Since Brexit, there have been some changes in the UK immigration system, and the government is set to introduce more pathways come spring. If you are considering traveling from India to the UK, the year 2022 could be your best chance.
- Get the Right Visa- Changes to Immigration System
You will need a visa to travel from India to the UK. This will require you to first undergo a visa application process and obtain the appropriate visa that suits your travel purpose. The UK has various visa categories, with each serving a specific purpose and having different eligibility requirements.
If you are not sure of the type of visa you will need, you can consult a UK immigration lawyer for guidance. Speaking with an immigration expert will help in choosing the right visa and in obtaining the visa timely and almost effortlessly.
Study Route: If you are travelling to the UK to study, you will need a student visa.
Business Route: If you are an entrepreneur seeking to start a business in the UK or establish a UK presence for an existing business, you will need a business visa. Examples are the Innovator Visa, Start-up Visa, Representative of Overseas Business Visa, and Global Business Mobility Visa, which will launch in spring.
Family Route: If you wish to join your partner in the UK from India, you will need a UK Spouse Visa. Your partner must be a UK citizen or permanent resident with settled status or indefinite leave to remain. You and your partner must be married or in a civil relationship. If you are not yet married but planning to do so, you may obtain a UK Fiancé Visa. This will allow you to travel to the UK and get married to your partner after your arrival.
Employment Route: You may also enter the UK through the employment-based route. This may require getting a job offer from a UK-based employer who will sponsor your visa application. There are various pathways under this category. They include Skilled Worker Visas, Intra-company Visas, Health and Care Worker Visa, Minister of Religion Visa, and International Sportsperson Visa. Others include Charity Worker Visa, Seasonal Worker, Creative Worker Visa, and Youth Mobility Scheme Visa. The Scale-up Visa and High Potential Individual Visa, which are set to launch soon, are other pathways under the employment-based category.
Gather Important Documents
Once you are sure of the type of visa you need, the next step is to start gathering the necessary documents. The type of visa you are pursuing will determine what documents you will need. However, most applicants are required to provide the following:
- Valid passport
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof of financial means to cover your living cost for the period to stay in the UK
- Detailed travel itinerary
- Biometric information
- Tuberculosis test results
- UK visa invitation letter (if applicable)
- Receipt for the visa application fee
- Certified translation of any document not in English or Welsh
Keep in mind that other documents may be required depending on your case. This is another importance of working with an immigration expert. They can advise you on the exact documents you will need based on your visa category.
Apply for a Visa
Once you have the documents ready, you can proceed to apply for a visa. Depending on your case, you may complete your UK visa application form online or apply manually. During the application, you should be thorough and attentive to avoid filling an outdated form or making mistakes in the application. You will need to provide the necessary information and upload some documents during the application. Keep in mind that the information you provide and documents uploaded during the application will significantly influence the decision on your visa. You may also have to book a visa interview and biometric appointment as part of the application process.
Entering the UK
If your visa application is approved, you will be able to travel to the UK. However, having a visa doesn’t automatically grant you entry to the UK. You will need to undergo some screening process at the Port of Entry (POE). The officials will ask you to provide some documents, which include a valid passport, landing card, and visa.
So, What’s New in the UK Immigration System 2022?
Last year, the British government announced plans to implement changes into the immigration system to bring in highly skilled talents. As part of the changes, three new pathways will be launched this spring. These new visas will help skilled foreign workers, entrepreneurs, and brilliant innovators move to the UK for employment and business purposes. The new pathways are:
Scale Up Visa: This visa is for highly skilled individuals who have a job offer from a UK-based organisation. It is an integral part of the UK’s plan to become a global innovation hub by 2035. To be eligible, your job offer must have an employment offer worth at least an annual salary of at least £33,000. Successful candidates will be able to switch employers while in the UK and be eligible to extend their stay for up to 5 years.
Global Business Mobility Visa: This pathway is designed for foreign-based companies to set up UK branches and transfer staff to the UK. It will be open to both businesses that already have a UK presence and those that just want to establish one. Overseas businesses will be able to use the Global Mobility Business Visa for 5 subcategories of employees, namely: Senior Specialist Worker, Graduate Trainee, UK Extension Worker, Secondment Employee, and Service Supplier.
High Potential Individual Visa: As the name implies, this route seeks to attract foreign nationals with high potential to contribute to the UK growth. To be eligible, you must have graduated from a government recognised university. The best perk of this visa is that you will be able to move to the UK even without a job offer. And it promises to be an easier process with the flexibility to work and switch jobs during your stay in the UK.