Visas and Immigration in the United Kingdom

Visas and Immigration in the United Kingdom

Relocating to the UK from the US will certainly bring about its challenges, but it is usually well worth the international move. The UK presents a lot of opportunities that the US can’t, including more employment options and diverse education. As a US citizen if you’re planning to relocate to the UK for six months or more, you’ll need to apply for a VISA.


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There are different types of VISAs so you’ll need to make sure you apply for the right one. Some of the VISAs you can apply for are relevant to employment, study, investments, and family.

How to Obtain a UK VISA

The way you go about obtaining a VISA to reside in the UK is all dependent on what type of VISA you apply for. Regardless, to gain residency you must meet all the requirements. Each VISA also shares some of these requirements including a tuberculosis test and specific documentation.

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Once you have filled out an application form and provided all the necessary information and proof, you must wait to see if your application was accepted. The waiting period to get a VISA could take up to 12 months. However, there are ways and certain stipulations that could cut the time it takes to get your VISA.

The Difference between an Immigrant and Non-Immigrant VISA

A non-immigrant VISA is one that is obtained by those who only plan on staying for a temporary period of time that exceeds the six month period. To obtain a non-immigrant VISA one must have a purpose for being there for longer than six months. These reasons may include employment, study or other pertinent circumstances.

If you’re applying for an immigrant VISA in the UK, your goal is to find permanent residency in the nation. Anyone residing in the UK for longer than six months with no intentions of leaving anytime soon will have to apply for this type of VISA. This declares you as a citizen of the UK.

Between an immigrant VISA and a non-immigrant VISA, there are 20 different visa classifications. You must decide which one to apply for. Seeking professional advice is usually necessary during this process.

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