What Are the Types of UK Visas You Should Know?
Published 6:50 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Visiting or totally moving to the UK is not as simple as packing your bags and booking a flight to the country. You have to go through a lot of legal processes and immigration-related tasks, even if your stay is as short as a week. Specifically, you have to prepare requirements, fill out application forms, pay fees, and so much more.
Now, this may all seem overwhelming, but don’t back out on your plans yet. With the proper knowledge, as well as reliable professional help, you can expect to seamlessly wrap up everything you need to do.
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That said, let’s get you started on the first step of processing immigration — choosing a visa to apply for. Each country offers certain visa types, so remember that the process will not be the same for each. In this article, we’re going to focus on the UK and the different types of UK visa that you can consider.
The Visitor Visa is the UK equivalent of the regular tourist visa in other countries. This will let you stay in the UK for a maximum of six months. You can simply visit tourist spots, relax, do business, or study, as long as the duration will only last half a year.
If you need to stay longer, the UK also offers long-term Visitor Visa status, so make sure to look into this if you want to extend your stay as a tourist. We, however, recommend switching to another visa type once you have a specific goal, e.g., working, starting a business, studying, etc.
Skilled Worker Visa
For those who plan on working in the UK, what you need is a work visa. In this case, you should specifically need to look into the UK Skilled Worker Visa. This will be valid for five years and will be extendable from there.
As long you can present evidence that you already have an employer in the UK and a workplace is already waiting for you, then this visa type will be the best choice to apply for. Still, note that there are other requirements that you need to comply with.
The Study Visa will allow you to study in the UK. This applies to all universities, course centers, and likes, as long as you can support yourself. You can also look for a sponsor to back you up if you’re not financially capable of paying all your student-related expenses.
The validity of the Study Visa will range from two to five years, depending on how long your degree will take.
For expats who plan on living with a family member who is already a UK resident, you should definitely try a family visa. This is a good option if you’re planning to stay permanently in the country. You also have a better chance of being approved for this visa, especially if you can prove to the immigration office that you really have a family member in the UK. It can be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a child, and likes.
Keep in mind that a UK Family Visa has subtypes. The specific process you will be subject to will depend on your relationship with the said family member.
If you don’t have a family member who’s already a UK resident, then you should check the UK Settlement Visa as an alternative.
If you’re a businessman, and you happen to need to attend a meeting or conference in the UK, or perhaps a company-related activity in the said country. In that case, the UK Business Visa is the way to go. This is valid for up to six months, though you may be issued a shorter stay depending on the purpose of your visit.
Keep in mind that despite the name, this isn’t the visa for you if you plan on starting a whole new business in the UK. If this is what you’re looking for, then you need to look into the Innovator Visa or the Startup Visa.
Keep in mind that choosing a visa requires a lot of thought and attention. You can’t just pick whichever is the cheapest or the most convenient. Instead, you have to depend on your needs and goals.
For reference, ask questions like “How long do I plan on staying in the UK?”, “What are my long-term goals? Do I want to be a citizen, or do I just want to experience the sights and lifestyle?”, and others that are relevant to your immigration.
If you’re having a hard time deciding what the most appropriate visa to apply for, we recommend talking to a UK immigration lawyer for advice. They specialize in the field, so they can give you a better and more accurate answer to your questions.