If you’re moving to the UK, whether for work or pleasure, you will need to get several important items in order first. You will need a visa, which requires gathering necessary documents and filling out and submitting an application. It can be an involved, stressful process, which is why it would help if you worked with a reputable UK immigration lawyer.
A UK Immigration Lawyer Can Help
Moving from one country to another is not easy, especially when you have legal issues to deal with. You need to hire a good UK immigration lawyer that specializes in transatlantic immigration matters.
With help from such a lawyer, you will receive personalized and end-to-end service that takes you through every step of your application process. The lawyer will also give you immigration advice tailored to your needs and situation. These are experts in UK visa and immigration law who will guide you through every step of the process.
Apply for a UK Visa
If you are planning on living in the UK for more than six months, you need to apply for a visa before arriving in the UK. You will have to meet certain requirements before the UK Home Office can process your application.
Complete an Online Submission
The first step in any visa application is to find out if you qualify for one. To begin your visa application process, you need to submit your application form online. You have to provide honest information, otherwise, your application may be rejected. After submission, you will pay the requisite visa fees. You will receive a reference number to track your application until it has been processed by UK immigration officials. Normal visa applications take between six to eight weeks to process.
Apply for a Work Permit
If you want to work in the United Kingdom, you need a work permit or visa to allow you to do so legally. You need to have received an offer of employment from a UK employer with a UKBA sponsor license. The employer who issued you the certificate of sponsorship will spearhead the application process. You can apply for the Tier 2 visa for a skilled worker, intra-company transfer, or sportsperson visa.
You also need to pass the points-based assessment and demonstrate you can support yourself without public funds. When changing employers in the UK, you have to look for a new sponsorship certificate. You must also pass a reassessment point-based test. Your immigration lawyer should be able to advise you further.
Compile the Necessary Documents
After applying for your visa, you need to compile a set of documents to enter the UK. They include:
- Your completed UK visa application form
- 2 UK visa photographs less than six months old
- A valid passport with at least six months remaining before the expiration date
- Your birth certificate (if born outside the United States)
- Employment letter
- Receipt as proof of payment of visa fees
- Medical Examination Report Form signed by a licensed doctor or registered nurse practitioner
- Biometric information like fingerprints and digital photograph
- Proof of US status like Green Card or original US Visa for Green Card holders
- Evidence of UK accommodation, including a letter of invitation by friends or family or hotel booking confirmation
- Evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself before the next paycheck including bank statements, proof of savings, and proof of income
Biometric Residence Permit
After you pass your visa application, the UK Visas and Immigration will email you their decision within six to eight weeks. You will also receive a vignette that will stick to your passport, allowing you to travel to the UK. Remember to pick up your biometric residence permit (BRP) from the post office. The BRP will prove that you have the right to stay in the UK.
If you are moving to the UK, you will need to find accommodation. Many landlords insist that you have a guarantor who will be responsible for paying the rent if you cannot. This can be your employer or a UK resident friend.
The UK has a shortage of housing, especially in large cities like London. You should start looking at least two months before your scheduled arrival date. If you have family or friends in the UK who can help with accommodation, that’s ideal. Otherwise, look at renting a property or staying in a hostel while you look for something more permanent.
Move Your Belongings
If you are moving from the USA to the UK with your family, you will need to make arrangements to move your belongings. This can be a stressful process, as it involves packing up everything and transporting it overseas. You may also have pets or other animals that need care during this time. Using a freight shipping service can help ease some of this stress. Such a service handles all aspects of transportation from one location to another. If possible, ship your belongings before starting work as doing so will save you money (and time) later on.
Open a Bank Account
A bank account will come in handy when you’re buying or renting a house in the UK. You will also need a bank account to pay for utilities. If your US bank has a branch in the UK, they’ll help you open an account. If not, you’ll need to open an account with a bank in the UK. Consult a UK immigration lawyer if you have questions. He might suggest the best banks in the UK where you should open an account.
Make the Move Today
If you’re moving to the UK to start a new job or a new life, you should strongly consider hiring a UK immigration lawyer. With the help of such a lawyer, your immigration from the US to the UK will be much smoother. You’ll be able to let them handle the more stressful and complicated aspects of the immigration process. And they know exactly what needs to be done. It’s worth it in every aspect.