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Combining Visas For Settlement

For many immigrants to the UK, obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and perhaps even British citizenship are often key to their choice of visa route. The main issue with this is that often the visa that the applicant is most suited to is not necessarily the one that is going to get them to this goal in the fastest way possible. With this in mind, we are going to look at an option that is available to those looking to come to the UK, or even those that are already here, that may help them to speed up their route to obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): combining visas.

What Is Meant By Combining Visas?

In essence, the principle of visa combining is simple: you switch between routes while in the UK to one that is more beneficial in terms of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Your options for visa combination are largely going to be dictated by your personal circumstances; while the Tier 1 Investor Visa may be the most beneficial, you may be nowhere near reaching the eligibility criteria for it. It is therefore imperative that when you look at the option of combining visas, you are realistic about your prospects of being accepted for the route that you intend to switch to.

Combining visas, if you are able to do so, can be a very powerful option for those looking to cement their ability to remain in the UK for the long-term. If you are looking at this as a realistic option for you, get in touch with our team of experienced immigration solicitors today and let them help you to use this powerful technique to make the most of the opportunity that combining visa routes offers. For those who can do so, combining visas makes the process of remaining in the UK easier and more straightforward. To find out more, call today and we will be more than happy to help.

Which Visa Routes Can Be Combined?

Most of the UK’s visa routes can be combined in one way or another. Combining the UK’s visa options into the best roadmap for you is an art all in itself. For the vast majority of visa holders (Tier 2 General Visa is by far the most popular of the UK’s working visa routes), they will be looking to move from their current Tier 2 General Visa onto one of the more specialised routes that come under the Tier 1 umbrella. There are many benefits from moving from the Tier 2 General Visa route to one of the Tier 1 routes - such as no longer needing to work for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder.

As well as moving to a Tier 1 route such as the Investor or Entrepreneur routes, you could also consider moving a Family Visa if you have the option. The Family Visa offers significantly better options for remaining in the UK than any of the tiered routes, and should be looked into first before considering switching to any of the other routes available in the UK for those on a Tier 2 General Visa. If you need help with the eligibility criteria for a Family Visa, or indeed help with any other facet of moving visa routes, get in touch and our team will be more than happy to help.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get To Obtaining Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR)?

The fastest way to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK is the Family Visa route - often you can obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) extremely quickly. As far as the tiered routes are concerned, the Tier 1 Investor Visa is realistically the best option for those looking to settle quickly in the UK, the catch? You need to be able to invest £10m in the UK. This is going to be a stretch for the vast majority of those who are working in the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa or indeed any other tiered visa route. Unless you are very fortunate, having that sort of money to gain quick settlement is going to be for the few and not the many.

Even if you do not have the £10m required for the 2-year settlement option offered by the Tier 1 Investor Visa, there are other options available for visa combination. The different levels of the Tier 1 Investor Visa mean that you could conceivably settle after 3 years if you could invest £5m in the UK. If this still isn’t an option, you could consider switching to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa.  The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa allows those who are leaders within the fields as laid out below the option of obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after just 3 years:

  • science
  • engineering
  • humanities
  • medicine
  • digital technology
  • the arts
  • fashion
  • architecture
  • film and television

If you do not fit into any of these options then visa combination may not be the right option for you. It is still certainly worth investigating whether you can use visa combination as a way of speeding up your settlement in the UK. If you are currently on a Tier 2 General Visa, it may be worth looking at ways of switching visa route even if you are not looking to settle earlier in the UK due to the more beneficial terms that are involved in other routes. If you need help with assessing your options, get in touch today and let our team of immigration experts help you to navigate the system.

Where Can I Get More Help With Combining Visas?

If you need help with visa combination, or indeed you want help with any other immigration query, please get in touch. Our team of immigration experts can help you to navigate the immigration system and get you to where you want to be. Come straight to the experts and gain the knowledge that you need to make the most informed immigration choice possible.

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Kind regards
Nancy Jacquard

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