UK VISA AND IMMIGRATION:
If you’re thinking about travelling to the UK for a visit, to work, for business or to study, the whole process of obtaining a visa can seem like a daunting process. With the right information and guidance, however, it doesn’t need to be. This article provides a brief overview of UK visa and immigration system.
WHAT IS A UK VISA:
It’s an authorising document, granted by the Home Office, giving citizens of other countries the right to enter, stay temporarily or reside in UK. There are different visa categories issued, each of which have different rights and limitations attached to it.
At present, if you are a citizen of the European Economic Area (‘EEA’), Switzerland or a Commonwealth country, you are exempt from applying for a visa before entering the UK.
Non –European nationals are required to apply for a visa prior to coming to the UK. Once you’ve been issued a UK visa, you are eligible to enter the UK to carry out whatever the requirements of the particular type of visa that you have been granted. There are many different reasons why people want to apply for a UK visa, these include, but are not limited to:
- To work
- To do business/ invest
- To study
- To join a family member in the UK
- To visit as a tourist
TYPES OF VISA APPLICATIONS IN THE UK: POINTS- BASED SYSTEM
The UK has implemented what is known as Points-Based System (PBS). It is a system that categorises applicants in 5 ‘Tiers’, and requires an applicant to pass a points-based assessment in order to be eligible to apply for a category (i.e. you should reach a minimum point score for your application to be successful).
When applying for a visa, you should first decide what category you will be applying for. Generally speaking, there are 4 categories (each Tier has its own sub-Tiers):
Tier 1: Covers categories of entrepreneurs and investors. It also covers people who fall under the category of ‘exceptional talent’ and migrants with large financial assets.
Tier 2: For skilled foreign workers with a job offer in an area where there are skill shortages. It covers religious ministers and sports people.
Tier 4: For foreign students and specialists. People who apply in this category need to have an offer from a UK institution to work or study.
Tier 5: For temporary workers and youth mobility. There are 6 sub-categories which include creative, sporting, charity, religious workers, and the youth mobility scheme which enables about 55,000 young people every year to work in the UK on working holidays. The visas are granted to young people from countries that have a similar arrangement with the UK
OTHER TYPES OF UK VISAS:
The Points- Based System covers mostly work, study, and investment visas. There are a number of other categories that are not covered by the PBS, which includes visitor or family visas, and there are also some UK business visas, long stay visas, settlement visas which are not covered. These have categories of their own and are based on the specific reason for the stay in the UK.
Each type of Visa issued has conditions attached to it. These conditions include:
- Time limit of how long you can stay in the UK
- Regarding permission to work in the UK
- Regarding your finances- your ability to maintain yourself in the UK
- Whether you have permission to study in the UK
COMMON VISA APPLICATIONS:
You can find out more about each type of Visa by clicking on the following links:
MORE INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE:
This article was written by Master Legal Services. For more information and assistance with any UK immigration matters they can be contacted on email: firstname.lastname@example.org