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UK

Tips for Choosing the Right Course for 2023 Master’s Intake in the UK

So you’ve decided to be among the 2023 master’s students in the UK? That’s a good choice, considering the United Kingdom has some of the best universities in the world.

However, if you’re reading this, it means you’re having difficulty selecting the right course to study. Here are the top tips that can help you make a choice easily.

1. Consider your interests

Although it may seem redundant, it’s important to consider your interest, which may be the most challenging. Your motivation, grades, and the number of professors who recommend you will increase according to how strongly you connect with your chosen course.

Still, it’s also conceivable that, despite its potential attraction, your course of study may not help you get a decent job. Hence, you should know that certain fields are less lucrative than others. 

2. Find out the university’s requirements

Just because you get a Bachelor’s degree from a certain institution does not guarantee acceptance into its Master’s degree program in the UK. Many schools consider factors including your GPA, work experience, why you want to get a Master’s degree, and your technical and soft abilities.

It would be counterproductive to drop out on a technicality, so ensure you prepare enough and grasp the kind of applicant the institution is seeking. You might also benefit from hearing other students’ first-hand accounts of acceptance and enrollment. 

3. Consider your future plans

Whatever professional route you’ve decided to take, or even if you currently have a job, you should know that your present or future superiors may have certain requirements for you to meet. 

Choose things that will stretch you and help you in the long run. Even if they make you uncomfortable and look hard at first since there’s where you’ll study the most in-depth ideas, another language, or sophisticated computer skills: at your chosen institution. 

4. Consider your finances

Right now, money, tuition, and basic living expenses are all major concerns. In particular, costs like lodging, reading material, food in a can, and entertainment should all be researched in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

5. Consider the university’s capacity 

There is no denying the benefits associated with enrolling at a well-known educational institution. But you have to work harder to get in, or else you must battle to the death with other master’s applicants. 

Teachers, student groups, and accomplished former students often contribute to a school’s reputation for excellence. Of course, all of this information is available on the school’s webpage.

Also, keep an eye out for the university’s resources; something as simple as free printing or access to required materials may mean the world to a student. Find out about the school’s library, computer labs, and other study aids so you can plan accordingly. 

6. Determine whether your prior experience and education will be accepted.

There is a good chance that this is one of the most pressing issues we can discuss now. Many graduates choose to continue their education in another country, so they naturally want to know that their degree will be recognized wherever they go.

Suppose you are an African student interested in studying in the UK, for example. In that case, you should verify the institution’s accreditation before enrolling. In addition, some Master’s degree programs include prerequisite courses. 

7. Consider your extracurricular activities with the needs of your Master’s. 

You should consider your surroundings seriously before enrolling in a university in the UK. Is there a hip vibe on campus, or am I missing out? When do you expect festivals to be held in the city?

How cool and interesting are the other students? Do you feel comfortable traveling throughout the country? How secure am I, specifically? These are all valid questions. 

Since you won’t be a full-time student at the university and have a life outside of classes and seminars, the availability of extracurricular activities is an important factor to consider while weighing the benefits and drawbacks of studying a UK Master’s degree course. 

8. Learn about the perks your school offers 

Courses and seminars are pretty much a sure thing, but what about the rest of what they provide? For example, are you eligible for a grant or loan? Is it possible to get the same degree cheaper by studying in a different country? 

And how about internships, practices, and finding a job after graduation: does this institution work with big names, and can it give me a push in the direction I want to go? Universities provide various extracurricular activities, organizations, and programs that you should investigate to see if any of them spark your interest and keep you motivated.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right course for a master’s degree program in the UK can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. If you plan and prepare yourself, it’ll be smooth sailing. Hopefully, the above tips can help you decide which course to study.

Categories
Africa UK

Is UK Masters Still Worth it for African Students?

The UK has long been a preferred study destination for students all over Africa. From Nigeria to Ghana to South Africa, students troop to the UK every year to attend some of the best schools in the world.

A lot of students who travel to the UK do so to study undergraduate courses. However, a large percentage also travel to study postgraduate courses. This begs the question, is the UK Master’s still worth it for African students?

After finishing their undergraduate courses in the UK, some African students prefer to return to their home country to get a postgraduate degree. Nevertheless, having your Masters in the UK can be helpful in different ways. We will look at those in this article.

Why Choose the UK for Postgraduate Study?

A UK study visa is a dream come true for many African students. It’s easy to understand why many choose the UK for study, whether postgraduate or undergraduate. Our focus here, however, is on postgraduate study.

One of the reasons why African students choose the UK for postgraduate study is the many available options. You can study for a master’s degree, but there’s more. You can also undertake postgraduate research, a postgraduate diploma, a postgraduate certificate, and postgraduate professional development.

Furthermore, it’s not news that the UK has some of the best universities in the world. In the western European country, you can have your master’s in renowned institutions like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College London, and The University of Edinburgh, to name a few.

The university you attend will have a major influence on whether your master’s in the UK is worth it or not. In particular, it’ll play a key role when you start applying for jobs post-graduation.

The reason is simple. The higher-ranked universities have more equipped learning facilities and experienced instructors. Typically, you’ll expect such universities to be expensive, which is true.

Furthermore, choosing the UK for postgraduate studies gives you the chance to explore the historical country. You get to explore historic cities like London, Oxford, York, and Manchester, among others.

UK postgraduate studies last for one year, which is more than enough time to explore. In addition, you can bring your family along as dependents on your graduate visa.

Are African Students Eligible To Work in the UK After Completing Their Masters?

After you graduate with your Master’s degree, you can stay in the UK for a while to look for work. This option is open to African students as well as other international students.

If you studied for a master’s degree, you can apply to stay in the UK for two years. However, if you studied for a PhD, you can apply to stay in the country for up to three years.

During this time, you can search for jobs and work. If you successfully get a job, you can apply for a skilled worker visa once the two or three-year period elapses. With this, you’ve started your journey towards becoming a UK permanent resident or even a citizen.

It’s another reason why many African students opt to study for their master’s in the UK instead of other countries. The UK skilled worker visa is valid for three to five years, depending on your industry.

You can apply and extend your UK Skilled Worker Visa as many times as you want. The UK Home Office will approve your extension so long as you still have your employment.

However, you can easily apply for indefinite leave to remain after staying in the UK for five years rather than extending your visa. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) makes you a UK permanent resident, and you can work without restrictions forever.

What Are Job Opportunities After Studying in the UK?

The UK is a hub for a plethora of jobs. The country boasts of London, which acted as the economic centre of the EU, when the UK was still a part of the union. As a result, irrespective of your discipline, you should find job opportunities in the UK after graduation.

However, most of the current job opportunities you’ll find in the UK are tech jobs. The country is striving to become a global leader in digital technological advancement. This is evident with the introduction of the Global Talent Visa, among others.

Furthermore, according to data from Glassdoor, some of the top employers of master’s graduates in the UK are tech companies. This includes companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, Accenture, and PwC.

Jobs in the United Kingdom tend to pay much above average because the country clearly values highly educated people. In the United Kingdom, getting a master’s degree is not only commendable; it can also lead to well-paying jobs.

Postgraduates earn 18% more on average than their graduate-level peers, and they are also more likely to work in their field of study. A minimum starting salary of £21,000 can be expected in the United Kingdom for those with a Master of Science degree.

Bottom Line – Should Africans Still Go to the UK for a Master’s Degree?

To conclude, the UK is undoubtedly still one of the best overseas countries for African students to take their masters. The country boasts top universities, quality learning facilities, cultural cities, and most importantly, job opportunities after graduating.

Furthermore, if you plan to migrate to the UK permanently, travelling to study your master’s in the country will set you on the right path. You can easily apply for a work visa after graduating. Afterwards, you can apply to become a permanent resident.

Categories
Immigration UK

Which Countries Can UK Nationals Enter Without Visa? Find out the top 15

Are you a UK national? Do you own a valid UK passport? If yes, you’ll agree that traveling around the world is seamless. The UK passport commands visa-free entries in many countries – from Europe to North America, South America, and Africa.

Hence, if you’re wondering where to spend your next vacation as a UK national, you have many options. However, having many options can make decision-making difficult. In that regard, we’ve done the homework to list the top countries UK nationals can visit without a visa.

Check them out below:

  1. United States

Over $14 billion is spent annually by the over 4.5 million UK nationals who travel to the US. British nationals can fill out an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) application to visit the United States without a visa.

They can visit the United States for leisure, business, transit, medical, and short-term study purposes for up to 90 days each time, thanks to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Back in 1988, the United Kingdom joined the Visa Waiver Program. However, pre-arrival screening of visitors is necessary due to security measures designed to handle terrorism risks.

  1. Belgium

Travelers from the United Kingdom do not need a visa to enter Belgium for stays of 90 days or less. Any passport issued within the last 10 years will suffice, so long as it is valid for at least 6 months after the entry date in Belgium. 

With the advent of the ETIAS, these criteria for entering the EU may change. The ETIAS visa waiver and a passport that is still valid three months after the date of entrance into Belgium are requirements for all British tourists.

Brits can use their ETIAS to stay in Belgium for up to 90 of every 180 days. Visitors, students, and business travelers who are just in Belgium temporarily or in transit will be able to use their ETIAS without any problems.

  1. Canada

Canada and the United Kingdom can claim to be among the world’s earliest parliamentary democracies, thanks to their shared monarch. There is a long history of strategic engagement between the two countries.

There are a few nations whose nationals do not need a visa to visit Canada for stays of less than six months, and the United Kingdom (UK) is one of them. British people can only stay for up to 90 days without a visa. 

In 2015, Canadian immigration implemented eTA as a more streamlined process for evaluating prospective tourists and assessing their legal status to enter the country.

UK Citizens can use the eTA to Canada to avoid the visa application procedure. One only fills out a short online form to gain access. The eTA is issued through email and typically processed within a few hours. 

  1. Denmark

Visitors from the United Kingdom can stay in Denmark and other Schengen countries without a visa for up to 90 days in 180 days.

The same holds true for those in Denmark for other reasons, such as business meetings, cultural or sporting events, or even just short-term study or training. Visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days will count toward your 90-day maximum, so plan accordingly. 

Citizens of the United Kingdom may be required to use distinct lanes at the Danish border check from those of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. There is a possibility that you will get a stamp on your passport when you enter and leave a country.

  1. France

Due to the massive emigration of Britons to France, the country now has one of the highest communities of foreign-born UK nationals. From the 1990s onward, the number of Britons migrating to France rose sharply. The number of British citizens living in France is estimated to be 170,000 to 400,000.

As a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the European Union. Citizens of the United Kingdom who are not from a Schengen member state must sign up with ETIAS before traveling to France. 

British citizens can still visit France without a visa at the moment. Once the ETIAS becomes mandatory, British citizens will be unable to enter France without a valid ETIAS.

  1. Germany

Germany, the EU’s most populated country, has one of the world’s most prominent economies and has become increasingly influential on the global stage in the years following reunification.

As mentioned before, if a British citizen stays in one of the Schengen Member States for less than 90 days in 180 days, they don’t need a visa. This applies to Germany.

Short-term visitors to Germany who don’t need a visa usually can’t work in any way. But some professional activities, like standard business travel and a wide range of cultural, academic, and sports activities, don’t count as economic activities and don’t require a visa or residence permit.

  1. Israel

As a British tourist, you can enter Israel and its Palestinian territories without a visa. You are welcome to stay in the country for up to three months.

Passports are routinely stamped upon entry at some airports and seaports. Keep your passport and entrance card together until you depart the country. This document serves as proof of your lawful entry into Israel and may be requested at checkpoints.

Your passport may be stamped with an admission stamp and two red lines if you are denied entry into Israel.

  1. Italy

Despite Britain’s exit from the EU in 2020 and the end of temporary arrangements, U.K. citizens staying in Italy for less than 90 days do not require a visa.

The reason is that the United Kingdom and the European Union have an agreement that allows citizens of both to travel freely between each other without a visa, as a stopover on a long journey.

Starting at the end of 2022, the ETIAS system will be required for people seeking a visa-free visit to Italy and the rest of the Schengen Area. Your passport is all that is required at this point.

  1. Mexico

For vacation or business trips of less than 90 days, citizens of the United Kingdom do not need a visa to enter Mexico. 

British nationals do not need a visa to enter Mexico, but they will still need a Tourist Card. Although this is not a Mexico visa, it does grant entry to the country and is required for British citizens.

If you are a UK passport holder and intend to stay in Mexico for more than 6 months, you will need a visa to enter the country. Visa is also mandatory for visitors under certain categories.

  1. New Zealand

Visitors from the United Kingdom can enter New Zealand without a visa. British nationals, however, are required to apply for and get a New Zealand electronic travel authorization (eTA) before visiting the country. 

An electronic travel authorization (eTA) from New Zealand to the United Kingdom is good for two years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. During this validity time, you may travel to New Zealand as often as you like. If you have an NZeTA, your total time in New Zealand must be under 6 months.

  1. Qatar

The United Kingdom and Qatar cooperate on many political, commercial, security, and economic concerns. Among these are addressing climate change, bolstering regional economic and security, and facilitating the growth of successful British businesses in Qatar.

You can acquire a free 30-day tourist visa waiver on arrival in Qatar if you are a full British citizen and hold a valid passport. Your passport’s validity period must be at least six months after your planned departure from Qatar.

You need a visa to enter the country if you are not a tourist or are traveling on a business or diplomatic passport from the United Kingdom. Stays beyond 30 days require an extension of your visa waiver through the Ministry of the Interior. You must pay any overstay fines before leaving Qatar if you receive them. 

  1. Senegal

Despite being nearly 95% Muslim, Senegal has managed to avoid the Islamic radicalism and terrorism typical in other parts of West Africa.

Travelers from the United Kingdom visiting Senegal for tourist or business purposes do not need a visa to enter the country. The maximum length of stay for British passport holders in Senegal is 90 days. 

The United Kingdom is one of 57 nations whose citizens do not need visas to enter. An additional 69 countries’ citizens can obtain visas upon arrival. You must register with the local authorities and get a “Carte d’Etranger” if your stay in Senegal will last more than three months.

  1. Spain

Many UK citizens can visit Spain without obtaining a visa. Visits by British nationals are still permitted without a visa for stays of up to three months, providing ample time for both vacation and business. 

After its release, the new ETIAS travel authorization will be required of all citizens of other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. 

Those from the United Kingdom can still stay in Spain and the rest of the Schengen Area for up to three months. However, they must have a current ETIAS Authorization before they enter the country.

This is done to guarantee the safety of Schengen’s borders and the screening of all non-EU travelers entering the zone.

  1. South Africa

The United Kingdom’s top trading partner in Africa is South Africa. While the United Kingdom is now just South Africa’s seventh largest export market, it is still the country’s largest source of foreign direct investment.

Currently, a visa is not required for British nationals who intend to visit South Africa for less than 90 days for tourism or business. More than 400 thousand UK residents take advantage of the visa-free program yearly to visit South Africa. 

You don’t need a visa to visit South Africa if you’re a citizen of the United Kingdom or any of the other nearly 50 nations on that list. Visitors from these countries can enter South Africa at any port of entry and stay for up to 90 days with a valid national passport. 

However, British nationals must apply for a South African visa at the South African embassy or consulate in the UK to stay in the country for more than 90 days.

  1. Turkey

For decades, British tourists have flocked to Turkey, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down. Much of this is thanks to the country’s allure of gorgeous beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. 

The introduction of the Turkey e-Visa for UK citizens substantially decreased the long lines at immigration. After March 2, 2020, British nationals will not need an e-visa to visit Turkey.

British citizens no longer need a visa to visit Turkey for leisure or commercial purposes or to transit to another country. They are permitted to stay in Turkey visa-free for up to 90 days each 180 days.

A visa for Turkey is required for longer stays by nationals of the United Kingdom and can be obtained from the nearest Turkish embassy or consulate well in advance of the trip. 

Moreover, British nationals planning to work or study in Türkiye for any period require an appropriate visa or residence permit.

Bottom Line

The British passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world. With it, you can visit many countries for short periods without a visa. The above list contains just the top 15 countries preferred by UK travelers, but there are many more.

Categories
Immigration UK

High Potential Individual Visa: How To Apply

Are you a graduate from any of the world’s most prestigious universities? If your answer is yes, you could have a future in the UK with the High Potential Individual Visa.

The High Potential Individual Visa is one of the most recent UK visas, which means the route is relatively untapped. In this post, you’ll find all the info you need to know about the HPI Visa.

What is the High Potential Individual Visa?

The UK government announced the High Potential Individual Visa in May 2022 as part of its effort to recruit top-tier talent to the country. The visa permits graduates of top global universities to enter and reside in the UK for a duration of 2-3 years to explore professional prospects.

A bachelor’s degree or higher from an institution that is listed on the list of the best global universities for the applicant’s graduation year within the last five years is a requirement for this visa.

Contrary to other UK visas, the HPI visa does not require applicants to have already secured a work offer from a UK firm.

Holders of an HPI visa have the option to change to a different long-term employment visa at a later time.

Who Is Eligible for the HPI Visa?

You must satisfy the following conditions in order to be eligible for an HPI Visa: 

  • You must be up to eighteen years.
  • Within the last five years, you must have gotten a degree from a top-tier international university.
  • You must have obtained a degree from a reputable institution that is comparable to a UK Bachelor’s degree, a UK Ph.D., a UK postgraduate (Master’s) degree or other doctoral-level degrees. 
  • You must be able to speak English well enough to qualify. Persons from countries native English-speaking countries, such as the United States, automatically meet this requirement.
  • You must have the funds and resources necessary to support yourself while in the United Kingdom.
  • You must not have received a Graduate Visa or entrance into the UK via the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme in the past.

To confirm that your academic credentials are legitimate and meet the requirements for the HPI Visa, you must submit an application to Ecctis.

Notably, the High Potential Individual route does not accept graduates from British universities within the last five years. However, if you choose to stay in the UK and are currently in the country on a student visa, you may be allowed to apply for a graduate visa.

What Universities Are on the Top-Rated Global Universities List?

As previously stated, you must have graduated from a top-ranked university within the last five years to qualify for a High Potential Individual Visa. On the gov.uk website, you can get lists of qualified universities organized by academic year.

These universities were selected based on the requirement that they had at least two appearances as top 50 educational institutions in the below rankings lists:

High Potential Individual Visa Required Documents

The following documentation is mandatory when you apply for a High Potential Individual Visa: 

  • A current passport or other travel document
  • Proof of your English language proficiency
  • A declaration from Ecctis confirming the eligibility of your qualification 

You must also submit an “Academic Qualification Level Statement and English Language Proficiency Statement” if you requested Ecctis to confirm that your degree was taught in English. 

Depending on your situation, you could additionally be required to submit the following documents:

  • If you’re switching from a different visa to this one, your biometric residence permit (BRP) or online evidence of your immigration status 
  • If you are applying with your partner or children, you must provide evidence of your relationship with them. 
  • Your tuberculosis test results, if you come from one of the countries that is required. 

Notably, documents that aren’t in Welsh or English must come with a certified translation.

How to Apply If You’re Outside the UK

Application for the High Potential Individual visa is online. You’ll have to provide identification documentation as part of the application procedure. In particular, will be required to either: 

  • Take your picture and fingerprints at a visa application center, and subsequently receive a biometric residence permit, or;
  • Scan your identification document using the “UK Immigration: ID Check” application. 

If you require an appointment, the visa embassy might need to retain your passport and supporting documentation while they process your application. 

How to Apply If You’re Inside the UK

If you are already in the UK on another visa, you might be able to change to a High Potential Individual visa.

Suppose your current visa has dependents. In that case they also need to switch their visa, and your spouse or kids must also submit a separate application. 

Not all UK visas support switching to the High Potential Individual Visa. You can switch if you’re on any of the below visas:

  • Visit visa
  • Short-term student visa
  • Graduate visa
  • Parent of a Child Student visa
  • Seasonal worker visa
  • Domestic worker in a private household visa

Furthermore, if you are in the UK, you cannot apply for a High Potential Individual visa on immigration bail. Also, you can’t apply if you were granted permission to remain outside of immigration laws, such as on humanitarian grounds. You must first exit the UK and apply from a foreign country.

High Potential Individual Visa Application Fees

The High Potential Individual visa application fee is £715. However, you must also pay the Ecctis qualification verification fee. The verification fee costs £210 if you’re applying from outside and £252 if applying from inside the UK.

Furthermore, you must pay the immigration health surcharge annually while you are a UK resident. 

You must also make sure you meet the financial criteria of having £1,270 in your account to maintain yourself while you are in the UK. Otherwise, you can’t get the HPI visa. 

In order to qualify for a visa, you must have had the money on hand for a minimum of 28 days straight, with 28 of those days falling within the previous 31 days.

If your partner and children are traveling with you, they must demonstrate that they may be able to support themselves while in the UK.

Only applicants who are switching visas, and have been in the UK for a minimum of 12 months can skip this financial requirement.

HPI Visa Processing Time

Usually, if you are applying from outside the UK, you will get a verdict from the embassy in three weeks. 

Meanwhile, you will get a verdict within eight weeks if you submit your application from within the UK. 

Should the embassy contact you, your application may take longer. The embassy will typically contact you if they require verification of your supporting documentation or you must appear at the interview. 

Other reasons could be individual circumstances, such as if you have a criminal record.

You will receive an email or letter with the verdict of your application after the embassy finishes processing it.

If your application is accepted, you’ll get one of the following: 

  • a vignette – sticker – that is placed on your passport if you submitted your biometric information at the start of your application.
  • Online access to the verdict of your application if you scanned your identification document with the smartphone app.

After arriving in the UK, you must also obtain a biometric residence permit if you have a vignette in your passport. This must be done within 10 days of your arrival in the UK or before the vignette sticker expires. 

If your application is rejected, you’ll receive a letter or email outlining the reasons why, along with the return of your passport.

You could either request an administrative review or immigration decision appeal, depending on which is specified in the email you receive.

How Long Is the HPI Visa Valid?

Your High Potential Individual Visa may be valid for two or three years, depending on your academic qualification.

If you have a Bachelor’s or Post-Graduate degree, you will get a HPI Visa valid for 2 years. On the other hand, if you have a Ph. D., you will get an HPI valid for 3 years.

When your visa expires, you may be able to switch to a different visa if you’re eligible. In particular, you can switch to the Skilled Worker visa. However, you can’t extend your HPI visa.

In other words, if your visa expires and you can’t change status, you’ll have to leave the UK.

What Can I Do With a High Potential Individual Visa?

You can find jobs and work in most jobs in the UK, as a High Potential Individual Visa holder. In addition, you can be self-employed, and live in the country with your partner and children, if they’re eligible.

The HPI Visa also lets you undertake voluntary work, and if you leave the UK, you can always return if your visa is still valid.

However, the High Potential Individual Visa also has its limitations. Notably, you can’t access public funds and you can’t work as a professional sportsperson.

You also cannot extend your visa, as mentioned earlier, which means you can’t settle in the UK, unless you switch visas.

High Potential Individual Visa Dependents

If your family members fit any of the following criteria, they may accompany you to the UK on a dependent visa:

  • Unmarried “de facto” partner, civil partner, or spouse 
  • Children less than 18 years of age
  • Children over 18 who are not married and are now residing in the UK as your dependents 

Family members who wish to apply for a dependent visa must provide proof of their relationship with you. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption certificates, and other similar documents will be crucial.

Studying on High Potential Individual Visa

The High Potential Individual visa permits holders to study in the UK. However, you can only study a course that’s not supported by the standard UK Student Visa. Otherwise, you must apply for a Student Visa.

You can check the list of courses supported by the Student Visa on the official UK GOV website.

Furthermore, you may need to first acquire an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate before you can study on a HPI visa. In particular, an ATAS certificate is necessary for studying sensitive courses.

However, not everyone has to apply for an ATAS certificate. Students and researchers who are citizens of EU countries, the EE), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need to.

If you need an ATAS certificate, you should apply before you even apply for the HPI visa. You can apply anytime after you receive the admission confirmation from your school.

Suppose you’re in the UK on a HPI visa and then decide to study. In that case, you can still apply but it shouldn’t be less than four months before your visa expires.

Your ATAS certificate is valid for no more than six months from the date it’s issued. Therefore, ensure you begin your course before then, else you’ll need to apply for a new certificate.

Bottom Line

The High Potential Individual Visa ranks among the easiest visa routes to the UK currently. You’d agree that it has high demands regarding eligibility, but if you meet the requirements, you’re about 90% sure of getting the visa.

Drop your comments below of you have any questions regarding this UK visa.

Categories
Immigration UK

UK Start-Up Visa: Begin A Business In The UK

As part of efforts to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations for innovators, the UK government launched the UK Start-Up visa. The visa, along with the Innovator visa, is currently among the most sought-after visas for investors looking to establish in the UK.

Applying for a Start-Up visa involves many intricate processes, most of which involve finance. As a result, it requires a comprehensive understanding from anyone who wants to apply.

You are on the right page if you intend to get a UK Start-Up visa. This post has all the details you should know about the application process.

What is a UK Start-Up Visa?

The United Kingdom encourages and supports new ideas and is a welcoming place for creative entrepreneurs. The government issues start-up visas to persons with bold ideas so that they can set up businesses in the country and contribute to its economic development. 

Endorsing bodies in the UK will look at your company plan and give you the green light if they think it has potential. If you want your visa application accepted, you will need to receive a letter of support from one of these organizations.

Your company plan needs to be specific, original, and ground-breaking to achieve this. You can get endorsements from the following official institutions: 

  • An established group with a history of helping UK business owners 
  • Any UK University or College 

Getting your visa application accepted will be easier if you have endorsements from the appropriate UK bodies.

Eligibility Requirements to Apply for Start-Up Visa UK

The UK Visa and Immigration has set some mandatory criteria for the start-up visa application. It is crucial to meet the below-mentioned eligibility requirements for foreign individuals to grow business in the UK:

  • You should be at least 18 years old
  • You should meet the required level of English language proficiency
  • You should have a valid endorsement letter from any authorized endorsing body in the UK
  • You should have financial proof for supporting yourself in the UK

To sustain yourself in the country, you must have at least £1270 in your bank account for the last 28 consecutive days before the date of your visa application.

Endorsement Criteria for UK Start-Up Visa

As stated before, an endorsement letter is crucial to the success of a business proposal. Here, you will need to demonstrate that your business idea fits the standards set forth by a recognized endorsing body. 

Startup visas are intended to encourage and facilitate the development of novel, ground-up commercial initiatives that either fill an unmet market demand or provide a sustainable competitive advantage. 

You need to have or acquire the information, skills, and experience, as well as an understanding of the market, to manage a business in the United Kingdom successfully. 

Your business plan should be capable of expanding to meet the needs of the national market and creating jobs. 

The endorsing organization will also want assurances that you plan to base yourself in the UK while building your business there.

The Home Office’s website features a list of all endorsing organizations for startup visa applications. In addition to links to each organization’s website and information about the application process, the list provides the names of all currently recognized start-up visa endorsing bodies.

Documents You Need for Start-Up Visa Application

You will need to present the following documents for your UK Start-Up Visa application.

  • Valid international passport. You can also present any other document proving your nationality and identity.
  • Proof that you are proficient in the English language
  • A valid letter of support for your business concept from the UK endorsing organization.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in the country. Usually, you should have at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.
  • Tuberculosis test results, if it is mandatory for your home country.

Your documents must be original and in English or Welsh. If it is in any other language, you must provide a certified translation.

UK Start-UP Visa Application Fees

The application fee you will pay depends on if you are applying from outside the UK or you are in the UK and you want to switch visas.

If you are in the UK, you will pay £508. Your dependents coming with you will also pay the same. On the other hand, if you are applying from outside the UK, you will pay £378, which is cheaper.

The UK Start-Up Visa attracts a healthcare surcharge, in addition to the processing fee. You must pay a yearly fee to receive medical care in the United Kingdom. How long you intend to remain in the United Kingdom is a factor.

When applying for a multiple-year visa like the Start-Up Visa, the application fee is £624. You will be prompted to pay a healthcare surcharge for yourself and your dependents during the online application process.

The UK Home Office will email you if you have not paid your healthcare surcharge within 7-10 business days. Your visa application will be denied if you do not make the payment.

Steps to Apply for the UK Start-Up Visa

People who want to launch a business in the UK must submit an online start-up visa application. All required documentation must be included with the application form. 

After that, you must also send your biometrics through official visa centers. Depending on your passport type, there are two ways to do this.

After logging into your UKVI account, you can scan your documents using the UK Immigration ID Check app. Alternatively, you can have your fingerprints and photograph taken in person at a visa application center.

Make sure you fill out your application form correctly and meet all of the requirements listed on it. Most mistakes happen on the application form or in the documents sent with it.

Your application may be rejected as a result of this. Therefore, please review your application well before sending it.

It takes around eight weeks for the UKVI to process your Start-Up Visa application if you are in the UK. On the other hand, if you are outside the UK, you can get a decision within three weeks, which is faster.

Like many other UK visas, the Start-Up visa is eligible for priority and super-priority processing if you pay the fee. Paying for priority or super-priority service means you get a faster decision on your application – a few days, to be specific.

Duration and Extension of the Start-Up Visa UK

A UK Start-Up visa permits you to stay in the country for two years. The duration is also two years if you switch to the Start-Up visa from a different visa.

Notably, you cannot extend the Start-Up visa when it expires after two years. Instead, you are to switch to an innovator visa. An Innovator Visa lets you stay in the UK for longer and is extensible when it expires.

However, you may not need to extend your Innovator Visa as you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after three years. In order words, you can move from a visa holder to a permanent resident in the UK.

However, the UK Innovator Visa is just as intricate as the Start-Up Visa. You can find out more about the visa in this WorldTravelPride post.

Start-Up Visa UK Dependents

As a Start-up Visa applicant, you can bring close family members with you to the UK. Family members who are eligible will need to fill out their individual visa applications and pay the processing fee.

You can bring your:

  • Spouse or civil partner, or a long-term partner who is not married
  • Children younger than 18
  • Child over 18 who is living with you in the UK as a dependent – if you’re switching visas.

If your family joins you in the UK, you will have to show that you have more money. You will need an extra £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for your other children.

UK Start-Up Visa Application Refusal: What Can You Do?

Undoubtedly, you must have an amazing business idea to apply for a Start-Up visa, which is what the UK government needs. However, your startup business visa can be refused or rejected due to many reasons, including:

  • Errors in your application form
  • Incorrect information or documents submitted
  • Not responding to the follow-up requests made by the UKVI

Any reason out of these or all of these combined can lead to your visa application refusal.

Now, if this happens to you, here is what you can do. You can proceed with an administrative application record if you are outside the UK. Secondly, make sure that you initiate this within 28 days of getting your visa refused or rejected

You can also seek the intervention of judicial authorities and appeal against the immigration decision. Lastly, you can opt to resubmit your application and begin the entire process again.

In addition, you also need to keep some patience. Dealing with visa refusals can be time-consuming and overwhelming at times. Hence, check on your follow-up process with legal authorities to know if you should start your application again.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Start-Up Visa UK

Here are some commonly asked questions by people who want to apply for a Start-Up visa:

What Happens After 2 Years of Start-Up Visa?

You and your family members are permitted to remain in the UK for two years. After this time, you will not be able to extend your startup visa, but you can change to an innovator visa to extend your stay in the UK and grow your firm. When the innovator visa is about to expire, there are options to renew it for another three years.

What You Can and Cannot Do on a Startup Visa?

Your loved ones can join you in your new home country if you have a startup. Changing visa categories and moving from a startup visa to another type of visa is possible.

The government will not provide you with any money, though. You also can not practice medicine or play a professional sport while in the UK on a startup visa, nor can you permanently reside there.

Does the Start-up Visa lead to permanent residency in the UK?

Since you cannot extend the Start-Up visa, you cannot use the duration to apply for permanent residency in the UK. However, as mentioned in this article, you can easily switch from the UK Start-Up to the Innovator Visa.

Time spent on the innovator visa counts as residency, which means you can apply for indefinite leave to remain – permanent residency. In other words, you can get permanent residence from your Start-Up visa by first switching to the Innovator Visa.

You might be able to apply for British citizenship after having indefinite leave to remain for a year. However, you must meet many requirements before getting indefinite leave to remain if you have a Start-Up or Innovator Visa.

These include staying in touch with the group that backed you and showing proof that your business venture is moving forward.

Bottom Line

The Start-Up Visa was launched to help talented people from other countries build their business ideas in the UK.

Compared to the Innovator visa, you do not have to be a college graduate or have excess money in the bank to apply for this visa. As a result, it is a more affordable option for investors. 

The visa is for businesses that are just starting but show a lot of promise. You can follow up on the application process with the information in this post. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section.

Categories
Immigration UK

UK Innovator Visa: Best Route For Investors and Entrepreneurs

Doing business in the UK has its many benefits. As a foreign, you can apply and start doing business in the UK if you have enough funds. For such a venture, there are different visa types you can apply for, and one of them is the UK Innovator Visa.

The UK Innovator Visa is relatively new but is now popular due to its many benefits. You will find all you need to know about this ingenious visa in this WorldTravelPride post. Read on.

What Is the UK Innovator Visa?

The UK Innovator Visa replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa in 2019. Entrepreneurs with extensive business experience who wish to launch a company in the UK may qualify for immigration under the Innovator Visa route. Applicants must have a minimum of £50,000 in available capital, and an endorsing body must approve their business plan. 

An Endorsing body is a group recognized by the UK Home Office as competent to evaluate business plans submitted under the UK Innovator Visa Programme. The business plan needs to be creative while also being practical and scalable.

The Endorsing body’s endorsement letter is necessary at all relevant application stages: original application, visa extension application, or indefinite leave to remain application. Notably, one of the best benefits of the innovator visa is that it’s an easy route to getting permanent residency in the UK.

To apply, you must be at least 18 years old, a citizen or permanent resident of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants are welcome to include their spouses/partners and children under 18 in their applications.

Eligibility Requirements for the Innovator Visa

You must meet basic requirements to be eligible for the UK Innovator Visa. These requirements include:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language
  • You must be able to prove that you have enough funds to support your stay in the country

While the above are basic requirements, the UK Home Office has other specific eligibility requirements for Innovator Visa applicants. These requirements depend on what you plan to do in the UK.

If you want to launch a business in the country, you must have at least £50,000 in investment funds. Notably, you must prove how you got the money.

It’s mandatory that you provide the investment funds all by yourself. You may be part of a business team with two, three, or more members. Each member must have a minimum of £50,000 investment funds to apply for the UK Innovator Visa.

You will not need to have the investment funds if you already have a business in the UK or you have previously been endorsed for a similar visa.

To support yourself in the UK, the UK Home Office demands that you have at least £1,270 in personal savings. Even if you don’t need to present the investment funds, you must have the personal savings amount in any Innovator Visa application circumstance.

Innovator Visa Required Documents

The UK Home Office pointedly lists documents that Innovator Visa applicants must provide. These documents include:

  • Valid international passport. You can also present any other document proving your nationality and identity.
  • Proof that you are proficient in the English language.
  • Proof that you have the funds to invest or start up a business in the UK.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support your stay in the country. Usually, you should have at least £1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.
  • Tuberculosis test results, if it is mandatory for your home country.

While these are the primary documents, the UK Home Office may still request additional documents. Nevertheless, ultimately, the main requirement you need to meet is to have the funds to invest in the country.

UK Innovator Visa Application Fees

The UK Innovator visa attracts a processing fee, and the cost depends on where you’re applying from. If you’re applying from outside the UK, you pay £1,036. On the other hand, if you’re applying from within the UK, you pay £1,292.

The cost is the same for anyone – dependents typically – who wants to join you in the UK.

Note that the processing fee is independent of the amount you need to invest and the one you need to prove you can support your stay. It’s a nonrefundable fee that you must pay as you submit your application.

Aside from the processing fee, the Innovator Visa also attracts a healthcare surcharge. The healthcare surcharge is an annual fee you must pay to access healthcare in the UK. It varies depending on how long you plan to stay in the UK.

Innovator visa applications usually pay £624 per year since the visa lasts multiple years. Your dependents must also pay a healthcare surcharge, and you’ll get the prompt to pay during your online application.

If you don’t pay your healthcare surcharge, the UK Home Office will send you an email, after which you must pay the fee within 7 to 10 working days. Failure to do so makes your visa application automatically invalid.

How To Apply for UK Innovator Visa

If you’re outside the UK, you can begin your application for the Innovator Visa online. If you’re applying from inside the UK, you also need to apply online, but you’ll be applying for a visa switch instead.

You might experience processing delays during the early application stages as you have to submit documents and prove your identity. As a result, it’s in your best interest to provide all the essential documents and leave nothing out.

After your online application, you will get a decision from the UK Home Office within three weeks if you are outside the UK. It takes longer to process a visa switch if you are inside the UK. Hence, you’ll get a decision within eight weeks.

In some cases, especially if you need to go for an appointment, you could pay to get a faster decision. Such fast decisions take only a few days with the priority or super-priority service.

How Long Does an Innovator Visa Last?

If your UK innovation visa is successful and you enter the country, you can stay for up to three years. The duration is also three years if you apply from inside the country.

During this period, you should focus on doing what the visa demands, including setting up a business and employing staff. Notably, the UK Home Office will give you a comprehensive list of what you can and cannot do during your three-year stay.

UK Innovator Visa Extension

You can extend your Innovator Visa when it expires after three years. For that, however, you need to meet the eligibility requirements and have a running business. The UK Home Office will examine your extension application just like the initial visa application.

Extending your UK innovator visa attracts a processing fee, and since you’re already in the UK, you’ll pay £1,292. Similarly, you may have to wait up to eight weeks to get a decision on your application for an extension.

Dependents Of UK Innovator Visa Holders

Since the UK Innovator Visa lets you stay in the country for more than a year, it also enables you to bring dependents. Your dependents can apply for visas at the same time as you or later. Likewise, they can travel to the UK or join you later.

When bringing dependents, one of the most important things to note is that you will need extra funds. You won’t only need money to support yourself in the UK, but you will also need money to support each person that joins you in the country.

Benefits of Investing in the UK

When it comes to investing, the United Kingdom (UK) is among the world’s most sought-after locations due to its high level of connectivity. The city of London serves as its hub, and as a business and cultural hub, it attracts individuals from all over the world. 

Due to its unrivaled financial and economic reach and favorable tax laws for citizens and non-domiciled individuals, the UK has earned a reputation as a secure place to invest.

There is no reason to expect a decline in the United Kingdom’s global impact despite its departure from the European Union after more than four decades of membership.

Undoubtedly, the nation’s enterprising character and high educational and governmental standards will remain as the country pursues a diverse array of international partnerships.

With numerous daily flights to New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires, the UK has long been a vital link between Europe and the Americas. Additionally, it has good connections to the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. It is perfect for international travel and business because it is in the time zone halfway between the US and Asia.

How To Get Permanent Residence

As mentioned earlier, one of the best advantages of the Innovator visa is that it is an easy route to reside permanently in the UK. You can apply for indefinite leave to remain after just three years.

However, it requires that you meet some detailed requirements, notably different from the regular.

To obtain permanent residency status, the applicant must focus only on growing his business and is not allowed to hold any other jobs.

The application must provide evidence that they have worked continuously in the UK, and more crucially, the applicant must provide evidence that the firm has met at least two of the seven conditions listed below:

1. No less than £50,000 has been invested and spent to further the business strategy described in the applicant’s previous endorsement. 

2. The company’s client base has grown by at least 100% over the past three years, and it now has more customers than the average company in the UK that provides its product or service type. 

3. The company has filed for intellectual property (IP) protection in the United Kingdom after extensive research and development.

4. The company’s most recent full fiscal year, covered by its accounts, saw a minimum annual sales of £1 million. 

5. The company made at least £500,000 in yearly sales in the most recent accounting period, with at least £100,000 coming from exports. 

6. The company has established at least ten full-time equivalent employment for local people that have been in place for at least a year. 

7. The company has created the equivalent of five full-time positions for local employees that have existed for at least a year and have an annual wage of at least £25,000.

Residential Requirement

In terms of physical presence, a person who wants to become a permanent resident must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in any of the 12 calendar months before applying. 

Aside from being in the UK physically, the applicant must also show that they know enough about the language and way of life there. This is checked by taking an exam called “Life in the UK” and an English language test. 

Once you get permanent residency, you can apply to become a British citizen. Before applying, you must have been a permanent resident for at least a year.

Only those who have spent less than 450 days outside the UK in the preceding five years can get citizenship. Also, you must not have spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the preceding year before applying.

Bottom Line

The UK is a welcoming location if you can afford up to £50,000 in investment funds and plan to invest in a foreign country. The UK Innovator Visa makes it super easy for you to start a business in the UK and easily leads to permanent residency. With the information in this post, you should be able to apply for an Innovator Visa without problems.

Categories
Immigration UK

UK Sponsor License: Important Document For Work Visas

Do you want to hire a worker from outside the country? If yes, the UK Sponsor License is one of the most important documents you need to get.

Every year, companies in the UK hire hundreds of workers from foreign countries. These workers contribute a lot to the UK economy in their respective capacities. As a result, the country’s government continues to make it possible for companies to hire workers.

However, as a company in the UK, you can’t hire anyone without proper authorization. You need to meet different criteria to qualify as a foreign employer. However, ultimately, you need to obtain a UK sponsor license.

The sponsor license is your document, not that of the employee you want to hire. In contrast, your employee will receive a certificate of sponsorship – which you’ll issue with your sponsor license.

Read on to find out all you need to know about the UK sponsor license in this post.

What Is a Sponsor License?

Suppose you’re a foreign national seeking employment in the United Kingdom. In that case, you’ll need to secure sponsorship from a British company or individual. Your employer, who has given you a job offer, automatically becomes your sponsor.

However, not every company in the United Kingdom can afford to hire foreign nationals. Only companies with a sponsor license can hire workers from other countries. 

A sponsor license, then, shows that proves a UK-based company has legal authorization to employ people from other countries. There is no need for a sponsor license if you are traveling to the UK to invest. In such a case, you need a visa like a Start-up or an Innovator visa. These visas do not require sponsorship.

Your company must verify that your job position qualifies for sponsorship. Also, they must confirm that you possess the necessary skills and credentials for the role before they can apply for a sponsor license. It’s also essential that they haven’t had their license canceled anytime in the past year.

Your employer will apply for a specific type of sponsorship license. The type will depend on the nature of the job position you’re filling.

Licenses for workers fall into several broad categories, including the Skilled Worker, Senior or Specialist Worker, Minister of Religion, and International Sportsperson visas. 

Temporary workers’ licenses include, among others, the Creative Worker, Charity Worker, Graduate Trainee, Seasonal Worker, and Secondment Worker categories. 

The process of applying for a sponsorship license has a fee. For small enterprises and charities, the procedure will cost £536, while medium-sized and large businesses would pay £1,476.

If approved, employers typically receive an A-rating license. But if your job is as a UK Expansion Worker, they will get a provisional rating license.

Why Is It Important?

You can only get a UK Work Visa if you meet the requirements for your job category. As was already said, you need a sponsor, which by default is your employer. Your employer needs to give you a certificate of sponsorship to prove that they are sponsoring you.

The Tier 2 sponsorship license program was established to enable employers to hire and keep non-EEA immigrants as employees of their business or organization. Since the UK left the EU, all foreign workers need to meet this requirement, which is now simply the “sponsorship license.” 

Applying for a sponsorship license entails demonstrating your employer’s ability to adhere to strict rules. After that, you will have continuing management and compliance obligations for your sponsorship license that you must fulfill to keep your license. 

You can provide certificates of sponsorship to qualified foreign workers, enabling them to legally work for you in the UK after you have a sponsorship license.

Only UK employers with an active license may issue certificates of sponsorship; hence a sponsor license is essential. In other words, you cannot obtain a sponsorship certificate from your employer without a sponsor license, and you cannot get a work visa without a sponsorship certificate. 

Each sponsor license for an A-rating is good for four years. Thus, companies do not have to submit a new license application for each job offer. You can check the Register of licensed sponsors on the GOV UK website to ensure your UK employer has a current sponsor license. 

Details about your employer and your employment offer will be in the certificate of sponsorship you get. It will most notably include your job title and employer’s sponsor license reference number. You must note that the document is electronic rather than tangible. In other words, you won’t get a physical copy.

You simply need to provide the certificate’s reference number when applying for a work visa. You should begin the visa application process as soon as you acquire the certification because it is only valid for three months.

Eligibility Requirements for a Sponsor License

When deciding whether or not to accept your application, the headquarters will think about the following details: 

  • Valid identification as a corporation, limited liability partnership, sole proprietorship, or limited liability business
  • You need all the proper authorization, tax payments, and insurance coverage to legally conduct business in the United Kingdom. 
  • Proof that the essential people included on the sponsorship license are trustworthy by presenting evidence that they have no immigration convictions. 

As part of the sponsorship license application process, you’ll need to show that you understand the stipulations set forth by the home office. You must have employees currently employed in your company to stand as “Authorizing Officer,” “Key Contact,” and “Level 1 User.” 

You need solid HR systems to keep tabs on your migrant workers’ whereabouts and activities. In addition, you need to ensure there is an actual opening at the right level and that the salary is competitive with other offers.

About the Resident Labor Market Test

In other cases, the sponsor must show that they followed the procedures outlined in the home office’s published instructions to fill the position domestically. 

In such cases, the employer must post an advertisement for the position for at least 28 days on the Jobcentre Plus website and one other relevant portal run by the UK government. 

Before offering the post to the non-settled UK worker, the sponsor must demonstrate that there are no appropriate established workers who are already residing in the UK who can fill the position.

In addition, there’s the Subjective Test under sponsorship license. This is an additional requirement prospective sponsorship license employers will need to meet.

As an employer, you will need to demonstrate that the vacancy you are seeking genuinely exists. It’s important to prove that you didn’t create it to allow someone the opportunity to regularise their Immigration status unfairly.

About the Immigration Skills Charge

Suppose you have a sponsorship license and wish to sponsor an overseas worker for six months or more under the Senior or Specialist Worker visa. In that case, you may need to pay an immigration skills charge. 

The fee is set at £1000 per employee yearly. However, the price is lower at $364 less for nonprofit or small businesses. 

You don’t have to pay if you’re sponsoring a student changing their visa to one for a senior or specialist worker. Other instances when you don’t have to pay include sponsoring a foreign national working at a Ph.D. level or a citizen who is a graduate trainee.

How To Apply for a UK Sponsorship License

There are various steps you must take to obtain a sponsorship license. You must complete each step and present all required supporting documentation. Following are the processes to obtain a UK sponsorship license: 

  • The employer must complete the online application using the official government website. 
  • Within five working days of submitting the initial application to the home office, gather the pertinent supporting documents listed in Appendix A of the published home office guidance. 
  • Give a thorough justification for why you need a sponsorship license.
  • Make sure you have HR systems in place to show that you are aware of and capable of upholding your commitments as a licensed sponsor. 
  • Make sure you are ready for a pre-licensing compliance inspection; a home office representative may show up to look around your office and speak with you further about your sponsorship license application.

How soon you apply for a sponsorship license depends on the specifics of your situation. Employers typically submit applications a few months before they need to fill a position.

In most cases, the review and approval process for a sponsorship license takes two to three months. The length of time it takes to review applications depends on the nature of the business, the number of applications received, and other administrative considerations.

You can apply for a license as a single entity that covers all linked branches under one organization if your firm has many branch offices throughout the UK, or you may apply for a separate license for each branch.

Once you get a sponsorship license, it’s valid for four years as long as you keep doing your job as a sponsor.

UK Sponsor License Reasons for Rejection

Rejecting a sponsor license application can be a frustrating affair. The following are some of the most frequent explanations for application denials: 

  • Erroneous or deceptive paperwork 
  • Unfinished application 
  • A prior sponsor license for the business has been revoked. 
  • The business missed the deadline for providing additional information that was sought. 

It’s vital for companies to take every precaution to avoid having their sponsor license application rejected since the application money is non-refundable. They cannot reapply until a cooling-off period has elapsed. 

The duration will vary depending on the reasons the application was rejected. Most businesses will not be able to reapply for at least six months after receiving a notice of rejection. 

You won’t be eligible to file an appeal if your sponsor licensing application is denied. The decision may be subject to an administrative review, but this does not ensure that you will get a different decision. 

What Is the Sponsor License Rating?

Your company will get an A-rated license and included in the registry of sponsors if your application is successful. 

Your license may be lowered to a B-rating if you fail to uphold your obligations as a sponsor. In this case, the UKVI will give you an action plan that you must undertake to return your license to an A-rating. The cost of the action plan is £1,476. 

Until you demonstrate that you have made adjustments and have been promoted back to the A-rating, you will not be permitted to issue new certificates of sponsorship.

UK Sponsor Responsibilities

Before and after hiring an overseas employee, an employer has many obligations to fulfill. 

You must, as an employer, verify that all of your international employees have the appropriate credentials for the position. 

Sponsorship Certificates should only be issued to employees whose positions are appropriate for such documentation. If your worker violates the visa’s terms and conditions, you must immediately notify the UK Visas and Immigration office.

Bottom Line

The UK Sponsor License is an essential document for UK employers who want to hire foreign workers. It’s also a necessary document if you want to sponsor students to study in the country.

With the information in this post, you should now have a clear-cut understanding of what the UK sponsor license is all about and what it demands. You can drop comments below if you have any questions about the process.

Categories
UK

How To Get British Citizenship, 2022 Complete Guide

People all over the world want to move to the UK. However, moving to the western European country is just the beginning of a long journey to getting British citizenship. 

If you enter the UK legally and stay long enough, you can become a permanent resident. The next step after becoming a permanent resident is to apply for citizenship.

However, aside from permanent residency, there are other ways to become a British citizen. You can find out all about becoming a UK citizen in this WorldTravelPride post.

What Is British Citizenship?

British citizenship, also known as naturalization, makes you become a full citizen of the United Kingdom. You will receive a British passport and can partake in social activities such as voting.

Although holders enjoy similar benefits, British citizenship is different from a permanent residency – indefinite leave to remain. However, most times, you’ll need first to be a permanent resident before you can apply to become a British citizen.

You can apply for British citizenship in different ways, depending on your eligibility. Notably, you can be eligible to apply in more than one way.

In such a situation, you should choose the option that maximizes your chances of success. You can always consult the services of British citizenship lawyers to help.

Becoming a British citizen doesn’t necessarily mean forfeiting your previous citizenship. The UK allows dual citizenship.

However, your home country may not allow dual citizenship. This means you can lose your home citizenship when you become a British citizen. Hence, you must weigh your choices.

Eligibility Requirements for UK Citizenship

You can be eligible for British citizen via any of the below options:

British Citizenship by Birth

The UK doesn’t issue automatic citizenship to anyone born in the country. Therefore, if you were born in the UK, don’t assume you’re a British citizen. However, you can still apply later on.

Your eligibility to apply depends on the date you were born and your parents’ circumstances. For example, if you were born on or after 1st January 1983, you can apply if you’re not up to 18 and any of your parents became British citizens or permanent residents after birth.

You can check the UK Home Office website for intricate details of the date timeline. Generally, you can apply for British citizenship by birth if you were born in and have lived in the UK for over ten years.

Typically, living in the UK for up to 5 years makes you eligible for indefinite leave to remain and, subsequently, British citizenship.

UK Citizenship by Marriage

Getting married to or entering into a civil partnership with a British citizen makes you eligible to apply for British citizenship.

To qualify, however, you must have lived together in the UK for up to three years. You must also first obtain permanent resident status. You can apply with settled status under the Settlement Scheme if you’re from the EU.

Notably, UK citizenship by marriage is one of the simplest among the different ways.

UK Citizenship by Settled Status

If you are a British permanent resident with indefinite leave to remain status or a permanent resident under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can apply for UK citizenship.

If you have indefinite leave to remain status, you must have lived in the UK for at least twelve consecutive months after acquiring your status.

Following Brexit, becoming a British citizen via the EU Settlement Scheme ceased in June 2021. Nevertheless, according to the UK Home Office, you can still apply if you have reasonable reasons for not meeting the deadline.

British Citizenship by Descent

If you have a British parent, your chances of becoming a British citizen are incredibly high. If you were born to a British parent, within or outside the UK, you automatically become a British citizen.

However, it’s possible that your parent did not become a British citizen until after your birth – if they were on indefinite leave to remain or another residential status when you were born.

In such situations, you can still apply, and you’ll qualify depending on the date you were born.

Required Documents For British Citizenship

The requirements you need to provide will depend on how you want to become a British citizen. Here’s a rundown of the documents you may need:

  • Proof of indefinite leave to remain if you’re applying for citizenship by settled status.
  • Proof that you’ve lived in the UK for the number of years or months necessary for your citizenship route.
  • Proof of your knowledge of English.
  • Proof that you passed the life in the UK test.
  • Proof of marriage or civil partnership if you’re applying for citizenship by marriage.
  • Proof that your parents or parent are/is a British citizen if you’re applying for citizenship by descent.
  • Proof that you were born in the UK if you’re applying for citizenship by birth.

The above is an overview of the documents you need to provide. You must note that the UK Home Office will request a lot of documentation.

For example, you may need to submit multiple documents as proof that you are legally married or in a civil partnership with your spouse, who is a British citizen.

Furthermore, the Life in the UK test and knowledge of English are notable requirements.

Life in the UK test

For the Life in the UK, you can apply with a valid passport, a valid travel document with a photo, a biometric residence permit, or a biometric residence card. It depends on your status in the UK.

Based on the Life in the UK handbook, the test shows how much you know about living in the UK. As a result, you need to buy and read the book, which costs £12.99. 

Also, to pass the test, you need a score of at least 75%. But if you fail the test, you can reapply and retake it after seven days. You can take the test as many times as you need to pass. 

You don’t have to take the Life in the UK test again if you already did it when you applied for indefinite leave to remain.

Knowledge of English

You’ll be able to live in the UK forever and enjoy all state benefits. Therefore, to become a British citizen, you must be able to speak English. The reason is that you have to be able to communicate well in the country.

If you’re from a country where English is the first language, like the US, Canada, or Australia, you don’t have to worry about meeting this requirement. Even if you’re not, you can still skip it if you’re from one of the countries that are on the UK exempt list.

If not, you must take and pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from a government-approved test provider. You can take a test with any of the following providers:

  • Trinity College London
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

Reading, speaking, writing, and listening to English are all part of the test. It’s graded on a scale from 1 to 10, and you usually need at least a 6.5 score to pass.

UK Citizenship Processing Fees

Application for UK citizenship is relatively expensive. It costs £1,330 to apply for most routes. Notably, you won’t need to pay any fee to submit your biometrics during your application.

Children not up to 18 may be able to apply and get a citizenship application fee waiver.

British Citizenship Application Procedure

You can apply for British citizenship online or by post. However, it’s best to apply online so that the UK Home Office will receive your application fast – on the same day. If you apply by post, it may take a few days for them to receive and begin processing your application.

Due to the value of British citizenship, the application takes long to process. The UK Home Office will consider all factors to ensure you are qualified beyond doubt to become a British citizen. As a result, the application takes up to 6 months – most times, it takes longer.

If your application is successful, you’ll have to organize a citizenship ceremony with your council. Afterward, you can apply for a British passport.

Applying For a British passport

You can apply for a British passport if you are a British citizen. However, it’s not a right because, in some cases, your application can be turned down. Also, the government can withdraw your passport if you fault UK laws.

It takes around ten weeks after your application to get a UK passport. However, if you’re applying from outside the country, it may take longer. Hence, it’s advised that you file your application within UK’s borders.

Furthermore, the cost of your visa application varies depending on your circumstances and how you apply. The UK government’s Identity and Passport Service (IPS) accepts applications directly, and the procedure is simple.

After applying, you can track your application to keep up with the processing. For that, you’ll only need your application number.

Any British citizen over eighteen years requesting a passport for the first time must appear in person for an interview with IPS to verify their identity.

Avoid being duped by businesses or websites that offer to help you obtain a British passport. They can’t even pretend to speed up the procedure for you.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a British Citizen

Many people around the world aspire to obtain British citizenship because British nationality provides many benefits. When you become a citizen of the UK, you can anticipate the following.

The right to live in the UK permanently

You can move to the U.K. whenever you want and enjoy the benefits of settling there, such as being able to buy property, work, open a bank account, get married in the U.K., and more.

Free healthcare

The National Health Service in the UK has been around since 1948 and is one of Europe’s most prominent health organizations. It gives free health care and treatment to every resident in the UK. You get access to this free healthcare as a British citizen.

Freedom to work

No work permit is required for UK citizens to work in the country. They’re eligible for all of the government’s employment assistance programs.

Economic and social stability

The British pound is a dependable and powerful currency. The UK economy has proven surprisingly resilient even during a global financial crisis. 

Discrimination and sexual harassment are outlawed in the United Kingdom, which has a stable government and a moderate population. Hence, as a US citizen, you enjoy economic and social stability.

Eligibility to get a British passport

When you become a citizen of the UK, you can apply for a British passport. That implies that immigration restrictions won’t apply to you anymore.

Eligibility to vote

Full civic rights, such as voting in a parliamentary, local, or European election, are available to all UK-born and naturalized citizens. 

You now have a say in how the nation is governed. However, note that you must be listed on the electoral register, also referred to as the register of electors, to vote.

Eligibility to hold public office

The majority of British nationals over the age of 18 are eligible to run for public office. However, members of the armed services, civil officials, and those convicted of certain criminal acts are all exempt from holding public offices.

Bottom Line

Undoubtedly, becoming a UK citizen comes with many benefits. You can weigh your chances of getting a successful application with the information in this post.

Categories
UK

UK Temporary Worker Visa – Short-term Visa for Seasonal Work

Many people who go to work in the UK plan to work for a long time – multiple years at least. However, you can still enter the UK to work for a relatively short time on a short-stay visa. One of such visas is the Temporary Worker Visa. Read on to find out more about the visa, including how you can apply.

What Is the UK Temporary Worker Visa?

The UK Temporary Worker Visa is the Seasonal Worker Visa. It was previously known as the Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker visa (T5).

The visa permits you to enter the UK and work in horticulture. It’s a relatively simple visa that lasts for six months.

Horticulture involves jobs such as picking fruit and vegetables or flowers. 

Previously, Temporary Worker Visa holders were able to do poultry work, drive vehicles to transport food, or work in butchery. However, these jobs were removed after the visa was upgraded.

You also cannot work in a permanent position, access public funds, bring beneficiaries, or take up a second job not described in your sponsorship certificate.

Nevertheless, you’re not limited to working in the UK. You can also study, although you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate for some courses.

Like the UK Skilled Worker and the Health and Care Worker Visa, the Temporary Worker Visa requires sponsorship. You must also meet certain requirements to qualify.

What Are The Eligibility Requirements?

The two main eligibility requirements for the UK Temporary Worker Visa is a job offer and sufficient funds to support your stay.

You must provide a certificate of sponsorship from your employer to confirm your job offer. Note that only an approved UK employer with a sponsor license can issue you a certificate of sponsorship.

It’s not a physical certificate but a digital one. In most cases, you’ll only need the certificate reference number instead of the full copy.

The UK Home Office demands that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account to qualify for the Temporary Worker Visa.

You need this money to support your stay, and you must have had it for 28 days in a row. The 28th day must not be more than 31 days before you submit your application.

Your UK employer may decide to support your stay in the country. In that case, you won’t need to meet the financial requirement. If your employer is supporting your stay, they should state it in your certificate of sponsorship.

Notably, the UK Temporary Worker Visa doesn’t have a minimum salary requirement. Hence, it doesn’t matter how much you’ll be paid. You can apply insofar as you have a job offer.

Required Documents For The UK Temporary Worker Visa

As a short-term visa, the UK Temporary Worker Visa doesn’t require as many documents as the long-term visa. Check out the documents you’ll need below:

  • A valid international passport or other travel document.
  • Certificate of sponsorship to confirm your job offer. The certificate must feature your job title, UK employer, salary, and employer’s license number.
  • Proof that you have enough funds to sponsor your stay or that your employer will sponsor you.

That’s all. However, the UK Home Office May still request additional documents like a police record, for example. It depends on the circumstances of your application.

UK Temporary Worker Visa Processing Fee

The UK Temporary Worker Visa attracts a £259 processing fee. You must pay this fee after submitting your application online; else, the UK Home Office won’t process your application. You’ll make payment online.

Aside from the processing fee, you also need to have enough money to support your stay, as explained earlier.

Unlike many other UK work visa types, you can’t pay for priority or super-priority service to get a faster verdict on your application.

In addition, since you won’t be staying in the UK for up to a year, you won’t be paying the annual healthcare surcharge.

Application Procedure For The UK Temporary Worker Visa

This UK Temporary Worker Visa requires an online application. You can start the application up to three months before you plan to start working in the UK. On your certificate of sponsorship, you’ll find the date. 

You’ll have to provide identification as part of your application. Depending on where you’re from and the sort of passport you have, this can be done in a variety of ways. 

You can have fingerprints and a photo taken at a visa processing center. Alternatively, you can create or sign into your UKVI account and scan your identity document with the “UK Immigration: ID Check” app. 

When you submit your application, the UK Home Office will instruct you on the subsequent steps you need to take. Notably, you may need to visit the embassy or visa application center for an appointment.

If you do, the center may need to retain your passport and other documents while they process your application.

After you apply online, show proof of who you are, and send in your documents, you should get a verdict on your visa within three weeks. The UKVI will send you an email when a decision is made.

Duration Of The Temporary Worker Visa UK

Suppose your application for a UK Temporary Work Worker Visa to work in the horticulture industry is approved. In that case, you will be given permission to enter and remain in the UK for the duration of the job listed on your Certificate of Sponsorship.

Furthermore, you get a maximum of 14 days before and after that duration. The duration can also be for six months during any 12 months. Ultimately, the UK Temporary Worker Visa cannot be valid for more than six months.

UK Temporary Worker Visa Extension

If you entered the UK on a UK Seasonal Worker visa, you are not eligible to request a stay extension from within the country. You must leave the country and apply for a new visa from outside.

Likewise, it is impossible for anyone in the UK through another immigration route to “transition” to the Seasonal Worker route.

Such a person must leave the UK and apply for entry clearance from a different country if they have a sponsor.

Can I Bring Dependents?

You’d agree that the UK Temporary Work Visa (Seasonal Worker visa) doesn’t have many privileges. As a result, you won’t be able to bring your dependents into the country.

If your spouse or unmarried children wants to join you in the UK, they must apply for a different visa, independent of yours.

Other Types Of Temporary Worker Visa

While the Seasonal worker visa is a Temporary Work visa, other UK short-term visas are temporary.

Many people mistake these visas, and you should know the difference. Hence, aside from the Seasonal worker, here are other types of UK Temporary Worker Visas.

Creative Worker Visa and International Sportsperson Visa

You can apply for any of these two Temporary Worker Visas if you want to perform or work as a sportsperson, entertainer, or creative artist in the UK for up to 12 months. 

Prior to their separation, the two routes were combined and known as the Tier 5 Creative and Sporting Visa. 

Sportspersons must either be internationally recognized in their area or have a job that significantly advances the growth and operation of their sport at the highest level in order to qualify for an international sportsperson visa. 

You need a sponsor and a current sponsorship certificate with an established governing organization’s endorsement to apply. The UK’s celebrities and sports guests are not eligible for this category.

Government Authorised Exchange Visa

People entering the UK under approved programs fall under the heading of Government Authorized Exchange. People within this category must strive to experience British social and cultural life and exchange knowledge, expertise, and best practices. 

For this visa, you must be sponsored by an authorized UK sponsor, and the work, training, or research you do there must be related to the operations of your sponsoring organization. 

Depending on the program you’re applying for, the Government Authorized Exchange Visa will let you stay in the UK for either 12 or 24 months.

International Agreement Worker Visa

People who come to the UK on a contract to perform work subject to international law fall under the International Agreement Category. Examples of such work include performing services for a foreign government or acting as a contractual service provider. 

If any of the following holds true, you might be qualified for the International Agreement Worker Visa: 

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) or comparable agreements between the UK and other nations protect your work. 

The client is an international organization or foreign government. 

In a diplomatic residence or the home of an employee of an international organization, you will be employed as a private servant. 

Depending on what you’ll be doing in the UK, your stay on an international agreement worker visa may be longer or shorter. You may stay for up to two years if employed by a foreign government or living in a diplomatic residence as a private servant. 

If you are doing a service under contract, you are permitted to remain for six months out of every twelve.

If the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement covers your work, you may stay for 12 months; if it is covered by the Temporary agreement between the Swiss Confederation (Switzerland) and the UK on services mobility, you may stay for 12 months within a 24-month term.

Charity Worker Visa

Foreign people planning to do voluntary work for a UK charity can apply for a temporary work visa known as the “Charity Worker Visa.” Job done on the Charity Worker Visa must be temporary and without compensation. The visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to a year.

Religious Worker Visa

People traveling to the UK for pastoral or non-pastoral work or employment in a religious order such as a monastery or convent fall under the “Religious Workers” category. 

Religious workers are permitted to be paid for their services, unlike charity worker visas. The Religious Visa has a 24-month maximum validity period.

Youth Mobility Scheme

A sort of Temporary Worker Visa is the youth mobility visa, but this visa is unique from the other T5 Temporary Worker Visas. Young people from participating nations and territories who want to experience life in the UK can do so through the Youth Mobility Scheme. Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan are some of these nations. 

Holders of Youth Mobility Visas are permitted to stay in the UK for up to 2 years, but they are not allowed to extend their stay or bring family members. 

The Youth Mobility Visa does not need applicants to have a job offer in the UK, unlike other Temporary Worker Visas. Instead, your host during your stay will be your country’s government.

Based on your country, age, and upkeep finances, you must receive 50 points. Additionally, to apply, you must reside outside of the United Kingdom.

Bottom Line

The UK Temporary Worker Visa, or seasonal worker visa, lets you come to the UK to work in specific jobs for a short while.

With the information in this post, you should know how to go about your visa application. If the seasonal worker visa isn’t suitable for your type of temporary job offer, you can check out the other UK Temporary Worker Visas listed.

Categories
UK

UK Skilled Worker Visa: Fast Route For Professionals

Most foreigners who move to the UK do so for work reasons. Working in the UK is as lucrative as anywhere in Europe as the country has a prospering economy.

You need a visa if you’re coming to work in the UK. The type of visa you need will depend on what job you’re to do in the country. However, most jobs fall under the Skilled Worker Visa.

In this WorldTravelPride post, you’ll find all you need to know about the UK Skilled Worker Visa.

What Is the UK Skilled Worker Visa?

The Skilled Worker Visa is arguably the most popular UK visa. It grants beneficiaries permission to enter, live, and work in the UK for up to two years. It was previously known as the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

As a popular visa, the Skilled Worker Visa gets a lot of applications every year. Hence, it follows a strict process requiring you to meet detailed requirements.

You’ll find more about the requirements of the Skilled Worker Visa in subsequent sections. However, the most important requirement is a job offer by a licensed UK company.

Getting a UK Skilled Worker Visa without a job offer is impossible because you need a sponsor. By default, your employer is your sponsor.

The Skilled Worker Visa is a long-term visa. So, you’ll need to apply even if you don’t need a visa to enter the UK for a short stay.

Visa-free entry into the UK usually lasts for 30 to 90 days. Meanwhile, the Skilled Worker Visa lasts for more than a year. 

Aside from the Skilled Worker Visa, other UK work visas include the Health and Care Worker visa, Senior or Specialist Worker visa (Global Business Mobility), Minister of Religion visa (T2), and International Sportsperson visa.

Hence, if you’re not eligible for the Skilled Worker Visa, you can check if you’re eligible to apply for the others. Find out the eligibility requirements next.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

Here are the requirements for the UK Skilled Worker Visa

Job Type  

You must have a job offer from a UK employer that the Home Office licenses. Notably, your job offer must be eligible for the visa, and your employer must have permission to employ foreign workers. You can check if your employer is eligible via this link.

For your job to be eligible, it must meet specific salary requirements. The salary must be £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour, depending on which is higher.

The salary must also match the minimum going rate for the job. For instance, some jobs have a going rate of £30,000. If your salary for the job is £26,000, you won’t be eligible even if it’s higher than the £25,600 limit.

The salary limit is different if you work in healthcare or education. You may be eligible if your annual salary is up to £20,480.

You can check if your job is eligible for the visa on the GOV UK website. To check, you’ll need to know your job’s occupation code. It’s a 4-digit code that your employer should provide.

Otherwise, you can check the code using the ONS tool. You can also check the salary going rate with the tool.

Sponsorship

You can only begin your Skilled Worker Visa application after confirming your employer’s sponsorship. Your employer will give you a certificate of sponsorship with a reference number.

It usually doesn’t take long for the UKVI to issue your employer the sponsorship certificate. The certificate should be ready within 24 working hours if your job offer meets the requirement and your employer has a valid sponsor license. It costs £199 to process, but your employer will handle the fee.

The certificate is digital, so you shouldn’t expect a physical document. Once you receive your certificate of sponsorship, you should start your visa application within three months. After three months, the certificate becomes invalid, and you’ll need a new one.

Knowledge of English

You’ll be staying in the UK for a long time, so you must understand English to qualify for the Skilled Worker Visa. The requirement is to ensure you can communicate effectively in the country.

If you’re from a native-English country – the US, Canada, Australia, for example – you don’t have to worry about this requirement. If you’re not, you can still skip it if you’re a native of any of the exempt countries.

Otherwise, you need to take and pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved test provider. You can take a test from any of the below providers:

  • PSI Services (UK) Ltd
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

If you’re applying for the UK Skilled Worker Visa from inside the country, your options are:

  • Trinity College London
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
  • LanguageCert
  • Pearson

The test consists of reading, speaking, writing, and listening to English. It’s usually graded from 1 to 10, and you typically need at least 6.5 to qualify.

What Are The Required Documents?

Most of the documents you need to apply for the Skilled Worker Visa revolve around the three main requirements – a job offer, sponsorship, and knowledge of English. They include:

  • Your certificate of sponsorship. Usually, you only need to submit the certificate’s reference number.
  • A valid international passport or other travel documents. It must clearly show your nationality and identity.
  • SELT result sheet if you need to meet the knowledge of English requirement.
  • Document showing your job title, annual salary, and occupation code.
  • Your employer’s sponsor license number. You can get this from your certificate of sponsorship.
  • Document showing you have no criminal records. This is necessary for specific jobs – education, healthcare, therapy, and social services. You can present a police or court statement.
  • Tuberculosis test results if the test is mandatory for your country.
  • Bank statement to show you have enough funds to support your stay in the UK. You won’t need to present this if your employer agrees to handle your finances.

To avoid delays, you should only begin your application when your documents are complete. In addition to the above, the UKVI may still request additional documents.

Processing Fees and Financial Requirements

The UK Skilled Worker Visa has no specific processing fee. The cost is between £625 to £1,423, and how much you pay depends on your situation. Notably, your job offer influences the fee.

If you’re applying from outside the UK, you’ll pay £625 if your job offer lasts for up to three years. On the other hand, you’ll pay £1,235 if your job offer lasts for more than three years.

If you’re applying from inside the UK, you’ll pay £719 if your job offer lasts for up to three years. On the other hand, you’ll pay £1,423 if your job offer lasts for more than three years.

Nevertheless, you may be able to pay a processing fee lesser than £625 if your job is on the shortage occupation list. When you submit your application, you’ll find out how much you will pay.

The UK Home Office will only start processing your submitted visa application after you pay the fee.

Aside from the processing fee, you must also pay the healthcare surcharge. It’s an annual fee to access healthcare in the UK and usually costs £624 per year.

However, the amount may change depending on your circumstances. As a result, it’s ideal that you use the immigration health surcharge calculator to confirm how much you’ll pay.

Furthermore, the Skilled Worker Visa requires that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support your stay. The money must be in your account for at least 28 consecutive days, with the last day falling within 31 days after submitting your application.

You can only skip this financial requirement if your employer attests to sponsoring your stay. In such a situation, it must be explicitly stated in your certificate of sponsorship.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Application

Once you have all your documents ready, you can begin your application for a skilled worker visa online. As mentioned earlier, you should start your application within three months of getting your certificate of sponsorship.

The application mandates that you prove your identity. Therefore, after completing the online application, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to submit your biometrics – fingerprints, and photograph.

You’ll also submit your original documents at the appointment, and in some cases, you may have to take an interview. 

The UK Skilled Worker Visa has flexible processing times. Usually, it takes between three to four weeks to get a decision on your application.

In some cases, it may take longer than four weeks. Delay in processing occurs if you have to attend an interview, have a criminal conviction or if the embassy needs to authenticate some of your documents.

You can apply for faster processing with the priority or super-priority service if eligible. The super priority service ensures a verdict by the end of the next working day. On the other hand, the priority service ensures a verdict within five working days.

Once your verdict is ready, the UK Home Office will send you an email. If successful, the email will instruct you on what to do next. Ultimately, you can start preparing to travel to the UK.

UK Skilled Worker Visa Duration

Your Skilled Worker Visa can be valid for up to three or five years. Whenever it expires, you can extend it.

However, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain after staying in the UK for up to five years. The time you spend on the Skilled Worker visa counts towards residency.

Immediately after you arrive in the UK, you must apply for and obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP). This permit is mandatory for any foreigner staying in the UK for more than six months.

Usually, you should apply for the permit within 10 days of entering the UK. When you get your BRP, check to ensure your name is correct. If there’s any error, you must report it for correction as soon as possible.

How To Extend Your Stay

You can apply and extend your UK Skilled Worker Visa as many times as you want. The UK Home Office will approve your extension if you meet the job eligibility requirements.

Suppose you intend to change your job or employer. In that case, you must first apply for a visa update before applying for an extension.

Furthermore, you must pay a processing fee and submit biometrics for the extension. You should get a verdict within eight weeks after submission. Like the initial visa application, you can apply for faster processing.

If your visa is valid for up to five years, the best option is to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Indefinite leave to remain (ILR) makes you a UK permanent resident, and you can work and study without restrictions. You can find out more about it in this post.

Dependents

As a long-term visa, your children and spouse can accompany you to the UK as a Skilled Worker beneficiary. Notably, their visas depend on yours and will expire once yours expire. 

Your unmarried partner, civil partner, spouse, and children under 18 qualify as beneficiaries. You need to prove your relationship with them, and you’ll need additional funds to cover their stay. Your dependents can work and study in the UK with some limits.

Just as you can extend your stay, your dependents can extend theirs, too, if your extension is approved. Furthermore, if they stay in the UK for up to five years, they can apply and become permanent residents.

Bottom Line

The Skilled Worker Visa is one of the most common ways to get into the UK if you have a job offer. With the information in this post, you should find the visa application procedure easier.