The United Kingdom (U.K.) has always been a popular destination for people wishing to migrate to another country.
The country is a popular choice for immigrants not just because of its educational options, but also because of its career opportunities. Apart from this, the country is steeped in history and culture and has always occupied an important place in the world.
Migrating to the UK
Reasons to migrate to the UK include:
- Stable economy
- Demand for skilled talent
- High quality healthcare through NHS
- World class universities to pursue higher studies
In 2020, the Uk introduced a points-based system for migration similar to Canada and Australia.
Here are the details of the points-based system
- Highly skilled workers, skilled workers and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
- A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
- Salary threshold will now be 26,000 pounds per year, reduced from 30,000 pounds required earlier
- Applicants must prove that they can speak English (A-level or equivalent)
- Highly skilled workers will need to be endorsed by a UK body; however, they do not need a job offer
- Students will also come under the points- based system to study in the UK and must show proof of an admission letter from an educational institute, English proficiency and funds.
- 70 points is the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa
Scoring the 70 points required for visa eligibility
A job offer in the UK and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:
- Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
- 10 points for a relevant PhD or 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject
- 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage
|Job offer||20 points|
|Job at appropriate skill level||20 points|
|English speaking skills||10 points|
|Salary of 26,000 and above or relevant PhD in a STEM subject
|10 + 10 = 20 points|
Visa options to migrate to the UK
Highly qualified foreigners
- Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa
- Tier 1 (Investor) Visa
- Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa
- Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa
Skilled foreign workers with a job offer in a shortage area
- Skilled worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) Visa
- Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) Visa
- Tier 2 (Sportsperson) Visa
- Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) Visa
Youth mobility and temporary foreign workers
- Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa
- Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Visa
Eligibility requirements to move to the UK
- You must have the required scores in the English Language proficiency test which can be either IELTS or TOEFL.
- You must not be from a country that belongs to the EU or EEA.
- If you intend to come to the UK for study or work, you should have the required documents, work experience certificates etc.
- You must have the required funds to support yourself during the initial days of your stay.
- You must have the character and health certificates required for your visa.
Work options in the UK
The UK offers various visa options for those wishing to work here. If you are a professional and want to work in the UK, you can apply for any one of these visa categories. Here are the various visa categories available to foreigners:
Tier 1 Visa: This category of visa is for ‘high-value migrants,’ including the £2 million Tier 1 investment visa scheme, as well as the very few people who qualify for the Tier 1 extraordinary talent visa and Tier 1 Exceptional Promise visa.
Tier 2 Visa: This is for skilled employees who have a job offer from a Tier 2 Sponsor in the UK.
Tier 3 Visa: This visa is for low-skilled workers to fill specific temporary labor shortages.
Tier 4 Visa: This category is for students who seek to study in the UK but are not citizens of the European Economic Area. Before applying, applicants must hold a place at a registered UK educational institution.
Tier 5 Visa: This category is for temporary workers.
A foreigner wishing to work in the UK will, in most cases, apply for the Tier 1 or the Tier 2 visa. While the Tier 1 visa is for exceptionally talented people, and since very few people qualify for this visa, the more popular option is the Tier 2 visa.
Tier 2 visa or the Skilled Worker visa
The Tier 2 Visa is a points-based visa, and applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points to be eligible for the visa.
A job offer with an employer sponsorship certificate can get you 30 points. If your occupation appears on the Skills Shortage list, you can earn an additional 30 points. With these 60 points, obtaining the remaining points to qualify will be pretty straightforward.
You can gain extra points in the following scenarios:
- If you have a Ph.D., you can earn 10 points
- You can get 20 points if you have a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or math
- You can get 20 points if you have a job offer in a skill shortage occupation
Migrating to UK for study
International students can enter the UK on a Tier 4 visa in case they are opting for a full study program. However, students who are studying English or other training courses are eligible to apply for a short-term study visa. The UK study visa is issued under a points-based system. You will get a visa provided you have the required points.
Post study options for international students
International students in the UK on a valid Tier 4 visa can stay in the country after completing their studies provided, they have a job offer that pays the required salary.
They can move from a Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa with a five-year validity period.
The post-study work experience will help students to apply for permanent residence in the UK.
As a non -EU national, you can apply for permanent residency if you have lived in the UK for a certain number of years, lawfully or otherwise.
Here is a list indicating the amount of time you have to stay under various visas in the UK in order to be able to apply for an indefinite leave to remain (ILR):
- Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen: 2 years
- Lawful stay on any basis (long stay): 10 years
- Unlawful stay: 14 years
- Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permit: 5 years
- Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts: 5 years
- Ancestry: 5 years