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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Other visas to the United Kingdom

No matter why you come to the United Kingdom, on holidays, to study, work or join your family there, Imperial & Legal will sort out the headache for you and make the whole process go smoothly and hassle-free. We work on a case-by-case basis without falling into a routine which allows us to treat every client individually.

Our experts provide support during the process of obtaining a UK visa, including advising on required documents, completing and submitting application and working on your immigration case till you receive a British passport when applicable.

Tier 2 Work visas

They are issued to qualified workforce from third countries who are offered a job in the UK by a licensed sponsor. Your sponsor must show that they were unable to fill your position with any settled worker.

We can help both companies and individuals; companies to obtain a Sponsorship Licence and workers to obtain a visa by meeting all the conditions.

Tier 2 category includes several types of visas as described below.

Tier 2 General

You can be granted this visa if you’ve been offered a job in the UK from a list of prescribed jobs. Your sponsor must be licensed to employ non-EEA nationals and issue certificates of sponsorship.

You must meet any of the criteria for this type of visa:

  • You have relevant qualification to take a role that is in a list of permitted occupations;
  • You are offered a skilled job from a list of shortage occupations;
  • Your salary is higher than £159,600 p.a.

Rate of your salary must correspond to your position, but you cannot be paid less than £30,000.

You have to work for your sponsor in the role described in your certificate of sponsorship during the whole duration of your leave, subject to extension. You are permitted to take a second job in the same field and qualification as the main position but not more than 20 hours a week. You cannot get state benefits and become self-employed.

Unless you sponsor certifies to maintain you and any dependant, you must have £945 for yourself and £630 for each dependant in your bank account for 90 days before application to show that you can cover your costs when in the UK. Additional requirements:

  • Knowledge of English (at least level B1 or degree taught in English)
  • A criminal record certificate for the last 10 years (if you’ll be working in education, healthcare, social services, etc.)

Duration of visa

Your sponsor is able to decide for how long they give you a certificate of sponsorship, but the maximum is 5 years and 2 weeks. Work visa can be extended if issued for less than 5 years.

Tier 2 Intra-company transfer

This visa is given to qualified employees of an overseas company that intends to employ them in its UK branch, which must be a licensed sponsor.

There are 2 types of Intra-company Transfer:

Long-term employee — unless the employer is prepared to give you a salary of at least £73,900 p.a., you need to have been employed in your company for 12 months before the transfer. The longest you can get this visa for is 5 years 4 weeks.

Graduate Trainee – if you are a graduate and have been with your employer for at least 3 months abroad, you can be transferred to the UK under a trainee programme. Maximum period of validity is 12 months.

Tier 2 Sportsperson

Qualified coaches and top-class sportsmen can get this visa in order to come to the UK and develop their sport at the highest level. An application must be supported and signed by the relevant governing body and you must have a CoS. Knowledge of English and sufficient funds to support yourself are other requirements in this category.

You can work and stay in the country on this visa for two periods of 3 years each to the maximum of 6 years.

Tier 2 Minister of Religion

If you have a sponsor in the UK that can offer you a job in a religious community as a missionary, a member of a religious order or other, you can come to work on this visa for not more than 3 years and 1 month. CoS, knowledge of English and personal savings are mandatory in this category as well.

Tier 2 Priority Service

You can use it to apply for your visa extension or when switching to Tier 2 visas from another category. You will get a decision within 10 working days. However, if your case is complex, it might take longer. This service is only available if you’re in the United Kingdom.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

You and your dependants can apply for settlement on the Tier 2 route if you’ve been living and working in the UK continuously for 5 years and spent less than 180 days outside the country in any 12 months. You as the main applicant have to explain all absences from the UK, including those connected with business and private matters. You must still be required by your sponsor to work in the same role and get a minimum rate of pay.

Another requirement is to show your knowledge of English and pass the Life in the UK test.

Citizenship and passport

You and your dependants can apply for British passport one year after getting ILR.


Tier 4 Study visas

They are granted to children, teenagers and adults who want to study for periods over 6 months at a school or university in the United Kingdom. To apply, applicants must submit evidence that they have been given a place on a course in an educational establishment in the UK.

How long you can stay

You can arrive in the UK 1 week before the course starts if it lasts 6 months or less or 1 month before if the course lasts more than 6 months.

How long you can stay depends on the type of course you’re doing and what study you’ve done so far.

Student visas do not lead to an Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. However, time spent in the country on this route can be added up for ILR based on 10-year residence requirement.

General student visa

To apply, you must be 16 or over. Your licensed institution needs to confirm they have accepted you for studies. You will need to prove your knowledge of English at the required level and availability of funds sufficient to maintain yourself and pay your tuition fees.

Required documents

Apart from a valid ID, you must show you have enough resources to cover your costs and your tuition fees. A parent permission is also required for minors. We can give you a list of documents you need to provide based on your circumstances.

What you can and can’t do

You can: study, work as a student union sabbatical officer, work in most jobs — depending on what level your course is and what kind of sponsor you have, and you may be able to bring in family members.

You can’t: get public funds, work in certain jobs, e.g. professional sportsperson or coach or study at an academy or a local authority-funded school (also known as a maintained school).

Child student visa

It is available for children aged 4 to 17. A child must have a place on a course with a licensed Tier 4 institution, have sufficient funds to cover their tuition and expenses and have the consent of their parent or guardian. Duration of a course can be up to 6 years for children under 16 and up to 3 years for those aged 16 or 17.

Supporting documents

Apart from a valid ID you must show you have enough money to cover your expenses and your tuition fees. A parent permission is also required for minors. For a full list of documents please get in touch with us to discuss your case.

What you can and can’t do

You can: study at an independent school, be a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years and apply to extend your stay. Also, if you’re 16 or over you can work part-time during term for up to 10 hours per week and full-time during vacations.

You can’t: study at an academy or a local authority-funded school or further education college, get public funds, take a full-time permanent job or be self-employed, work as a doctor or dentist in training, work as a professional sportsperson (for example a sports coach) or entertainer, settle in the UK and  bring in dependants — if your parents want to be with you, they’ll need to apply for a Parent of a Tier 4 Child visa.


Parent of a Tier 4 child visa

It is issued to parents who want to accompany their kids to the United Kingdom while they study at school. This visa can be extended annually till your child reaches the age of 12 which will give you the opportunity to look after them. A parent has to be able to support themselves financially, pay for their return trip and their everyday expenses. Also, the parent must leave the country at the end of the visit.

How long you can stay

Visa can be given for 6 or 12 months, subject to extension for 12 months at a time until your child turns 12.

Documents to provide

Parents must submit their passport, proof of sufficient funds, return flight. It is also important to show they have a permanent home outside the UK. You may need to submit additional evidence depending on your circumstances.

What you can’t do

You can’t switch to a different immigration category, get state benefits, make your main home in the UK, take paid work, study or bring family members with you.


Visitor visas

Third country nationals can visit the United Kingdom for holidays, business, medical treatment, short-term studies or marriage. Main requirements include enough funds to support yourself and pay your expenses, intention to leave the country at the end of your visit, and providing required documents.

Standard duration of stay is 6 months.

Standard Visitor visa

You can apply for this visa if you want to visit the UK for holidays, to see your family and friends, to receive private medical treatment or for business, e.g. to attend meetings, conferences or if you’re an artist, entertainer and coming to the UK to perform.

Eligibility

You must show that you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit, you’re able to support yourself and any dependants for the duration of your stay, you’re able to pay for your flights and any other costs relating to your visit, you have evidence of any business or other activities you want to do in the country.

Each visa application is specific. Please contact us for a complete list of required evidence.

What you can and can’t do

You can: do certain business-related activities, study for no more than 30 days, as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit, take part in an exchange programme or educational visit (if you’re under 18).

You can’t: work, stay in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits, get public funds, marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.

How long you can stay

You can be issued a visa for half a year for general purposes, up to 11 months for private medical treatment, up to 12 months for scientific research and up to 2, 5 or 10 years if you can show you need to visit the UK regularly over a longer period.

Permitted Paid Engagement Visit visa

You may be able to get this visa if you’ve been invited to the UK as an expert in your profession and you don’t need to be sponsored for that. You want to come to the UK to do specific paid work, have enough money to support and house yourself and can pay for your flights.

This visa can be given for up to 1 month.

Transit visa

Two types of a transit visa:

  • Direct Airside Transit visa (DATV) for up to 24 hours; you’ll be changing flights in the UK without passing through passport control;
  • Visitor in Transit visa can be short-or long-term; you’ll be going through passport control but departing the country within 48 hours.

Short-term study visa

Ideal for a short course of study in the UK or a short period of research as part of a degree if you are studying overseas.

Eligibility

You must be accepted on a course in the UK and show you can maintain yourself financially. Minors must make arrangements for travel and stay in the UK and have parent permission to study.

How long you can stay

You can get a visa for 6 or 11 months for a short course (including English language ones), or 6 months to do a short period of research if you’re 16 or over.

Supporting evidence

You need to have a letter of acceptance from the educational institution with details of the course (draft can be provided upon request). You must show you have enough money to maintain yourself and cover all expenses, provide details of an accommodation and tickets (no booking confirmations are required).

You may need to provide additional evidence depending on your situation. Please contact our lawyers to discuss requirements for your circumstances.

What you can’t do

Under this visa category you can’t study at a state school, work (including on a work placement or work experience) or carry out any business, extend this visa, bring family members with you.

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