind, there is no requirement that the applicant and the sponsor have lived together before applying.
TThe Marriage Visa is for people who are married to or in a civil partnership with a UK citizen or permanent resident. UK citizens and permanent residents are able to apply sponsor their spouses or partners for a marriage visa.
Other UK Immigration Pathways
Permanent Residence in the UK is called Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Indefinite Leave to Remain is granted to people who have already shown a commitment to the UK on a temporary visa.
All visa nationals need entry clearance to enter the UK, even as tourists. Commonwealth and non-visa nationals are given up to 6 months of entry clearance to come to the UK for tourism on arrival at a UK port of entry.
UK residents are eligible to apply for British citizenship following a period of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Unless they are already British citizens by descent, all adults must register or naturalise in order to earn British citizenship.
The UK encourages anyone who can contribute to the British economy, and core to this ideology are business people, ranging from investors, to entrepreneurs and even new workers from the expanding EU market.
©Visa Bureau 2003-2013
The UK Visa Bureau is a division of Visa Bureau Ltd, an independent UK company specialising in visa and immigration services to the UK.
OISC No. F200600117 Authorised to Advise Sponsors
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