Entry clearance

"Entry clearance is the procedure used by Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) at British posts overseas to check before a person arrives in the UK if that person qualifies under the Immigration Rules for entry to the UK. If granted entry clearance, you will be issued with a documents, usually a Visa (or Entry Certificate, EEA Family Permit, or Except Vignette).  Even if you are granted entry clearance at a British Embassy or Consulate, the authority to admit you to the UK will ultimately rest with an Immigration Officer at the port of entry. Entry clearance is the process whereby a British High Commission or Embassy in another country grants you permission to enter the UK. Commonly referred to as a visa, entry clearance provides evidence of your entitlement to enter the UK with a particular category of permission. There are three broad categories of foreign (overseas) nationals: 1. Those who are free to enter, stay and work in the UK with barely any restriction on their length of stay or the employment they take, and who do not require a work permit. For example European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their families, Commonwealth citizens with UK grandparents, working holidaymakers from the Commonwealth, overseas nationals having settled status, spouse and dependent children (under the age of 18) of overseas workers who can lawfully work in the UK, citizens of Switzerland, people born in Gibraltar. 2. Those who can come to the UK, without a permit, to work in certain occupations or for fixed periods of time. For example trainee nurses, au pairs. 3. Those who must have a UK work permit in order to take up employment in the UK. Entry clearance takes the form of an entry clearance visa (for visa nationals) or an entry certificate (for non visa nationals). These documents are to be taken as evidence of the holder's eligibility for entry into the United Kingdom, and accordingly accepted as ""entry clearances"" within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971."

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