Permanent Work Visa UK
A common question for would-be migrants to the UK is whether they can get a work visa that lasts permanently. In this article, we look at the options for those who are looking to commit their long-term future to the UK and the different ways in which they are able to secure their status to remain in the UK to live and work.
Can I get a permanent work visa in the UK?
Unfortunately, there is no such visa that offers a permanent visa term. The usual route to remaining in the UK permanently is to enter the UK via one of the following routes as laid out and then once you're in the country for long enough (which is usually 5 years) you will then be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Indefinite Leave to Remain is a level of surety that is just shy of full British citizenship. Gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain means that you can enter and leave the country freely and also live and work in the country freely and indefinitely.
If you would like to discuss your specific situation then please get in touch. Our immigration solicitors can help to guide you as to the most appropriate route for you. By talking through your situation we may be able to identify an exact route for you.
If I receive Indefinite Leave to Remain will I be a British citizen?
Unfortunately, no, Indefinite Leave to Remain is not the same as becoming a British citizen. You can apply to become a British citizen after being in the UK for 12 months after receiving Indefinite Leave to Remain. Gaining British citizenship will give you enhanced rights such as being able to apply for a British passport, but indefinite leave to remain in itself is not the same as British citizenship.
There are several ways to become a British citizen, to discuss them in more detail get in touch and we can help to see if you have a claim to British citizenship. Even if you do not, we can help with your visa application.
What are the different visas that are available in the UK?
There are quite a few options for those who are looking to travel to the UK to live and work and your eligibility is likely going to depend on your country of origin and the skills that you have. In order to find work, for instance, those that are highly skilled may be able to come in on a more generous route while those who have more general skills would need to apply via a different route. In this section, we will look at a brief summary of the UK visa routes and from that, you should be able to tell if you are eligible for any of them.
Below you will see a brief summary of the UK's main visa routes - this is not the complete list, but it does account for the vast majority of visa applications in the UK.
Tier 1 visa routes
The Tier 1 routes are for people with a specialist skill set, those looking to invest or those looking to start a business with seed funding. These routes are preferential and offer some of the more generous options for moving to and living in the UK.
Tier 1 Visa routes;
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur - for graduate entrepreneurs
Tier 1 Entrepreneur - for entrepreneurs who have a business plan and seed funding to get their business started in the UK
Tier 1 Investor - for investors with at least £2m available to invest in the UK
Tier 2 General Visa route
The Tier 2 General Visa is for generalised migration. The drawback for the Tier 2 General Visa is that you will need to work for a company that is a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. A Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder must give you a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) that you use for your application so that you can come and work in the UK. The rules around the Tier 2 General Visa are reasonably strict and that makes it slightly less appealing than the Tier 1 routes.
You will need to meet stringent criteria for a Tier 2 General Visa, to find out more please get in touch and we can help to guide you through the Tier 2 General Visa.
Tier 4 Student Visa
For students, the Tier 4 Student Visa is not ideally designed for staying long term in the UK, your best bet is that at the end of your Tier 4 Student Visa you switch to either a Tier 1 Graduate Visa or Tier 2 General Visa and build up your 5 years so that you become eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Can I bring dependents on any of these visas?
Yes, all of these visa routes offer the option for you to bring a dependent - that being said, you will need to provide documentary evidence that you can support them during their stay in the UK, if you are on a Tier 4 Student Visa, ultimately this is going to be difficult as your options for work are limited. On the other routes, it is certainly possible for your dependents to come and gain their own visas. Indeed in the case of the Tier 2 General visa, the Dependent Visa is also available.
How we can help
As immigration lawyers, we can help to guide you through the complicated immigration system and help you decide which route is best for you.
We provide a bespoke service that is tailored to our customers and we provide numerous services that can help you to apply and move to the UK in order to live and work. To discuss our services in more detail please get in touch and we can help you.
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- What is the Application Process for a Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Change of Employer?
- When Can a Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Dependent Apply for ILR?