Many Nigerians want to live abroad, and relocating to the UK is top of their list. Undoubtedly, living in the UK has its perks, however, there are several misconceptions about legally migrating to the United Kingdom. While its easier for people that are financially buoyant to get things done fast, an average person has to wait for the right opportunity to relocate to the UK, which is usually through professional jobs, fellowship offers, marriage or through education (either on scholarship or other means).
The United Kingdom is certainly a great place to be, with advanced technologies, excellent standard of living, orderliness, beautiful locations, quality educational system, to mention but a few. It is a dream place where many Nigerians wish to reside, and a whole lot of people relocate to live in UK every year. Based on the statistics from the House of Commons Library, over 700,000 people migrated to the UK before the end of March 2020. And of course the main reasons include coming to the UK to study, a new job offer, or relocating to UK because they want a major lifestyle change.
How to Relocate to the UK Legally
Have a Legit Reason for Relocating
The first step to deciding on how to relocate to the UK legally is to have a legit reason for relocating. Here are the 5 top reasons why people relocate to UK:
5 Top Reasons Why People Relocate to the UK Legally
The United Kingdom is a country with a rich cultural and historical heritage. There are several reasons why individuals choose to relocate to the UK. People often relocate to the United Kingdom for jobs or study, but there are other motivations as well. You should not talk about relocating to the UK legally if you have not decided on why you need to relocate, Here are the legit reasons why people are relocating to UK:
Jobs: One of the top reasons why people relocate to the UK is to get a well paying job, it is a popular believe that people living in the UK get paid handsomely for whichever job or work they do, either as a Professional or Casual worker, and there is a standing regulation on the amount that should be paid per hour either daily or at the end of the month so employers cannot exploit their workers unnecessarily.
Health Care: Another top reason why people move to the UK is the Healthcare System, every resident in the UK have access to the National Health Service and free healthcare. Unlike many countries where you pay huge amount of money before you can be treated there is easy access for UK residents. Also, the United Kingdom houses the best hospitals with qualified practitioners around the world. Many people specifically relocate to get treatments from these hospitals.
Education: Education is also part of the reasons why people relocate to the UK. It is no rumor that the United Kingdom is home to prestigious universities around globe. living in the UK automatically means you can study in UK in any of the standard universities there.
Change of Environment: Many people also relocate to have a change of environment, the United Kingdom is a beautiful place to be, with many great and attractive places. Also the UK has a cheaper cost of living when compared to other countries, The high level of life in the United Kingdom makes many individuals relocate.
Family: Lastly, people relocate to UK to be with their family/ spouse. Marriage is another legal reason why people relocate, it can be difficult to stay away from your family for a long period of time so relocating to live in the UK with your family is accepted.
Finding out and Fulfilling the Necessary Requirements
Next thing to do on how to relocate to the UK Legally is to choose an immigration category and ensure to apply for the one you are most eligible for.
How to Choose an Immigration Category
The UK immigration category table lists all of the many types of visas and permits available to persons who wish to live and work in the United Kingdom. There are four major categories:
- Work Permit visa
- Family Permit Visa
- Student Visa
- British Nationality.
Work Permit Visa
Non-EU citizens can be awarded a variety of work permit visas in the United Kingdom. Tier 1 visas are granted to individuals who have been given a position with an international organization that has been approved by the Home Office. Tier 2 visas are the most popular form of work permit visa in the United Kingdom. It is a points-based system that is granted to people who have a job offer from a UK business and want to work in the UK for less than six years, you can also apply for a UK short term Visa. Tier 4 visas are granted to people who desire to study at an English language school or university, as well as those who need to do research or volunteer work. Tier 5 visas are granted to persons who wish to study or participate in an educational training program. The following are the documents you will need to apply for a work permit visa in the United Kingdom:
- A valid passport or another form of identification
- Proof of your identification, credentials, and abilities
- A job offer letter or a contract of employment
- Evidence proving the company has the authority to hire workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
- Proof that you will be paid at least £20,000 every year
Family Permit Visa
The family permit visa allows a person to visit the United Kingdom with their spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner, as well as any dependent children. The applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the UK as a tourist for at least six months and want to live in the UK with their family.
A student visa permits overseas students to study in the United Kingdom. It is issued by the British government and has a validity period of up to five years. A student visa allows you to come, leave, and return to the United Kingdom as many times as you like throughout the visa’s validity period. It does not, however, provide you with any rights to work in the UK.
British nationality refers to one’s status as a British citizen. There are three options for obtaining British citizenship:
Naturalization: If an individual has previously earned citizenship in another country, they can apply for this, but they must have resided in the UK for at least five years before applying.
Descent: If a person is born to a British parent, they are instantly able to petition for citizenship.
Registration: This is the easiest way to obtain citizenship, and it requires that an individual be born in the United Kingdom and have resided in the country for at least five years.
How to Apply for a UK Visa
- UK visa application form: After deciding on the Visa type you want to apply for, complete the visa form online or use the manual application method.
- Two photographs: You need to present a colored photo you took in the last six months i.e. before your application.
- Your Valid Passport: Your passport must still be valid after three months of your Trip, it must also have additional blank page for the visa.
- Proof of Financial Stability: You must present a proof that you have the financial capability to sustain yourself in the UK.
- Proof of Accommodation: You will also need to present a document that shows where you will be accommodated while in the UK.
- Detailed Travel Plan: Also, you may need to present a travel plan that indicates what you are planning to do in the UK and how you want to do them, this also includes your date of departure, list of places you want to visit, working agenda, etc.
- Tuberculosis Test Results. Nationals of several world countries will need to submit the requests of a Tuberculosis Test in order to be eligible for a UK Visa.
- Biometric Information: If you are applying for a visa that lets you stay in UK for more than 6 months, you will need to submit your biometric information. This includes giving your fingerprints and a digital photograph taken at the appropriate application center.
- UK visa invitation letter. (If applicable). If you will be staying over at a friend or a family member, then you should submit a letter of invitation. Your host must be a UK national or a legal resident.
- Paid UK visa fees: You should submit the receipt that confirms you have paid the visa fee as required.
- Certified translations of any document that is not in either English or Welsh
These are the basic documents that would aid your visa application. other documents may be required if you are are employed, or below the age of 18.
Steps to Follow for Your Application
- Chose the right visa type
- Fill out your UK visa application online, the online application form contains questions about your personal information. You will be asked to fill in the following.
- your name & surname.
- country of residence.
- marital status.
- personal number.
- passport number.
- reason for wishing to enter the UK.
- other information about your application.
3. Submit the Required Document
4. Schedule an appointment online
5. Attend the UK Visa Interview
Do I Need a Job Offer If I Want to Move to the UK?
If you are an EU citizen, the answer is that you must have a work offer to relocate to the UK. The same is true for residents of Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. If you are not from one of the above-mentioned countries and are not from the EU, it is dependent on your visa requirements and whether or not you have previously filed for a visa. It is possible to move to the UK without a work offer if you do not require one to apply for a visa. If you are going to the UK for permanent residency, you must first have a work offer before applying for a Tier 2 visa. You can also apply for a Tier 2 visa if you have a job offer from a company in the UK. To be able to sponsor your work visa application, your company must satisfy specific criteria. The firm must have been in operation in the UK for at least two years and employ at least 10 people. The employment provided must be on the Home Office’s Shortage Occupation List, which is revised every six months. The pay should be at least £30,000 per year (£20,800 per year if between the ages of 18 and 20).
Guide to Getting a Visa from Your Home Country
A visa is a document that authorizes a person to enter, travel to, and stay in a country. Visas of various forms are provided to citizens of several nations. You will need the following documents to obtain a visa from your native country:
- Valid passport(with over six months before expiration)
- Evidence of enough finances
- Employer or educational institution letter
- Round-trip ticket
Depending on the country, the requirements for obtaining a visa may involve additional documentation.
Because it has a friendly culture and is an English-speaking country, the United Kingdom is an excellent choice for immigrants. Depending on your goals and skill set, there are a variety of options for relocating to the United Kingdom. If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, you can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa or a Tier 1 General Visa. You can apply for the Tier 2 General Visa if you have particular abilities in science, the arts, engineering, or the humanities. We hope that our Complete Guide to Legally Relocating to the United Kingdom has informed and empowered you to make an informed decision to leave your current location.