The UK is a top-rated country for migration. In 2019, 612,000 people migrated to the UK for work and family repatriation. Considering the work opportunities, economic growth, social benefits, and excellent education, the UK has become one of the most sought-after countries for international migration. However, like with any significant shift from one nation to another, there are legalities, processes, and more to familiarize with. Since the UK has several visa categories, classes, and types, it is best to seek professional advice from a well-reputed Newcastle immigration lawyer.
When planning the migration, there is paperwork, verification, work sponsorship, CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship) from employers, and more that must be tackled systematically to avoid complications. Getting correct immigration advice and choosing the best avenue for your future can help decrease the processing time, reduce stress, and ensure everything happens correctly.
What are the Steps for Migration?
Most professionals consider migrating to the UK for work. Anyone hoping to live in the UK for more than 6 months needs a valid visa (apart from the temporary or tourist visa, which has a 6-month single-entry validity).
Professionals must opt for a long-term work permit or visa (if they wish to stay for longer than 6 months). Let us look at the process in detail.
- Finding a suitable visa class/ type
- Applying for the visa
- Moving to the UK
- Applying for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
Before starting the expensive process of winding up your current home, resigning from your job, and other such things, securing your future career opportunity in the UK is best. You should have a valid job offer with a registered and operational/ functional business in the UK before applying for a UK Work Permit.
The registered business should have a sponsorship licence (CoS – Certificate of Sponsorship) to allocate a relevant CoS number for the work permit application. Foreign professionals cannot file for work permits independently. Sponsorship-based visas are the quickest and best ways to migrate to the UK while securing your future.
Finding a Suitable Visa Class/ Type:
The visa class and type differ from person to person based on the work experience, skill level, and the kind of work you are planning to do in the UK. Since there are several visa options, knowing the types available will help you make the right choice. This information will allow you to discuss multiple options with the immigration lawyer.
Some of the common visa types for professionals are:
- Skilled-worker visa
- Start-up or innovator visa
- International sportsperson visa
When selecting the visa type, you should ensure there are options available for permanent residency later. Since you would probably look at residency options and eventual citizenship, planning the visa classes and opportunities beforehand is best.
Applying for the Visa:
Once you have limited your choices, you should make a visa selection based on the type that best suits your past experience, educational qualification, and future goals. After making the final decision, start gathering all the documents needed for that visa class. Different visas need different sets of documents, verifications, and processes.
You may also have to get the documents attested or verified by notaries, provide employment contracts, information, personal financial records, birth certificates, passport copies (including family members or partners travelling with you), and other legal papers. Once the documents are gathered, scan and have them ready in soft copy for the online application process.
Often, the UK visa has to be applied from a representative office like the embassy or a visa centre. Once the application is uploaded and all fees are paid, the decision can take several weeks to months. Sometimes, it can also happen within a month (but these are rare).
Moving to the UK:
Once the visa is awarded, the UK visa office will send you additional details and information via your registered email. You will also receive a sticker or label declaring your immigration status on your passport.
After you enter the UK, you will have to collect your BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) at the designated post office. The BRP works as proof to live and work within the UK territory.
Apply for an ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain):
If you have lived in the UK for 5 calendar years without immigration fraud or criminal misconduct, you can apply for an ILR (or Permanent Residency). The ILR allows you the same rights as UK citizens except the right to vote. However, you can apply for and change your citizenship once you meet all qualifications and eligibility criteria.