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Other Visas

UK Visas

UK immigration & work visas

The UK is one of the World’s most popular immigration destinations for people wishing to live and work in a new country. However, the UK’s immigration system is restrictive. From 2008 to 2010 the UK’s five tier, points-based visa system was phased in, which measures applicants against various criteria designed to assess their eligibility for a UK work or study visa. Most work-related visa applications, as well as Tier 4 study visa applications, are now made through this system.
Since 2010 the UK government has made a series of changes to UK immigration law in order to restrict immigration to the UK, especially from outside of the EEA

  • 5 Tier UK Visa Systems

The United Kingdom’s points-based 5 tier visa system is the main UK immigration route for migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to come to the UK to work, study, invest or train.

The system separates applicants into five ‘tiers’. In order to be eligible for a visa in any of the five tiers you must pass a points-based assessment. In work visa applications, points are generally awarded according to the applicant’s ability, experience and age. You must reach a point’s score above a minimum threshold if your application is to be successful. The minimum number of points required varies for each tier.

The UK five tier visa systems consist of the following:

  • Tier 1 Visa: This visa category is for ‘high-value migrants’ from outside the EEA and covers entry of entrepreneurs, investors, and those very few people who come under the ‘exceptional talent’ visa.
  • Tier 2 Visa: This category is for ‘skilled workers’ from outside the EEA with a job offer in the UK. It includes skilled workers who are transferred to the UK by an international company, skilled workers where there is a proven shortage in the UK, ministers of religion and sportspeople.
  • Tier 3 Visa: This category was designed for low-skilled workers filling specific temporary labor shortages. The Government has so far never allocated any visas under this scheme. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot apply for the Tier 3 visa scheme.
  • Tier 4 Visa: This category is for students aged over 16 from outside the EEA who wish to study in the UK. Applicants must have a place at a registered UK educational establishment before they can apply.
  • Tier 5 Visa: This category contains six sub-tiers of temporary worker including creative and 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 awarded to young people from countries that have reciprocal arrangements with the UK.

Other UK visas

The five tier system covers most work, study, and investment visas. But visitor visas, family visas, and some UK business visas fall outside of the five tiers.

  • UK Visitor Visas: This section has the information you need to enter the UK as a visitor, whether for business or pleasure  
  • UK Family Visas: Whether you want to bring your family to the UK, or join a family member already living there, this section covers the main UK visa options for families.
  • UK Business Visas: This section covers a limited number of long term business visas which fall outside of the five tier system.

Further information, help, and advice

www.uscispassportsvisa.com team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the UK. We work under Section 84 of the 1999 immigration act and will submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com  

C.) Non Tier UK Business visas

There are some alternatives to the UK entrepreneur visa that usually requires an investment of £200,000.  Businesses and business owners should consider whether it may be possible to come under the Tier 2 sponsorship license scheme or representative of an overseas business or Turkish businessperson visa.

Details on Tier 1 visas for investors and entrepreneurs can be found in our Tier 1 visa section. For other UK business visas which are not included in the 5 Tier systems please see below.

UK Business Visas

There are also some UK visas which allow business people to enter the UK for a limited time in order to take part in permitted paid engagements, such as meetings and seminars, or to represent their business in some other way.

The following business visa categories may be worth considering for those who can’t or don’t want to come under the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme.

  • Representative of an Overseas Business visa For business people coming to the UK to set up the first UK branch or subsidiary of an overseas company. The representative must be a senior employee of the overseas company, but must not be a major shareholder. The UK business must be wholly owned by the overseas company. 
    This visa also allows overseas journalists on long-term assignment to enter the UK.
    This is a long term visa which can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
  • Turkish Businessperson visa For Turkish nationals coming to the UK to establish a new business or to help run an existing one. Business people on this visa cannot work in another job in the UK. This is a long term visa which can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.

Further information, help, and advice

www.uscispassportsvisa.com team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the UK. We work under Section 84 of the 1999 immigration act and will submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com 

d.) UK Visitor Visas

UK Visitor Visas allow people to enter the UK for short periods for leisure, to engage in limited business activities, or simply to travel through the UK en route to elsewhere. This section has 3 pages:

  • Standard Visitor Visa: This visa allows people to enter the UK for travel, tourism, and leisure purposes; as well as short term unpaid business appointments, academic conferences, participating in sporting events or creative/artistic work, and receiving private medical treatment in the UK.
  • Permitted Paid Engagement Visa: this visa allows people to enter the UK for up to a month to take part in a paid engagement. Such as a public speaking engagement, chairing a meeting, or attending a conference.
  • Who needs a UK visitor visa?: This guide gives details on who needs a visitor visa to enter or travel through the UK. Contact us at info@uscispassportsvisa.com for details.

Further information, help, and advice

www.uscispassportsvisa.com team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to study and work in the UK. We work under Section 84 of the 1999 immigration act and will submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com 

e.) UK Family Visas

If you are an individual intending to immigrate to the UK with your family, uscispassportsvisa.com is here to help. This guide will give you an overview of the main options available before you discuss the details of your position with one of our professional advisers. Please note that if you are a corporation or an individual interested in work visas, student visas, or visas for business people, you can find the information you need on our UK Business and Work Visas page, and our UK Student Visas page.

Family Visa Types;

Family visas allow certain family members and dependents of people who already have another type of UK visa to join them in the UK, Different types of UK family visas cover most family members. Married or civil partners, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren, parents, and dependent adult relatives are all covered by UK family visas, and in some cases extended family members may be able to enter the UK as well.

  • Family of a Settled Person visa For family members of British citizens and those with permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Family members covered by this visa include married or civil partners, unmarried partners, children, parents, and dependent adult relatives. 
  • UK Marriage Visa (Family of a Settled Person Visa) tips: Tips for getting a Family of a Settled Person visa for your spouse or civil partner.
  • UK Fiancé visa (Family of a Settled Person Visa) tips:Tips for getting a Family of a Settled Person visa for your fiancé.
  • EEA Family Permit For those from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) with an EEA national family member that is either already living in the UK, or planning to travel with them to the UK within 6 months. The visa applicant must apply for this visa from outside of the UK; if they is already in the UK they should apply for another type of family visa instead. Family members covered by this visa include married and civil partners, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents. Family members of the EEA citizen’s married or civil partner are also covered by this visa.
  • UK Residence Card Similar to the EEA Family Permit, but with slightly different conditions. This visa allows family members and extended family members of a European Economic Area (EEA) national, who is either a permanent UK resident or a ‘qualified person’, to join them in the UK. Family members covered by this visa include married or civil partners, children, grandchildren, and dependent adult relatives. You must apply as an extended family member if you are an unmarried partner or other relative, such as a sibling. This visa must be applied for from inside of the UK.
  • Parent of a Tier 4 Child visa for parents of children aged under 12 who are studying at an independent fee paying UK school. The child must either hold a Tier 4 (Child) Student visa or be in the UK under the immigration rules in place before March 31st, 2009.

Further information, help, and advice

The laws on UK immigration and nationality are highly complex for obtaining a UK family visa, with different family visa types for different family members, and different conditions depending on your status in the UK.

www.uscispassportsvisa.com team of specialists has over 32 years of experience in immigration services, and has helped millions of people to bring their family members to the UK. We work with OISC registered advisers who can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on info@uscispassportsvisa.com

f.) UK Permanent Residence and UK Citizenship

In this section you’ll find tips and advice on various aspects of UK immigration, including Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence), and UK Citizenship and Naturalization.

Contents:

 

  • UK Permanent Residence/Indefinite Leave to Remain

The length of time you must spend in the UK before being eligible for Permanent residence in the UK:

Permanent residence

Time needed to gain permanent residency

Tier 1 / HSMP and Tier 2 / Work permit

5 years

Ancestry

5 years

Marriage

2 years

Unmarried partners

2 years

Investors

5 years

Writers, composers and artists

5 years

Sole reps

5 years

Persons establishing themselves in business

5 years

Unlawful stay or a combination of lawful and unlawful stay

14 years

Lawful stay on any basis

10 years

 

Please note that some of the times needed to gain permanent residence changed on April 3, 2006. Once permanent residence (properly known as indefinite leave to remain) has been granted, there are no longer any immigration related restrictions on the work or business you may do in the UK, and no time limits on your stay in the UK.

You should note that to keep your permanent residence you should not spend longer than two years outside the UK. You should maintain ties to the UK and should consider the UK as your home. If you continue to only spend short periods of time in the UK over many years it is likely that there will come a time when you will lose your indefinite leave to remain in the UK. It is therefore beneficial in most cases to apply for UK citizenship. You can normally apply for naturalization as an UK citizen one year after being granted indefinite leave to remain and as long as you meet the residence requirements.

If you are interested in gaining citizenship, please try our sample Life in the UK test.

  • Citizenship and Naturalization in UK

Unless you have a claim to Citizenship based on ancestry you will probably have to apply for naturalization in one of the following two categories:

  • Naturalization after six years in the UK
  • Naturalization after three years in the UK as a spouse of an UK Citizen

Please note that as of November 1, 2005, you also have to pass the UK government’s new Life in the UK test before you can apply for citizenship. Once you have passed the life in the UK test and received your certificate, please feel free to contact us. With our extremely competitive rates, our expert immigration caseworkers will be able to assist you in making your successful application immediately!

Naturalization after six years in the UK

If you are not married to a British Citizen you will need to meet the following requirements to apply for naturalization:

  • You must be aged 18 or over and are not of unsound mind.
  • You must be of good character.
  • You should be able to communicate in the English language (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic). There are exemptions to this requirement, for example if you are elderly or mentally handicapped.
  • You should intend to live in the UK or in Crown Service abroad (working directly for an UK Government organization), or be employed by an international organization of which the UK is a member, or be employed by a company or association established in the United Kingdom.

If you are not married to an UK Citizen you will need to meet the following residence requirements over the last six years.

  • You must have been living in the UK exactly six years before the date the application reaches the Home Office; and
  • During the six-year period you must not have been outside the United Kingdom for more than 450 days (about 15 months); and
  • During the last 12 months of the six-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and
  • During the last 12 months of the six-year period your stay in the United Kingdom you must have held permanent residence/ indefinite leave to remain (ILR); and
  • You must not have been living in the United Kingdom in breach of the UK immigration rules at any time during the six-year period ending with the date that the application is received by the Home Office.

 

The processing times for naturalization applications are currently about six to seven months. If you would like assistance with a naturalization application made on the basis of having permanent residency, please contact us at info@uscispassportsvisa.com

Naturalization after three years in the UK as a spouse of an UK Citizen

The requirements for naturalization as a spouse of a British citizen are very similar to those mentioned above. The main difference is that there is a shorter residency requirement of three years in the UK as opposed to six years. The three years of the residency requirement are counted from the date your naturalization application is received by the Home Office.

Further details on residency requirements are as follows:

  • You must have been living in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the three- year period; and 
  • On the date that your application is received in the Home Office, you must have permanent residence/ ILR in the UK; and
  • During the three-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 270 days (approximately 9 months); and
  • During the last 12 months of the three-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and
  • You must not have been in breach of any UK immigration rules at any time during this three-year period of residence in the UK.

Please contact us for more information and assistance on making an application for naturalization based on marriage to a British citizen.

  • Children Born Outside the UK

This section explains how children born overseas to British Citizens can acquire British Citizenship

Contents:

  1. The British Nationality Act 1981
  2. British Citizenship by Descent or Otherwise
  1. UK Children of parents in Crown and similar services
  2. Children who will not be British citizens
  3. List of Crown and services
  • The British Nationality Act 1981

Since 1 January 1983 women have been able to pass on British citizenship to their children who were born outside the UK in the same way as men. Women can pass on their British citizenship to illegitimate children, but men cannot.

From 21 May 2002 people who were British overseas territories citizens (formerly known as British Dependent Territories citizens) became British citizens automatically as long as they had that citizenship by connection with a qualifying territory.

The British overseas territories are: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, St. Helena and Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Turks and Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands. The ‘qualifying territories’ are the British overseas territories but not the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

  • British Citizenship By Descent Or Otherwise

Every British citizen is either a British citizen otherwise than by descent or a British citizen by descent.

This difference is important because the type of citizenship people have decides the way in which they can pass British citizenship on to their children who were born outside the United Kingdom.

A British citizen otherwise than by descent, can automatically pass on British citizenship to a child born outside the UK. You can be a British Citizen otherwise than by descent by: Birth; Registration; Naturalization; Adoption.

A British citizen by descent is a person born outside the UK and is acquired if one or both parents are British citizens. This means that you cannot automatically pass on British citizenship to any child who is born abroad. You are a British citizen by descent if:

  • You are born outside the UK to a parent who was a British citizen at the time;
  • It does not matter whether the birth took place before or after 1 January 1983 as long as a child who was born before that date became a British citizen on that date;
  • On 31 December 1982, he or she was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies through:
  • his or her own birth, or
  • a parent’s or a grandparent’s birth,
  • legal adoption
  • naturalization
  • registration
  • You lived in the UK while a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies for five years at any time before 1 January 1983, and was not subject to restrictions under the immigration laws at the end of that five year period.
  • You are a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by connection with the Falkland Islands and Dependencies (i.e. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

 

  • Children born outside the UK/qualifying territory

 

If you or your spouse is a British citizen otherwise than by descent, your child born outside the United Kingdom or the qualifying territories born on or after 21 May 2002 will automatically be a British citizen at birth.

Your child will be a British citizen by descent if you are, or your husband or wife is, a British citizen in one of the types of services listed at the end of the page. You do not need to do anything when your child is born to confirm his or her status.

  • UK Children of parents in Crown and similar services

Different rules apply to children

  • born outside the UK and,
  • on or after 21 May 2002, in the qualifying territories, 
  • to British citizens in Crown service, in service designated by the Home Secretary, and 
  • in the service of a European Community institution.
  • a British citizen (whether otherwise than by descent or by descent); 
  • you are working outside the UK (or UK and qualifying territories if the child was born on or after 21 May 2002) in one of the types of service and
  • you were recruited to that service either:
  • in the UK; or
  • a qualifying territory if the child was born on or after 21 May 2002; or
  • in the European Community (in the case of service with a European Community institution)
  • Then your child will automatically be a British citizen otherwise than by descent at birth, without the need for registration.

But your child will be entitled to be registered at the Home Office as a British citizen in certain circumstances. Please see the registration section on this website

  • Children who will not be British citizens

If you or your spouse is a British citizen by descent, but neither of you is a citizen otherwise than by descent and:

  • your child was born outside the UK or,
  • On or after 21 May 2002, outside the UK and outside the qualifying territories the child will not be a British citizen at birth unless you are, or your husband or your wife is, a British citizen in one of the types of service listed at the end of this section. Your child will need to be registered as a British Citizen if the conditions for registration are met.

 

  • List of Crown and services
  • Service as a Governor, an official, a judge or a magistrate in a British overseas territory (from 1 January 1983).
  • Crown service, except under the government of a qualifying territory, where the person is temporarily on secondment overseas (from 1 January 1983).
  • Overseas service by certain civilians who are subject to the provisions of the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957 (from 1 January 1983).
  • Service under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (from 1 January 1983).
  • Service under the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (from 1 January 1983).
  • Service under the British Council, as long as the employee is paid wholly from British Council funds (from 1 January 1983).
  • Service under the British Tourist Authority (from 1 January 1983).
  • Service under the Commonwealth Development Corporation (from 21 December 1984).
  • Service under the Medical Research Council (from 21 December 1984).
  • Service under the Science and Engineering Research Council (from 21 December 1984) or under the Engineering and
  • Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, or the Particle
  • Physics and Astronomy Research Council (from 1 April 1984).
  • Service under the Natural Environment Research Council (from 21 December 1984).
  • Service under the Agricultural and Food Research Council (from 30 April 1987) or under the Biotechnology and
  • Biological Sciences Research Council (from 1 April 1994).
  • Service on second meant from any of the Research Councils listed at 9 to 12 above (from 30 April 1987).
  • Service under the European Patent Office (from 16 February 1990).
  • Service under the Customs Co-operation Council (from 1 April 1994).
  • Service under the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (from 1 April 1995).
  • Service under the International Energy Agency (from 1 April 1995).
  • Service under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (from 1 April 1995).
  • Service under, or on second meant from, the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (from 1 April 1995).
  • Australia, New Zealand and Malaya Defense Organization
  • Baghdad Pact Council
  • British Red Cross Society
  • British Sailors’ Society
  • Central Treaty Organization
  • Council of Voluntary Welfare Work, which includes:
  • Catholic Women’s League
  • Church Army
  • Church of England Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Clubs
  • Church of Scotland Committee on Hut and Canteen Work for HM Forces
  • Methodist Church Forces’ Center 
  • Mission to Mediterranean Garrisons
  • Royal Sailors’ Rests
  • Salvation Army
  • Sanders’ Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Homes 
  • Toc H
  • YMCA
  • YWCA
  • Malcolm Clubs
  • Missions to Seamen
  • Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI)
  • Royal Naval Film Corporation
     Royal Naval Lay Readers’ Society
    Services Sound and Vision Corporation (including British Forces Broadcasting Service) 
  • Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Scripture Readers’ Association
  • Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA)
  • South-East Asia Collective Defense Treaty Organization (SEATO)
  • Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
  • Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS)

 The following organizations from 1 January 1983 until 30 September 1988 only:

  • Combined Services Entertainments
  • Forces Help Society and Lord Roberts Workshops
  • Services Central Book Depot
  • Andrews’ Ambulance Association

 

 

  • Right of Abode (UK)

A dual national is entitled to a Right of Abode stamp in their foreign passport to enable travel into the UK without hindrance.

It is also possible to have the Right of Abode if:

  • They are a Commonwealth National and one of their parents was born a British Citizen.
    OR
  • They are a commonwealth woman married to a British Citizen on or before 1.1.1983.

A person with the right of abode may apply to register as a British Citizen.

  • Long Residence in UK

Indefinite leave to remain rather than permanent residence is the proper term for immigration status in the UK that allows you to remain in the UK permanently and that gives you the freedom to take up any kind of work in the UK. Indefinite leave to remain is normally only granted to people who are in a long term category that specifically leads to this. However, you can also gain indefinite leave to remain if you meet the following requirements:

Please note that many of these requirements are only likely to be relevant if you are applying on the basis of ten years rather than fourteen years in the UK. If you are applying on the basis of fourteen years stay in the UK you will probably not be absent from the UK at all during most if not all the of the fourteen years.

 

  • You have ten years lawful residence in the UK, or 14 years of lawful or unlawful residence. Normally most people who are applying on the basis of 14 years residence would have a small amount of lawful residence with the greater part of their residence over the fourteen years being unlawful.
  • You should not have been outside the UK for longer than six months in any one time during the relevant period.
  • You should not have been outside the UK for longer than 18 months in total during the relevant period.
  • You should continue to obtain extensions to your status in the UK throughout the ten year period. This is likely to be relevant if you are a student and have spent much of your student life in the UK.
  • You should not have left the UK during the relevant period with a clear intention not to return to the UK.
  • You should not have left the UK over the ten year period after being refused entry to the UK, or after being refused an extension of leave to remain in the UK or after being deported.
  • You should not have been convicted of an offense and imprisoned, or otherwise detained in another institution over the relevant period.
  • It will also be considered whether in the public interest indefinite leave to remain should be refused. This will probably not be relevant in most cases. The following will be taken into consideration when your application is being assessed:
  • your age;
  • your ties to the United Kingdom;
    your personal history; including character, conduct, associations you belong to and employment record;
  • your domestic circumstances – this generally means any family ties you have in the UK;
  • any previous criminal record and the nature of any offence you may have committed in the UK;
  • any compassionate circumstances;
  • any representations received on your behalf;

 

                
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