Are you looking to visit the UK? Then a UK tourist visa is what you will need to legally enter and stay in the UK for a period of up to six months. To help you understand what documentation you’ll need for your application, we have created this helpful article to outline everything you’ll need to apply for a UK visitor visa.
A biometric residence permit (BRP) is a secure permit that has biographical information (name, date and place of birth) and biometric information (photo and fingerprints) of the holder. It’s designed to help combat those illegally living and working in the UK. The permit displays an individual’s immigration status and what they are entitled to within the UK. A BRP is a convenient proof of the holder’s right to be in the UK to stay, work or study.
There are thousands of capable entrepreneurs who want to start up their business in the UK as the country offers bundles of opportunity. The UK is an attractive country for startups with political stability, language advantage, generous tax structures for entrepreneurs and a robust economy. The UK also recognizes the contribution of foreign talents who can contribute to a country’s growth immensely. Thus, the UK allows for startup visa for non-EEA nationals who wish to start up a business in the UK. So, anyone with an endorsement from an authorized body in the UK can apply for a UK startup visa.
- Endorsement letter
All individuals who wish to apply for a UK startup visa must have their business idea assessed by an approved body in the UK. After they find that your business is viable they will provide you an endorsement letter which is essential for a UK startup visa application. You will get an endorsement letter only if the endorsing body finds that your business venture meets the criteria of innovation, viability, and scalability. Another condition is that the endorsing body should be reasonably satisfied with the fact that you will dedicate most of your working time in the UK on developing your business.
Other eligibility conditions include:
- You must be 18 or above.
- You must have the minimum required English language knowledge.
- You must prove that you will be able to support yourself financially while you stay in the UK. The minimum amount of £945 you must have had in your bank account for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
Documents you must provide
Apart from the endorsement letter from an authorized body, you need to submit the following documents when applying for a UK startup visa:
- Your current passport or any other document as valid travel identification.
- Bank statement that shows that you have had a minimum of £945 in your bank accounts as savings for 90 consecutive days before you apply.
- Your TB test results in case you are from a country where you are required to take this test.
- Documents as proof of your knowledge of the English language.
Keep a blank page in your passport where you’re your visa can be put. If there are documents that are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of such documents. You may also have to submit more documents other than mentioned here depending upon various circumstances.
When to apply, how long it takes and how long you can stay on the UK startup visa?
Well, at the earliest you can apply 3 months before you plan to travel to the UK and in normal circumstances, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks.
With the UK startup visa, you can stay in the UK and do your business for 2 years. There is no possibility of any visa extension in this category. Also, the time period to stay in the UK may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. However, you can re-apply with a new endorsement if you want to stay longer before your current startup visa expires. With a new visa with a new endorsement in place also you can only stay for a total of 2 years. If you wish to extend your stay in the UK you will need to make an application as an Innovator
What you can do and what you cannot do?
With a startup visa, you are allowed to bring your family members with you. You can also switch to a UK startup visa from any other visa category.
You cannot seek and access public funds. You cannot work as a doctor, professional sportsperson and you cannot settle in the UK with UK startup visa.
After Brexit, several things are changing and may continue to change. So, what about EU citizens living in the UK without a restriction earlier? What will change for them? Well, if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen then you can continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021 by applying for EU settlement scheme provided there is a deal on Brexit. In case there is a no deal Brexit the date will be brought forward to 31 December 2020.
In case you have not completed 5 years in the UK as an EU national then you will apply for temporary status and will be granted Leave to Remain Status (LTR) and will have to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after completing the 5 years. It is still unclear what new requirements will be applicable after the deadline of 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021.
When does the application process start for EU settlement? Well, the scheme is open from 29th March 2019 and about 150,000 people have already been granted status under the EU settled scheme since 1 January 2019 under the pilot project – test phase.
Who all can and cannot apply?
At present during the test phase national of EU nations with a valid passport can apply. Also, family members of EU nationals with a residence card with a biometric chip and ‘EU right to reside’ on the back can apply for the scheme. Irish Citizens don’t need to apply to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU because they will have the same rights as they have now.
Those with British Citizenship or Irish Citizenship or dual citizenship (EU national with British citizenship) cannot apply. Also, those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter the UK need not apply.
Until the last date of application i.e. 30th June 2021, the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same and after that those with the successful applicant will be able to continue living in the UK. They will be given either pre-settled status (LTR) or settled status (ILR). You don’t have a choice to choose between these two, but depending upon how long you have been living in the UK at the time of application, you will be given either pre-settled status or settled status. Your rights will also be different for both the status.
Rights you get with settled status
You can work in the UK and use the NHS also. You can study, access public funds such as pensions provided you are eligible and travel both in and outside the UK.
After you got settled status your any child born in the UK will automatically be a British Citizen.
Documents required for application
You need to submit proof of following at the time of application.
- Your identity proof like a valid passport and
- Your continuous residence in UK proof. However, you don’t need this if you have a valid permanent residence card or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.
If you are looking to apply for EU settled or Pre-Settled Status you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.
What happens if my Application is Refused?
If your application is refused you will be granted right to Administrative Review, which needs to be exercised within 28 days.
Once you have obtained the initial tranche of Spouse Visa/Marriage Visa or Unmarried Partner visa the visa is granted to you for a 30 month period.
You should apply for extension 28 days before your visa expires.
Once you have completed 60 months in the UK you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, provided that you meet the requirements under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules and also meet the English language and Life in the UK test requirement.
If you are in the UK already on some other visa then also you can apply to switch to UK Spouse Visa. Once you are granted UK spouse visa you can stay with your married partner and you are allowed to work or study in the UK during your stay in the UK.
You must apply for an extension before your current UK spouse visa expires, otherwise, you may have to leave the UK.
Requirements to be met for an extension
The applicant will need to meet certain requirements for the UK spouse visa to get a visa extension successfully. These requirements are the following:
- Financial Requirement
You need to show that you and your partner can meet the financial requirements and would not require any access to public funds. As you are allowed to work in the UK on UK spouse visa, so you can surely use your income if you are working and adding to that your partner’s income will be sufficient to meet all your financial requirements. You can also add your savings and other incomes like rental income from properties or pension etc. You must provide documents as evidence to show all this.
- Cohabitation Requirement
Apart from meeting financial requirements you also need to show with evidence to the Home Office – that you and your partner have been living together in the UK. To prove this you can provide documents like council tax bills, bank statements, utility bills etc. which are addressed to either jointly or items in each of your names. These supporting documents should be covering 2 years prior to your visa extension date.
- Time period spent outside the UK during your existing stay
Though Home Office does not impose any time restriction that you must not spend outside the UK during your stay in the UK on current UK spouse visa, however, what they do want to be satisfied with the fact that you are your partner intend to live together. But if you want to apply for citizenship later on then you should avoid spending more than 90 days on an average in 1 year.
Please note requirements may change according to circumstances of the applicant and the requirements stated are not exhaustive.
If you need expert help and advice for your UK Spouse Visa Extension contact Visa and Migration on 02034111261
You get a Tier 2 visa when you are offered a skilled job in the UK. You get sponsorship from your employer in the UK and then you can apply for a Tier 2 visa and work in the UK. When you get a job through sponsorship on Tier 2 visa you can stay in the UK for a time period that is mentioned on your certificate of sponsorship and 1 month extra or for a maximum period of 5 years, whichever is shorter.
But what if your employment terminates earlier?
Do you have to leave the UK early then?
Well, if your job gets terminated because of resignation, dismissal, redundancy or for any other reason then your leave to enter or remain in the UK is curtailed. Now your leave to be in the UK gets shortened by 60 days or until the end of your Tier 2 visa, whichever is the shortest.
What to do when a Tier 2 visa termination happens?
If your sponsor ends your contract then they have to report it to the Home Office within 10 days of your last work date. They also need to inform your last known address to the Home Office. Now the Home Office should send you or your employer the curtailment letter.
After you get the curtailment letter from Home Office, you have 60 days or until the end of your visa within which you can either get a new sponsor or move to another immigration category or leave the country.
Making a new job application
You can apply for a new job in the UK and if you find another sponsor then you can apply for UK Tier 2 Visa again. This means that your new employer will offer you a certificate of sponsorship to sponsor your visa application. So, your employer must have sponsor license but if they don’t have it then they need to get it by making application for sponsor license and then only they can offer you a new job which has to pass the Resident Labor Market Test. All this needs to be done within 60 days.
Now until you get a new job and your new UK Tier 2 visa application is successful, you must support yourself financially during this time.
This is another option when your employment is terminated and your leave is curtailed. You can do switch to different visa category if you find that applying for a new Tier 2 visa is not a viable option for you. You can switch to a Tier 1 visa, family visa, and Tier 4 Student Visa.
Leaving the country
If you don’t find a new visa then you will have to leave the UK within a given time period. Now if you want to apply again for a Tier 2 visa or for a different visa from your country then you can do it only after a 1-year cooling period.
You can also leave the UK if you have been offered a new job somewhere else in the world. In this case, when you resign, you need to meet some responsibilities towards your sponsor. And you should send a copy of resignation to the Home Office which should include your leaving date.
When you experience a Tier 2 Visa termination of employment, this may be a stressful time for you. So, you should follow the rules of the Home Office in such situation and for this, you must seek expert advice. For this, you can contact us to get the best expert advice from our experienced immigration lawyers on 02034111261.
When there is a relationship between two people of same sex out of which one is a British citizen or settled in the UK with ILR, and they are neither married nor in a civil partnership, then the partner who is non-EEA national can apply for a same-sex partner visa – proposed civil partnership to join the other partner in the UK. One who is applying for same-sex partner UK visa can come to the UK for a limited period of time by making an application under immigration rules in the UK. The applicable rules are similar to as any married/unmarried couple.
Eligibility conditions for the same-sex partner visa
As an applicant, you must meet some eligibility conditions to successfully apply for a same-sex partner visa. They are the following:
- You both must be above the age of 18 years;
- You must show that you are in a relationship and you have lived together for a minimum of 2 years – if applying as an unmarried partner;
- You must show arrangements for the marriage/civil partnership to take place;
- You must provide evidence regarding your accommodation in the UK. This means you need to show that your partner has adequate accommodation for both of you and dependents if any without recourse to any public fund;
- Your relation must be genuine and subsisting;
- You must meet the English Language Requirements.
You must meet the financial requirement. You cannot access any public fund for your maintenance during your stay in the UK. This means when you stay in the UK, you and your partner in the UK must be able to take care of the financial requirements of both of you. Your British partner who is a sponsor, in this case, must be able to demonstrate that their gross annual income is minimum £18,600.
How long can you stay once granted the visa
Once you have successful same-sex partner visa application and you meet all entry clearance requirements, you will be granted to stay in the UK for a period not exceeding 33 months or 6 months if applying as a proposed civil partner and after that, you can apply for an extension. You must be physically present in the UK to apply for an extension. After you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years on same-sex partner visa, you can apply for ILR. Other conditions to obtain ILR remain the same as in other cases.
If you are looking for Expert Advise and assistance with your application, please contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261
If you want to join your partner in the UK who is a British Citizen or holding ILR, you can apply for UK Fiancé Visa. This also means that if you are planning to marry your partner in the UK who is a British citizen or a permanent resident in the UK, you can apply for UK Fiancé Visa. This falls under the settlement category of visas. You can only apply from outside the UK.
Eligibility conditions for a fiancé visa
You must meet the following conditions to successfully apply for a fiancé visa –
- You must have met in person;
- The applicant and the sponsor must intend to get married within a 6 month period;
- You are a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner of a British citizen or one permanently settled in the UK and you will marry or enter into a civil partnership within 6 months of arriving in the UK;
- Both partners must intend to live together permanently;
- If you were in any previous marriage or civil partnership then you must prove that it has ended;
- You cannot access public funds in the UK so he/she must be able to support him/herself, or be supported by their partner;
- Prove your relationship is genuine and subsisting;
- Adequate accommodation must be there; and
- You must fulfil the English language requirement
So, if you meet above-mentioned conditions you are eligible to apply for a fiancé visa.
How to apply?
You must apply online. You need to pay the required fee as part of the application.
Once your application is successful you are granted a 6-month visa in which you can come to the UK and get married to your partner. You are not allowed to work when you are in the UK on this visa. You must apply for a marriage visa once married. If your application is successful then you can live in the UK for a total of 60 months or 5 years, where you need to renew your visa at 33 months before you become eligible to apply for ILR.
You can apply to live permanently in the UK known as indefinite leave to remain after you have lived in the UK for 5 years with leave to remain in the UK as a partner of a British citizen. Here you cannot count anytime you spent with permission to stay in the UK as a fiancé or a proposed civil partner.
You need to submit the following documents when you apply for a fiancé visa.
- UKVI Visa Application form;
- Your current passport;
- Any previous visa if you held;
- Bank statements;
- Proof for financials requirement is met;
- Your UK partner’s address proof where you intend to live;
- Proof of intent to marry;
- Proof of relationship;
- Proof of English Language;
- TB test – according to the country of residence
The above list is not exhaustive and documents change according to circumstances of the applicant.
You may require to submit additional documents and so you are advised to take expert’s guidance on this before you apply for the fiancé visa.
If you are looking support in connection with your fiancé visa contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261
Spouse Visa is a category under Settlement Visa. People who are either holding Indefinite Leave to Remain or a British citizen – present and settled – in the UK can bring his/her spouse to the UK.
To complete the immigration process settled partner in the UK need to sponsor their partner’s application so that he/she can join them in the UK. To be a sponsor you need to meet one of the following:
- You must be a British Citizen or
- You must have settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK or
- You must have asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK.
Both the partners must meet some eligibility criteria in order to one partner from the outside UK to join the other UK resident partner in the UK. These criteria are set by the Immigration Authorities in the UK. These eligibility criteria are the following:
- Both must be over 18;
- Applicant’s partner who they want to join must be a British citizen or ILR holder;
- There must be a marriage or civil partnership between the two and it must be recognized in the UK;
- The Relationship of the couple must be genuine and subsisting;
- The applicant must meet the English language requirements;
- The applicant must not for refusal under the suitability requirements; and
- The applicant must be maintained and accommodated in the UK.
Documents required to apply for a UK spouse visa
The documents required generally depend on the circumstances of the applicant case and the evidence changes according to circumstances of the applicant.
Some documents which are applicable to all cases are mentioned below:
- Printed application forms;
- Your current passport or valid travel identification document;
- Passport sized photographs;
- Evidence showing your identity and status in the UK;
- Documents to show the marital status between the two;
- Evidence of intent that you and your partner want to live together in the UK;
- Documents to show that partner in the UK has adequate accommodation;
- Documents to prove that you can meet the financial OR maintenance requirement if receiving permitted benefits;
- Proof that your partner has the knowledge of the English language;
- Your partner’s valid TB test certificate- where applicable; and
- Sponsorship form.
If along with your partner your child or children are also applying to travel to the UK, then below mentioned documents should also be submitted. However, this is not a complete list.
- Current passport or valid travel identification document of the child/children;
- Previous or expired passports of the child if any;
- Passport sized photographs of child/children; and
- Valid TB test certificate of child/children where applicable;
So, once you submit your application with appropriate documents then you have a fair chance to get a successful decision on your application else your application may get rejected. So, you should always seek the advice of expert about it so that you don’t make a big mistake.
Visa and Migration Ltd specializes in UK immigration law and our lawyers can help you achieve a successful outcome on your application. If you want our legal assistance, please call 02034111261 or complete the contact us form on the right hand.
This visa is for people who are not married or do not want to get married but stay in a genuine and subsisting long term relationship.
As an Un-married Partner, you can either be a dependent if your sponsor who has a temporary visa i.e. limited leave to remain for example as a Tier 2 visa holder or Tier 1 Visa holder. OR You can be an unmarried partner of a person who is British or holds Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
The applicant can apply entry clearance to come to the UK or apply leave to remain as a partner provided his/her current visa category allows the switch.
The applicant must be in a relationship with a person who is a British Citizen or settled in the UK or on Limited Leave to Remain (exceptions can be made if the applicant’s partner is remaining in the UK as a recognised refugee). The applications are made under the Immigration Rules. All the unmarried partners whether their sponsor is British Citizen or settled in the UK or on Limited Leave to Remain generally need to show –
- Both the applicant and the UK partner are over 18 years of age;
- have met each other;
- have been in a genuine and subsisting for at least 2 years period;
- the applicant can be accommodated in the UK;
- the applicant can be maintained without recourse to public funds;
- the applicant does not fall for refusal under general grounds for refusal; and
- the unmarried partners intend to live together in the UK
How to Apply?
The application can be submitted from within or outside the UK. The in-country application can only be made if you are in a category which allows you to switch from within the UK (generally any visa except visitor visa). Once the applicant has completed the application they should provide evidence to meet the above requirements for the Home Office to consider the application.
Documents to Submit
- Your passport
- Copy of your partner’s passport
- Proof of relationship
- If any of your documents are not in English or Welsh language then you need to provide a certified translation of those
N.B. this is not a complete list of documents. Contact the advisors at Visa and Migration Ltd for a fully comprehensive list according to your situation or circumstances.
How long you can stay on Unmarried Partner Visa
For applications made outside the UK, once the application is approved the applicant will be given one month visa and they will collect their Biometric residence permit which will be for
– Length of a Main Applicant’s or Sponsor’s Temporary Visa ( Tier 2 or Tier 1 visas)
– 2.5 years if applying under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules
For applications made within the UK will also follow the above timeline.
Once an applicant has completed 5 years in the UK as a dependent of the sponsor or main applicant or under Appendix FM of the rules they can apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK provided all requirements are met.
The application fee to the Home Office depends under the category you apply –
Tier 1 – Entrepreneur – Outside the UK – £1021 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200; Inside the UK – £1,277
Tier 1 – Investor – Outside the UK £1,623 ++ Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200
Tier 2 General – From outside 3 years or less – £610 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200
Appendix FM – from outside the UK is £1523 + Immigration Health Surcharge of £1200. From inside the UK, you will pay a Government fee of £1033 + and Immigration Health Surcharge of £1000
Contact Visa and Migration Ltd now to know more or apply Unmarried Partner Visa.