United Kingdom Immigration and Visas

Your Central Source for Information on Immigration and Visas in the United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom comprises England, Wales, Scotland (also known as Great Britain), and Northern Ireland.
The capital city is London, one of the world’s most thriving cities.

It’s among the world’s leading commercial, financial, and cultural centres, with a diverse and eclectic population that includes people from the Caribbean to Pakistan and more.

If you’re looking to live and work in a destination with a strong economy, the UK could be for you.

Types of United Kingdom Visas

There are numerous types of UK visas available. There are 19 different categories of work visas alone!

If you want to live and work in the United Kingdom but are unsure where to start or how to categorise your purpose in moving to the UK, then contact IBN Immigration Solutions. We’ll assign an expert in UK visas and immigration to oversee your case.

Your United Kingdom immigration specialist will guide you through the entire application process, from determining which visa is best for your needs to the final submission of applications.

United Kingdom Work Visas

United Kingdom Work Visas

United Kingdom Work Visas are necessary if you intend to live and work in the UK.
Short- and long-term work visas are available.

There are seven overarching Work Visas in the UK:

• Skilled Worker Visa
• Intra-Company Transfer Visa
• Graduate Trainee Visa
• Secondment worker Visa
• Expansion Worker Visa
• Senior or Specialist Worker Visa
• Service Supplier Visa

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United Kingdom Ancestry Visa

United Kingdom Ancestry Visa

The UK Ancestry Visa enables you to apply for a visa to work and reside in the country based on an unbroken chain of relatives that go back as far as your grandparents.

The Ancestry Visa allows you to live in the UK for five years if one of your grandparents was born in the UK, The Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. It doesn’t matter if the grandparent is maternal or paternal, nor how long the grandparent has lived outside of the UK.

All that matters is that they were born in the UK and have a UK birth certificate.

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United Kingdom Family and Partner Visas

United Kingdom Family and Partner Visas

UK Family and Partner Visas apply if you want to live with a family member already living in the UK.

There are four types of Family and Partner Visas in the United Kingdom.
Click the “Learn More” button below to ensure that you see all specific Requirements and Forms/Documentation needed when applying for any of these Visas.

This visa is only necessary for visits longer than six months.

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United Kingdom Study Visa

United Kingdom Study Visa

The Student or Study Visa enables you to come to the UK to complete tertiary education programmes, including degrees, diplomas, and study courses.
It’s also for those who want to study at an independent school in the UK.

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United Kingdom Business Establishment Visa

United Kingdom Business Establishment Visa

The Business Establishment visa is for people who want to start their own business in the UK.
There are two types of business establishment visas:

• Start-up Visas
• Innovator Visas

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United Kingdom Visa Requirements, Forms & Documentation

The different types of visas have varying requirements.
Some requirements and forms are generic, while others are visa-specific.

For example, general visa application forms and requirements include the following:

  • Passport with at least six pages remaining from the date of application
  • Two current passport photographs
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Medical clearance certificate
  • Invitation letter
  • Proof of address for the duration of your stay
  • Proof you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay

Your UK immigration consultant will ensure you meet the required criteria and help you obtain all the forms and documentation necessary to apply for your visa.

United Kingdom Visa Costs

The different types of UK visas have different costs. Costs depend on various factors, including the kind of visa you will apply for, your country of origin or permanent residence, education level, skills, and the duration of your stay.

Your United Kingdom visa specialist will tell you which fees and expenses are related to your visa application.
The cost estimate is comprehensive, so you can accurately budget for your move to the UK.

How to Apply for a United Kingdom Visa

Applications for UK visas are typically the same no matter which visa you apply for.

  1. You’ve already completed the first step, which is to contact IBN Immigration Solutions.
  2. You and your UK immigration consultant have obtained and completed all the necessary forms and paid the required fees.
  3. Now, it’s time to compile all the documents into an application pack, which will be submitted for an in-house quality check.
  4. Once it’s passed the check, you take the final step in the process, which is to submit it to your closest UK embassy or VAC (Visa Application Centre).
  5. The process for visa submission can vary according to the visa. For example, the HR department might have to be involved in some work visa applications.
  6. With all documents submitted for approval, the only thing left to do is wait to find out if you will be allowed to enter the UK.
  7. Our consultants are always up to date with the immigration news and processes on a practical level, so your UK immigration specialist can provide you with a realistic idea of turnaround time.

Frequently Asked Questions

People from visa-restricted countries must apply for a tourist visa or short-stay visa prior to travelling to the UK. South African nationals must submit their applications through the TLS contact centre in person. Offices are in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Port Elizabeth.

If you’re from a non-visa-restricted country, you can travel to the UK without making prior arrangements. A tourist visa will be issued at the port of entry. You must show officers at the UK Border that you qualify for a Standard Visitor Visa, even if you don’t need one.

It is advisable to apply for a visa if you have a criminal record or you´ve previously been refused entry into the UK or any other country.

To visit the UK for permissible business activities, you must apply for a Business Visitor visa.
When applying for the UK Business Visitor visa, you must complete a detailed online application form. Submit the application in person at a local TLScontact office with the required supporting documents. The processing times are 3 – 4 weeks. The visa can be issued for up to six months or 10 years, depending on the need.

Note: Visitors may only spend a maximum of 6 months in the UK in any 12-month period

The following work visa options are available:

Temporary workers

This visa is for people who want to work in the UK for a short time in specific categories, including sports, arts, entertainment, volunteering for a charity, working for a religious organisation, or occupying a work experience (intern) role.

The temporary work visa allows you to stay for 12 – 24 months, depending on the activity.

Skilled workers

This visa is suitable for those who have been offered a skilled job in the UK. This includes a role in your employer´s UK branch, a job in a religious community, or a job as an elite sportsperson or coach. The skilled work visa allows you to stay for up three, five, or nine years depending on the category.

High-value workers

This visa is suitable for investors, entrepreneurs, graduate entrepreneurs, and leaders in arts or sciences. The high-value work visa is valid for 1 – 5 years, depending on the category.

Commonwealth citizens

If you’re a South African citizen, you may be eligible for a UK ancestry visa if one of your grandparents was born in the UK.

To be eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer visa, you have to provide a certificate of sponsorship, have a comparable salary, and have been offered a skilled role in the UK.
You must submit proof of tuberculosis screening and previous travel history.

You need a sponsorship certificate, evidence of current employment (depending on the sub-category), confirmation that you will be paid an appropriate salary, confirmation of support and accommodation in the UK, personal bank statements, and a bank letter confirming the funds.

A sponsorship certificate is required for each foreign worker the company will employ.

A sponsorship certificate is a reference that contains information about the job and your personal details. Your UK sponsor will provide you with your certificate of sponsorship’s reference number. The reference number must be added to your application form. This certificate is valid for three months from the date of issue.

A dependant is any of the following: spouse or partner, including those in a civil partnership, same-sex partners, and unmarried partners, as well as your child under 18. Your dependents can accompany you when you come to the UK with a visa. Primary applicants must prove they can support their dependents financially while they are in the UK.

An investor belongs to the high-value worker category. They can apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa. You must have access to at least £2,000,000 in investment funds to apply for an investment visa. You must prove that the funds are in your name or in the name of the spouse or partner. The funds can be in the UK or overseas when lodging the application.

Read this article for the latest update to this work visa category in the United Kingdom:
Lower Thresholds for Skilled Worker Immigration to the UK

We provide a full range of immigration services for the UK. With our professional and trusted network of partners, we are always up to date on policy issues and the practicalities that govern immigration rules & regulations.

We will first consult with you to determine the best visa category for you and ensure you meet all qualifying criteria. We advise you about the required documentation, review the application pack, and submit the complete application on your behalf. Our expertise will ensure a smooth immigration process and that your visa will be issued on a timely basis.

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