Can An American Live In The UK Permanently?

Advertising

So you’re considering the idea of packing your bags and starting a brand new chapter of your life in the United Kingdom? Well, you’re not alone! Many Americans have been lured by the enchanting charm of British culture, picturesque landscapes, and the opportunity for new adventures. But the million-dollar question remains: can an American live in the UK permanently? In this article, we will explore the possibilities, legal requirements, and everything you need to know about turning your dreams of living across the pond into a reality. Grab a cup of tea and read on to uncover the exciting world of living permanently in the UK!

Visa Options for Americans

If you are an American and considering living in the UK permanently, there are several visa options available to you. Each visa has its own requirements, benefits, and restrictions, so it’s important to understand them before making a decision. In this article, we will explore the different visa options for Americans and provide an overview of the eligibility criteria, application process, and other key details for each visa category.

Advertising

UK Ancestry Visa

Eligibility Criteria

The UK Ancestry Visa is available to individuals with at least one grandparent born in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must also be able to provide evidence of your intention to work in the UK, have sufficient funds to support yourself, and meet the English language requirements.

Application Process

To apply for a UK Ancestry Visa, you need to complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and submit supporting documents such as your birth certificate, proof of UK ancestry, and evidence of funds.

Benefits and Restrictions

The UK Ancestry Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to five years. During this time, you have the freedom to switch jobs and are not tied to a specific employer. However, you are not entitled to public funds and must be financially self-sufficient throughout the duration of your stay.

Tier 2 (General) Visa

Eligibility Criteria

Advertising

The Tier 2 (General) Visa is designed for skilled workers who have been offered a job in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must have a valid job offer from a UK employer with a sponsorship license. You also need to meet the English language requirements and demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job.

Sponsorship Requirement

To apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa, your prospective employer must sponsor your application and provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). They are also responsible for ensuring that the job meets the minimum salary requirements and that they have not been able to fill the position with a suitable candidate from within the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA).

Application Process

To apply for a Tier 2 (General) Visa, you must complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and provide supporting documents such as your CoS, proof of your qualifications, and evidence of your English language proficiency.

Benefits and Restrictions

The Tier 2 (General) Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to five years and can be extended for a further five years. It also provides a pathway to settlement and eventually British citizenship. However, you are tied to your sponsoring employer and can only switch jobs within certain restrictions. You may also be subject to the Resident Labor Market Test, which requires your employer to demonstrate that there are no suitable candidates from the UK or the EEA before offering the job to a non-EEA national.

Tier 1 (Investor) Visa

Eligibility Criteria

The Tier 1 (Investor) Visa is designed for high-net-worth individuals who wish to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must have at least £2 million available to invest in the UK.

Advertising

Investment Requirement

To apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, you must invest at least £2 million in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK-registered companies, or invest in UK-registered investment funds. You are not allowed to invest in property development or management.

Application Process

To apply for a Tier 1 (Investor) Visa, you need to complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and provide supporting documents such as evidence of your investment funds and a detailed investment plan.

Benefits and Restrictions

The Tier 1 (Investor) Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for an initial period of up to three years and four months. You can then extend your visa for a further two years if you meet the requirements. After a continuous period of five years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However, you are not permitted to work as a professional sportsperson or coach, or have access to public funds.

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa

Eligibility Criteria

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa is aimed at individuals who wish to start a business or take over an existing one in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must have access to at least £50,000 (£200,000 if applying for an extension) in investment funds.

Business Requirement

To apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, you must demonstrate that your business plan is viable and that you have a realistic chance of success. You need to provide evidence of your investment funds, show that you meet the English language requirements, and score enough points on the Points-Based System.

Application Process

To apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa, you must complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and submit supporting documents such as your business plan, evidence of your investment funds, and proof of your English language proficiency.

Benefits and Restrictions

The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for an initial period of three years and four months. You can then extend your visa for a further two years if you meet the requirements. After a continuous period of five years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). However, you are not permitted to claim most public funds or work as a doctor or dentist in training.

Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa

Eligibility Criteria

The Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa is designed for individuals who wish to work in the UK for a temporary period. There are several subcategories within the Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa, each with its own eligibility criteria. These subcategories include Creative and Sporting, Charity Worker, Government Authorized Exchange, International Agreement, and Youth Mobility Scheme.

Advertising

Sponsorship Requirement

To apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa, you must have a valid certificate of sponsorship from your sponsor organization in the UK. Your sponsor is responsible for ensuring that you meet the eligibility criteria for the specific subcategory and that they have a sponsorship certificate available for you.

Application Process

To apply for a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa, you must complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and provide supporting documents such as your certificate of sponsorship, proof of your English language proficiency, and evidence of your maintenance funds.

Benefits and Restrictions

The Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for a temporary period, usually up to two years or the duration specified in your certificate of sponsorship. The visa provides you with the opportunity to gain work experience in the UK and explore the country. However, you are not entitled to most public funds and are expected to be financially self-sufficient during your stay.

Spousal Visa

Eligibility Criteria

The Spousal Visa is available to individuals who are married to or in a civil partnership with a UK citizen or a person with settled status in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you must demonstrate a genuine relationship with your partner and meet the financial requirements.

Application Process

To apply for a Spousal Visa, you need to complete an online application form, pay the relevant fees, and provide supporting documents such as your marriage or civil partnership certificate, evidence of your relationship, and proof of meeting the financial requirements.

Benefits and Restrictions

The Spousal Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for an initial period of 30 months. You can then extend your visa for a further 30 months if you meet the requirements. After a continuous period of five years in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and eventually British citizenship. However, you are not entitled to most public funds and must meet the financial requirements throughout the duration of your stay.

Application Process for All Visas

Gathering Required Documents

Regardless of the visa category you are applying for, it is crucial to gather all the necessary documents before starting the application process. These documents may include your passport, birth certificate, marriage or civil partnership certificate, qualifications, proof of funds, and any other supporting evidence required for your specific visa.

Completing the Application Form

The application form for each visa category will vary, but it is important to complete all sections accurately and provide as much detail as possible. Double-check the form before submitting to ensure that all information is correct, and make sure to follow any specific instructions provided by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department.

Pay the Application Fee

Each visa application requires payment of a non-refundable application fee. The amount will vary depending on the visa category and duration of stay. It is important to pay the fee online before submitting your application. Keep a record of your payment confirmation for future reference.

Attend Biometrics Appointment

As part of the application process, you will be required to attend a biometrics appointment at a designated location. During this appointment, your fingerprints and a photograph will be taken. Make sure to bring all the required documents and your appointment confirmation letter with you.

Wait for a Decision

After submitting your application and attending the biometrics appointment, you will need to wait for a decision on your visa. The processing times can vary depending on the visa category and individual circumstances. It is important to refrain from making any travel arrangements until you receive a decision on your application.

Factors to Consider Before Living in the UK

Before making the decision to live in the UK permanently, there are several factors you should consider:

Job Opportunities

The UK offers a wide range of job opportunities across various sectors. Research the job market in your field to ensure there are suitable opportunities available. Consider factors such as average salaries, employment prospects, and the demand for your skills and qualifications.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in the UK can vary significantly depending on the region. Consider factors such as accommodation expenses, transportation costs, utility bills, and the cost of groceries. It is important to budget and ensure your income will cover your living expenses.

Healthcare System

The UK has a National Health Service (NHS), which provides healthcare for residents. Research the healthcare system to understand how it operates, what services are covered, and how to access medical care. It is also worth considering private health insurance options.

Education System

If you have children or plan to study in the UK, it is important to research the education system. Consider factors such as the quality of schools and universities, fees, and any specific requirements for international students.

Culture and Lifestyle

The UK has a rich cultural heritage and offers a diverse range of experiences. Consider factors such as the climate, social activities, and the local community. It is also worth exploring the different regions to find the one that aligns with your lifestyle preferences.

Living in the UK Permanently

If you have successfully lived and worked in the UK for a specified period, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). This grants you the right to live and work in the UK permanently. To be eligible for ILR, you must meet certain criteria, including continuous residence in the UK, a good understanding of the English language, and having passed the Life in the UK test.

Once you have obtained ILR, you may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship if you meet the additional criteria. British citizenship provides you with the same rights as a UK citizen, including the ability to vote, access to public funds, and the right to apply for a British passport.

Living in the UK permanently can be a rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning, research, and understanding of the visa options and requirements. Consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or seeking advice from the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the process and any changes to immigration policies. With the right visa and proper preparation, you can embark on an exciting new chapter of your life in the UK.

Feel free to share this post with others who will benefit from it using the buttons below!

Leave a Reply

Share to...