Many Indians successfully migrate to the UK every year. And with London being the capital city, with the greatest amount of employment opportunities, this tends to be the first port of call. The most important step on your big move is to understand the different types of visas available to migrants.
Getting a UK visa can be a fairly lengthy process, so it’s necessary to begin your migration plans at the earliest opportunity early. There are many different types of visas available to come to the UK. These are categorized into ‘tiers, and broken down into the following categories:
Tier 1 – Entrepreneur
Tier 2 – General
Tier 4 – (General) Student Visa
Tier 4 – (Child) Student Visa
Short Term Study Visa
Tier 5 – Temporary Worker
These are all detailed on the official UK Government Visa Website, and you should be sure to only take visa information from such a source. The Internet is a wonderful place, but there is also a lot of mis-information out there. Add in the fact that visa requirements change on a regular basis, and you can see the importance of only taking guidance from the one official source.
The following outlines the four different types of visas in more detail:
A Tier 1 Visa – Entrepreneur
The Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa is suitable for anyone who fits the following criteria:
You want to set up or run a business in the UK
You’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) – this includes India
You have access to at least £50,000 investment funds in order to be able to apply
There are also additional eligibility requirements for such a visa. These include a good knowledge of the English language, the ability to be able to support yourself during your stay, score 95 points or more on the points based system as specified by the Home Office, and you need to be 16 years old or over. You will also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your visa application.
This type of visa allows you to stay for a maximum of 3 years and 4 months, after which you can extend the visa for a further 2 years. After 5 years total in the UK it’s possible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
Costs of such a visa are currently (as of August 2015) – £944 per person outside of the UK, or £1,180 online or by post. You can bring dependents with you, and they also have to pay the same fee.
A Tier 2 Visa – General
The Tier 2 General Visa is suitable for the following:
You’ve been offered a skilled job in the UK
You’re from outside of the European Economic Area
You have a Certificate of Sponsorship from an official licensed sponsor
The job must pay an appropriate salary (in general, this means more than £20,500 per annum.
There are different types of Tier 2 Visas, depending on the job you’re offered. This may be on the Shortage Occupation List and it may apply for less than 3 years or more than 3 years. However, the maximum amount of time given is 5 years and 14 days, although you can apply to extend for up to 6 years.
Once again, it’s possible to bring family members with you on such a visa.
The cost to apply from outside of the UK for you and dependents is £856.
A Tier 4 Visa – (General) Student
A Tier 4 (General) Student Visa is suitable for anyone aged 16 or over who wishes to come and study in the UK. You will need to:
Have been offered a place on a course
Can speak, read, write and understand English
Have enough money to support yourself and pay for the course
Are from a country outside of the European Economic Area
Such a visa can be applied for up to 3 months before your course begins. The cost is £322 per person (you can bring dependents with you). For courses lasting 6 months or less you can arrive in the UK up to 1 week before the course commences. For courses lasting over 6 months you can arrive up to 1 month before.
A Tier 4 Visa (Child) Student
For children aged between 4 and 17 who you wish to be educated at an independent UK school, it’s necessary to apply for a Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa. Once again they must have a place on a course, have enough money to cover course fees and living costs, and in addition have the consent of a parent or guardian.
Costs and application details are the same as the Tier 4 (General) Student Visa.
Short Term Study Visa
For anyone who wants to come to the UK for a short course of study, the Short Term Study Visa is for you. It does not apply for study at a state school, and does not give you any rights to work. You cannot bring dependents with you.
Such a visa costs £85 for 6 months or £162 for 11 months. It allows you to stay for a maximum of 6 or 11 months, depending on which type you apply for.
A Tier 5 Visa – Temporary Worker
There are different types of temporary worker visas. These are:
There are various differences to the amount of time you can stay in the UK on these visas depending on the one you apply for. You can bring dependents with you for all of them, and the cost for each person is £225.
Other aspects of moving to London from India
Schools for your children can be chosen according to the area you live if your children are to have a state education. If you choose to educate your children privately then you can pick whichever school you prefer.
It can prove somewhat of a culture shock to move to London from India if you’ve not travelled outside of your own country. There are many differences between the two countries. This, naturally, is a good thing as one of the biggest reasons many people choose to migrate to London is to experience a different culture.
The best way to approach your imminent move is with an open mind, and to remember that all experiences naturally enrich your own life.