Some common questions about the United Kingdom’s Immigration Policies


Are there any benefits on migrating to the United Kingdom?

Experts, believes that for some European Union nations, migration is a crucial part of economic and social sustainability. It is argued by Peter Sutherland, who is head of the Global Forum on Migration and Development that, making the modern multicultural is a crucial aspect of prosperity in the country. The Global Forum on Migration and Development is a major policy and idea sharing platform in which over 160 countries participate in.

Like the United Kingdom has displayed in the past, states need to be more open and inviting to immigrants to advance their nation on the world forum. Countries with racial homogeneity cannot prosper in the modern climate. Inviting different cultures to integrate and assimilate with that of the host country has also been seen as positive for the economy when compared with nations which have been more hostile to multicultural integration.

Is there any official online guidance by the United Kingdom available to the public regarding immigration?

Yes, the government has set up several websites to help people who wish to immigrate to the United Kingdom. The site includes guidance to all visa policies such as tier 1 entrepreneur visa guidance, tier 1 investor visa guidance, tier 1 graduate entrepreneur guidance and many others.

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-visas-and-immigration

The laws regarding immigration to the United Kingdom keep changing, but are generally updated online on the Immigration Rules section which clarifies all sections of the Immigration rules.

www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules

The Home Office has set up a YouTube channel as well for further help (www.youtube.com/user/UKvisas)

You can also receive guidance on applications regarding the Tier 4(General) Application (www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa)

The government has also set a separate website for international student affairs (www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-rules)

Which country citizens do not require a visa to enter the United Kingdom?

Citizens of the United Kingdom, citizens of the commonwealth who hold the right of abode and European Economic Area (EEA) nations do not require a visa to enter the UK. All other individuals who do not fall within this category are required to enter the United Kingdom through a visa.

Is a visa required if you want to visit the United Kingdom as a tourist?

European Union (EU) nationals, as mentioned previously, do not require a visa to enter the UK and can come without providing a reason. For non-EU citizens, a certain number of countries have been listed by the United Kingdom who can visit the country without a visa if the reason is tourism. If they have a criminal record, they cannot enter without a visa. Even without a visa, you still need to submit the following documents to immigration officials who are representatives of the United Kingdom. These documents include:

  • A passport that needs to be submitted along with any previous passports.
  • Proof of marriage (if you are married).
  • Submitting tax returns.
  • Submitting a visa application form that has been completely filled out.
  • Submitting the last six month’s pay slip.
  • Submitting proof that you have significant accommodation prepared in advance in the United Kingdom.
  •  A residence permit of the country that you are applying from if you do not hold the passport for that country.
  • Submitting proof that you have made significant travel arrangements and arrangements for your return.
  • A letter from a friend or any individual who is in the United Kingdom. A sponsor’s authorized letter also holds.
  • Submitting proof that the individual is employed.
  • A colored passport sized photograph.

Is a visa required if I wish to go to the United Kingdom as a student?

Yes, a visa is a required to study in the United Kingdom unless you are from the European Economic Area (EEA). Outside of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are also free to come for study purposes in the United Kingdom without a visa. An individual who does not fall on the above categories will apply for the Tier 4 Student visa if the period of stay is shorter than 6 months or equal to 6 months. If the individual applying wishes to stay in the United Kingdom for a period that is longer than 6 months for study purposes, he must opt for the Tier 4 (general0 visa. More information can be availed on the Home Office (UKVI)’s website where an entire section is dedicated to this.

The university that you are applying to can be your sponsor when you are applying as a student. It is required for the applicant to have a sponsor when submitting his/her application. The sponsor must also be an authorized body from the United Kingdom government. But, you are only allowed by the United Kingdom to study in the university that has sponsored you.

 

Does working in United Kingdom requires visa?

Unless you are a national of the European Economic Area (EEA), you will be required to apply on a work visa when applying to visit the United Kingdom for work purposes.

If I wish to come to the United Kingdom for a long time, and wish to visit my family there, would I need a visa?

If the applicant is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA), a visa will not be required. You are also allowed to stay in the United Kingdom for a period of 6 months if you are a citizen of the United States of America, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia or Brazil. If the applicant is a national of a country that is outside of the EEA, then the applicant will be required to apply for a ‘family of a settled person’ visa. If the settled family member is a national of the European Union (EU) or a settled citizen of the United Kingdom, you can use family permit to enter the United Kingdom. A family visit visa is required if the family member is from outside of the European Union (EU) and the applicant wishes to stay for a period that is 6 months or less.

How can an applicant willing to visit the United Kingdom apply for a visa?

If the applicant is from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), they can apply for a United Kingdom visa from www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk and can apply for visit, study, work to join a partner or a family member who is already in the United Kingdom.

Registration on the website mentioned is compulsory before the applicant’s application process can begin. As mentioned previously, guidance on visa policies such as tier 1 entrepreneur visa guidance, tier 1 graduate entrepreneur guidance, tier 1 investor visa guidance and many others can also be found on the Home Office’s website and applicants are encouraged to look up policies to see if they meet the eligibility criteria, before they register on the website.

How long does it usually take a for a visa application to be processed?

The visa application process period can vary depending on the country you are applying from and the visa category that the applicant is applying for. Most low-risk countries will see their visa processed faster than those of countries put on the high-risk list. Visas that are simpler and common usually are processed faster. For example, an applicant applying for the visitor visa will see his/her visa processed in almost 10 days while an applicant applying to settle in the United Kingdom will see a longer time period for the visa application to be processed. This can take up to month. If the applicant is applying from a high-risk country, he/she can have their application’s delayed for as long as 2 months if they are applying for settlement. Although, applicant’s from high risk countries applying for non-settlement purposes will have their visas processed in around ten to fifteen days.

Is there any application fee that I have to pay for visa when applying in the United Kingdom?

Yes, a fee has to be submitted to the Home Office when applying for any visa although it varies from category to category and also the country that the applicant is applying from.

You can visit the website of the Home Office where the relevant fee structure has been defined. (www.visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk)

The fee is usually similar for all types of visas.

Does a person applying to go to the United Kingdom have to pay taxes on any amount he/she earned while in the United Kingdom?

Any applicant wishing to visit the United Kingdom for a short period of time will not have to pay taxes on any amount earned. But, if the applicant is applying to stay in the United Kingdom for a long time, taxes will have to be paid on any income. This income includes wages, pensions, savings interest and benefits. In the United Kingdom, any income that is greater than a personal allowance of 11,500 pounds annually.

What is the Point Based System (PBS) for non-EEA migrants?

Applicants who are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) will have to qualify for a visa on the basis of a ‘Points Based System’ that the United Kingdom has implemented. This means that a certain number of points need to be earned, which varies from visa category to category, to be eligible for the visa type. The Points Based System applies to all visa categories (Tier 1 visa, Tier 2 visa, Tier 4 visa and Tier 5 visa). These points are awarded when an applicant fills a certain criteria that is mandatory for a visa category, such as obtaining a letter of authorization from a sponsor, or showing a minimum amount as proof that the applicant has enough to pay for accommodation while in the UK and many other reasons.

The Tier 3 category has never been implemented by the United Kingdom government, although it was meant workers who were unskilled. The Tier 1 visa and the Tier 2 visa covers migrants who are willing to come to the United Kingdom for work purposes and are skilled and highly skilled. The Tier 4 category exists for applicants who wish to visit the United Kingdom for study purposes. The Tier 5 category exists for applicants wishing to come to the United Kingdom for tourism or visit purposes.

A student visa has the highest figure of applicants applying and requires 40 points to be eligible for this visa. 30 points are issued when the university that you are applying to issues you a sponsor letter and the rest of the 10 points are obtained when the applicant proves to the Home Office (where the applications are submitted) that he/she is financially capable to visit the country, pay for tuition, accommodation and other miscellaneous financials.

Does a person have to pay for his/her healthcare if planning to come to the United Kingdom?

If the applicant is not a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), he/she will have to pay for healthcare if the period of stay in the United Kingdom is longer than six months. If you are a non-EEA member and wish to extend your visa, you will also have to pay for your healthcare. The amount to be paid is 200 pounds annually for all visa types except for students who have to pay 150 pounds. Dependants in the United Kingdom will also have to pay the same amount as the main applicant.

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) are covered for healthcare under European Union (EU) laws.

Any tourist coming to the United Kingdom will not have to pay for healthcare unless they have availed any treatment from the NHS. Foreign workers in the United Kingdom often find it hard to pay this amount.

The charges for healthcare are expected to increase to up to 400 pounds in 2018.