Due to a shared language and a history of cooperation, the US and the UK have a lot in common. It is therefore unsurprising that many citizens from the two countries opt to live in the other for some period of time. If you are on the US side of the equation, you may be wondering about coming to the UK. In this article, we are going to look at the options for US citizens looking to move to the UK to live and work.
Yes. Unfortunately, there is no agreement on visa free work options for US-UK citizens, and this means that in order to work in the UK (if you're a US citizen), you will require a permit that allows you to work. There are numerous options that will allow you to work in the UK, but the most well used is the Tier 2 General Visa. This visa requires you to gain an offer of employment from a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. Once you have accepted this offer, they will then give you a Certificate of Sponsorship that you will use to support your application.
The Tier 2 General Visa offers holders the opportunity to live and work in the UK for up to a maximum of 5 years and 14 days. You are also able to extend your visa for up to a further 5 years as long as your total stay in the UK does not exceed 6 years. Once you have been working in the UK for 5 years, you will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain - which will allow you to stay in the UK indefinitely, free of restrictions.
The most appropriate visa for you will likely depend on your circumstances, but the Tier 2 General Visa is a good option that covers various sectors and various roles. As long as you can attain the minimum salary required for the role (£30,000 per year - apart from some jobs that are on the Shortage Occupation List) and the role has passed the resident labour market test (a test that the employer must meet in order to advertise the role to Tier 2 applicants), you will be able to apply for a visa.
Once you are in the UK, you will be able to work for your employer for the period specified on your visa. As you come towards the end of this period, you may wish to extend your stay - in this case you will either need to gain a Certificate of Sponsorship from your current employer, or if you are looking to switch jobs, a new Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder. This should then take you to your 5 year stay in the UK - the point at which you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Yes, you can bring some family members with you to the UK on a Tier 2 General Visa. These must be direct family members, as listed below:
In order to be considered, your dependents will either need to apply at the same time as you or they can also join you further into your stay. As well as having to be a direct relation, your dependent/s will also need to have at least £630 in savings (that must have been in their possession for at least 90 days) in order to support their stay - this is in addition to the £945 that you will need to support yourself. If your dependent cannot meet the savings requirement, you may be able to get your sponsor (if they are A-rated) to also sponsor your dependent.
Once in the UK, your dependents will receive the same leave that you have on your visa, and will be eligible to settle once they have been in the UK for 5 years. In the meantime, if you manage to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain before your spouse reaches 5 years in the UK, they will be able to extend their visa in order to build up their own 5 years in the UK. Once at the end of their 5 years in the UK, your dependent will then also be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Yes. While the visa routes vary the length of time (and indeed whether you can actually settle), almost all UK visas offer the option to settle in the UK after 5 years. This process is known as gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain and allows holders to stay in the UK free of visa conditions indefinitely.
Another option for US citizens is gaining British citizenship. As both the US and the UK allow their citizens to hold other nationalities, you can use Indefinite Leave to Remain as a route to gaining British citizenship. You will need to remain in the UK for 12 months after gaining Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will also need to pass the Life in the UK test. Should you meet the criteria, you can apply to become a British citizen without needing to renounce your US citizenship.
Our team can help you to move to the UK to live and work no matter where you come from - we do, however, have extensive experience in helping US citizens move to the UK.
Do not hesitate to get in contact - a member of our team will be more than happy to assist you.
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Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
Indefinite Leave to remain - UK Settlement and
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Citizenship Application - UK Naturalisation
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
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My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
Immigration Visa - Citizen of United Kingdom
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
UK Settlement Visa
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I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
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I used Reiss Edwards’ immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
Indefinte Leave to remain - Individual Immigration - UK Settlement
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
Tier 2 Visa application - UK Work Visas
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
Tier 1 Investor Visa - Business Immigration
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.