USA and the UK
How can IAS help with your UK visa application?
Here at IAS, we have a team of highly qualified immigration lawyers that are experts when it comes to applying for UK visas. Before you can enter the UK, you need to make sure that you’ve been granted permission by relevant government authorities to be able to carry out activities for the length of your stay. This can be acquired via a UK visa which you must apply for before you plan your stay.
The immigration solicitors at Immigration Advice Service will be able to advise, assist and represent you in the best possible way to ensure you meet the UK visa application requirements that are needed to obtain a UK visa. We can help you gain the correct support for all possible UK visa types during your application process.
What are the different UK visa types available?
Depending on your reasons for coming to the UK, there is a range of UK visa types that are available for you to apply for. Read on to find out more information on the types of UK visas available.
Spouse & Partner
The main purpose of a spouse and partner visa allows you to join your partner if they’re currently based in the UK. However, there are also many other options available to you with a UK Partner Visa depending on your relationship and situation with your partner:
- Unmarried Partner Visa: If you and your partner are in a full-term, committed relationship but are not yet married, there is the option to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa.
- Fiance Visa: This visa applies if you plan to marry or are in a civil partnership within the UK with your partner. This is also known as a Proposed Civil Partner Visa.
- Spouse Visa: If you’re already married, you can apply for a Spouse Visa or Civil Partner Visa.
Investment & Entrepreneur
For those looking to move or work in the UK to better their future, you would require to apply for a UK Work Visa. There are different tiers of the work visa depending on the requirements and your current situation which is based on a Five-Tier Points-Based system. For highly skilled and talented workers, you’d take the route of the UK Tier 1 Visa.
There are other categories for investors and entrepreneurs:
- Innovator Visa and Tier 1 Investor Visa is available for applicants that are without a job offer. You would still need to match other requirements as part of the points-based assessment.
There are 5 categories in total for the Tier 1 Visa;
It’s always important to be as close to family as possible, so if you’re looking to join them in the UK there are a number of routes you can take to obtain UK Family Visas.
Dependent Relative Visa: If you’re a dependent child or adult, this UK visa would apply to you. As part of the process, you’re required to have a sponsor from the UK who is a British Citizen or they can also have settled status, refugee leave, or humanitarian protection.
Settled status is provided when a person is no longer restricted with time frames regarding their UK visa. This is also known as Indefinite Leave To Remain (ILR). Migrant workers can also be accepted as sponsors so that a parent or child can join them.
Non-EEA nationals may have been granted permission to be in the UK to live, work, and study. This may have you wondering how you can start to apply for a settlement in the UK. There are two ways you can apply for settlement in the UK. EEA citizens can apply for the EEA Permanent Residence Card and for EEA nationals, Indefinite Leave To Remain.
A Student Visa applies to those who are from outside of the UK but are looking to study in the UK.
There are a number of options for you depending on the length of time you’re looking to study in the UK. Those looking to study longer than 6 months may be eligible to apply for the Tier 4 General Visa. Alternatively, a course that is less than 6 months, a Student Visitor Visa will be suitable for your UK visa application.
If you’ve decided that you’d prefer to move for work from the US to the UK, depending on your circumstances there are options available to you. Your skills and the type of role you wish to fill will be the circumstances that will be taken into consideration as part of your application process.
If you’re highly skilled in your sector or exceptionally talented, you’ll be eligible to apply for a Tier 1 General Visa.
Alternatively, a Tier 2 Work Visa will be applicable for those who are skilled and permanent workers. For skilled, temporary workers there is the option to apply for a Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa. It must be noted that if you apply for a Tier 2 or Tier 5 and enter the country, you would require work sponsorship from your employer.
There are several different categories that are included in the UK Visitor Visa. These categories include tourists, business, and student visitors. For United States citizens who are looking to visit the UK, a visa wouldn’t necessarily be required as they are classed as non-visa nationals. This means they are applicable to visit and remain in the UK for up to 6 months before you require a visa.
Non-US nationals will require to apply for a Visiting Visa before they can enter the UK for any period of time. The period of time granted is up to 6 months and there will be restrictions with this visa as they’re only visiting (dependents can not travel with you under this UK visa, for example).
We have solicitors that are experienced in managing applications for UK visas under the Five Tier Points-based System (Tier 1 to Tier 5). They’ll be able to use their expertise to provide you with the relevant information on your UK visa application requirements.
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The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
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By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The type of UK visa you will need depends on your personal situation: your circumstances, your reason for moving and the country you are coming from. Getting a visa to the UK grants you Entry Clearance into Britain. If you are unsure about the best UK visa for you, we have an interactive Visa Wizard which will help you decide by answering a few short questions.
The UK visa requirements vary with each category and are also dependent on your circumstances. With most UK visa types you will need to prove that you can support yourself in the country without access to public funds. Once you have found the visa that suits your circumstances, you will be able to find out more about the individual requirements you need to fulfil.
Your eligibility to join your partner in the UK will depend on such factors as:
- Relationship status (married, civil partners, unmarried, children, etc.)
- Their current status in the UK (are they a British Citizen, EEA national or in the UK on a visa?)
- Most commonly meeting the financial requirement
There are many possible situations in these circumstances. It is advisable to meet with an experienced immigration lawyer. They will be able to discuss the particular UK visa requirements which best fit your situation.
UK Work Visas, as a general rule, will allow non-EEA nationals to enter the UK for work. There are many categories of Work Visa which are dependent on your career, type of work and expected time you will spend in the country. The most common routes are the Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visas.
These visas are also subdivided into groups including religious workers and sportspeople.
Each Work Visa UK requirements differ but are all subject to the Five Tier Points-Based System. To discuss your circumstances or to apply for a UK visa to work, contact one of our expert immigration advisers.
Criminal convictions may cause difficulty when you apply for a UK Visa. This will be dependent on what the conviction was as well as how long ago it was committed. If you have a criminal record and would like to travel to the UK, it is highly advised you seek expert advice.
Any previous periods of overstaying in the UK will also have an effect when you apply for a UK visa. How much it affects your application will depend on certain facts such as overstaying period. It is also becoming easier for government officials to identify whether applicants are telling the truth. This is due to improved technology, such as scanning passports on entry.
Putting false information on your application is not recommended. Those who are concerned that overstaying will affect their application should consult the experts at IAS.
Your status during the application process depends on your status prior to your application.
Your status depends on if your previous visa was still valid when you applied for extension or settlement.
If your previous visa was still valid when you made the application, it will auto-extend until a decision is made. If your visa has already expired by the time you make your application, your status in the UK is illegal and you should seek immediate legal advice. If you are unsure of your current UK immigration status, our lawyers can provide expert advice and help you resolve your issues
Changes made in 2013 mean that the UK visa requirements are more restrictive on changing between PBS categories than they were before. You will generally be able to switch between PBS categories. Although, this application may have to be conducted outside of the country.
Switching categories will depend on which category you are on and which you intend to switch to. Simply switching is not an option between certain visa categories. It is recommended that you speak to one of our immigration experts as there are a number of different routes in this area of UK immigration law. Our lawyers will take instructions on your circumstances and advise you on your best options for switching.
If you are a highly-skilled migrant (this means investor, entrepreneur or exceptionally talented worker) you can apply for a Tier 1 Visa. This type of visa is usually more lenient once you have entered the UK, however, they are notoriously difficult to be accepted for.
If you are looking to join your family in the UK, you will need a type of Family Visa. The types of Family Visa vary depending on your circumstance.
Usually, you will need to be under the age of 18 to join your British or settled family members in the UK. Otherwise, you may also be able to join them if you are entirely dependent on them and need them for your care or support.
If you want to study in the UK for longer than six months as a US citizen, you will need a form of Study Visa. A Study Visa will allow you to take on study at a registered British institution (including universities). This is providing you have enough to support yourself and your studies as well as an offer from your chosen university.
We undertake all types of UK immigration casework. For private matters, our lawyers can assist with:
- Indefinite Leave to Remain
- EEA Family Permit applications, for relatives of EEA nationals in the UK
- Obtaining or renouncing British Citizenship
- Entry Clearance
- Visa expiry issues which lead to detention or removal, claiming asylum, appeals and bail This includes cases taken to Immigration and Asylum tribunal and all human rights-related matters.
For our corporate clients, we offer services for:
- Entrepreneurs, investors or exceptionally talent workers
- Temporary and long-term skilled workers
- Students or UK institutions
- Sponsor License applications for UK businesses
We offer a high standard of service, with knowledge in all key elements of immigration, nationality and asylum law. They possess an up-to-date awareness of rules, regulations and Home Office procedures. IAS hosts a team of professional lawyers across the country, ready to help you resolve any immigration issue you may be having.
All applications for visas to the UK can be an intense and complex experience, our lawyers are there to guide you through the process smoothly. We are available for:
- Advice on eligibility, UK visa requirements and suitable supporting evidence
- Assistance completing application forms and organizing documents
- Application and document checks
- Assistance preparing bail or refusal appeals
- Representation to the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal for appeals or bail
To get expert help when you apply for a UK visa, contact IAS on 1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form.