In order to enter the UK you need to make an application for entry clearance allowing you to enter the UK without being subject to immigration control at the port of arrival as your leave has already been granted. The applications must be made from outside the UK at the British Consulate or British High Commission nearest to your place of residence.
For those clients resident in Rome we are also able to offer the service to accompany them for their visa appointments and interviews at the British Consulate in Rome.
1. Entering the UK as a Family Member:
A ‘partner’ includes a husband/wife or civil partner. An unmarried partner can also be considered as a partner but only if you have resided with that partner for a minimum of 2 years ‘akin to marriage’ and have evidence to demonstrate the same e.g. utility bills or joint bank account statements.
If your partner is a British national you can apply for a visa allowing you to enter into the UK as the partner of a British national for 2.5 years. 1 month prior to the expiry of the visa you can apply to extend the visa for a further 2.5 years if the marriage, civil union or relationship continues to be ‘genuine and subsisting’. Following 5 years you may apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Following completion of one year Indefinite Leave to Remain an applicant can apply for British citizenship.
The requirements that need to be met in order to be granted a partner visa are:
– you and your partner are aged 18 or over when the application is made
– your relationship is ‘genuine and subsisting’ and you intend to live permanently in the UK with your partner
– your marriage or civil partnership is recognised by UK law
– you and your partner are able to support yourselves without recourse to public funds
– you meet a salary requirement of £18,600 per annum (without dependents)
– you have a solid grasp of the English language
Fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner:
If you wish to come to the UK for the purpose of getting married you will need to apply for a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner visa.
The visa must be granted before you can travel to the UK to get married or register your civil partnership. It is a breach of immigration rules to enter the UK on a visitor’s visa with the intention of getting married when a visitor’s visa is for tourism purposes only.
Fiancé(e) visas are granted for 6 months and you must get married within the 6 month period..
The requirements that need to be met in order to be granted a visa are:-
– both parties who wish to enter into the marriage must be aged 18 or over at time of application
– any previous relationships of either party must have ended (with evidence confirming the same e.g. decree absolute, annulment)
– the parties must intend to live together in adequate accommodation
– the spouse must earn at least £18,600 or have sufficient savings to support both parties, without recourse to public funds. If there are children or dependents in the marriage, then the minimum financial requirement will be greater
– the applicant must also satisfy the English language requirements
If you are a British national or are settled in the UK, any children (including adopted children) or adults who depend upon you may be able to come to the UK to live with you.
In order to be considered for this visa, children must be:
– under 18 (children over 18 are considered as ‘adult dependant relatives’)
– unmarried and not in a civil partnership
– be coming to the UK to join their parents one of which must be a British Citizen or settled
In the case of adopted children, the adoptive parent must demonstrate that they have full and genuine parental responsibility.
Adult Dependent Relatives:
Making an application to enter the UK as an adult dependent relative requires the applicant to demonstrate that they require long-term help performing daily tasks, they have a physical and/or mental health disability and the support that they require cannot be provided to them in their country of residence and there is no one else on whom they can rely to assist them bar their relative residing in the UK. In addition to demonstrating the above, the adult dependent relative must also meet the following requirements they:
– are 18 years of age or over
– are a parent, grandparent, sibling, son or daughter of a British national or of someone who is settled in the UK
– they require long-term help performing everyday tasks
– they have physical and/or mental health disabilities
– the support they require is either not available in their country of residence or is unaffordable
– the relative who is settled in the UK on whom the applicant depends is able to support the applicant financially without relying on government benefits.
2. Entering the UK as an EU national:
EU Treaty Rights are rights afforded to the citizens of the European Union and family members under Directive 2004/38/EC. Treaty rights are also granted to members of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as Switzerland. EU treaty rights allow for free movement within the Member States of the EU. This right to free movement is subject to the EU citizen’s involvement in an economic activity of the host member state i.e. exercising treaty rights, which can include working, studying or being self-employed. If you are a national of any of the member states of the EEA or Switzerland you automatically have the right to reside in the UK as long as you are exercising treaty rights as a ‘qualified person’.
Upon arrival it is advisory to apply for a registration certificate although it is not mandatory to apply for this certificate to live legally in the UK. We would advise all EU nationals to apply for a Registration Certificate as it confirms your right of residence in the UK. The document is valid for 5 years.
Following completion of 5 years as an EU national resident in the UK exercising treaty rights throughout the whole 5 year period you would be able to make an application for Permanent Residence.
Unlike a Registration Certificate, a Permanent Residence document is mandatory if you wish to make an application to naturalise as a British Citizen.
Family members of EEA (and Swiss) Nationals
If you are a family member of an EU national who is currently settled in the UK or planning to travel here with the intention of settling, you may be able to apply to live with them in the UK. ‘Family members’ are:
– a husband, wife or civil partner
– a child or grandchild of you and/or your husband, wife or civil partner who is under 21 years of age or depends on you financially
– a parent or grandparent of you or your husband, wife or civil partner, and depends on you for financial support
An EEA family permit acts similarly to a visa. It gives the holder the right to enter the UK and is valid for 6 months. This can then be extended further by applying for a ‘Residence Card’.
3. Entering the UK as a non-EU national or Swiss national:
If you are a non-EU national and you wish to come to the UK to join your partner (as defined above) you will need to apply for an entry clearance visa before travelling. Failure to do so could result you in not being granted entry at the port of arrival.
As for EU nationals, Residence Cards are also available to all non-EU nationals who are residing in the UK with their EU national family member. Again, a Residence Card is not a mandatory document but demonstrates your right to be in the UK and confirms your eligibility for certain benefits.
The Residence Card is valid for 5 years, after which an application can be made for Permanent Residence subject to meeting the requirements.
4. Entering the UK as a Student
There are four types of UK entry visa in the Points Based System. Tier 1 requires the highest number of points and Tier 5 requires the lowest.
Tier 1 – High value migrants value migrants
Tier 2 – Skilled workers who are sponsored by their employer
Tier 4 – Students (as mentioned above)
Tier 5 – Temporary workers
For all non-EU nationals who wish to enter the UK as a student they must do so by making an application for a Tier 4 student visa. The Points Based System (PBS) is used by the Home Office when considering whether to grant or refuse an application for a student visa.
40 points need to be met on the PBS system in order to be eligible for this type of visa. The 40 points are divided in the following way:
– 30 points are granted for a sponsor (Tier 4 Register of Sponsors) confirming that you have been granted a place on a course at their institution of education and learning
– 10 further points are granted when the applicant demonstrates that they have sufficient finances to cover the cost of their course, accommodation and living expenses.
The majority of students will fall into the category of students (general). These students need to be 16 years of age and intend on being in the UK for longer than 6 months. Those who have been granted a Tier 4 student visa have the option to bring their dependents to stay with them in the UK for the duration of their course. The burden lies on the applicant to demonstrate that they will be able to support their dependants financially without recourse to public funds. Students are only able to apply to bring their family members to the UK if they are studying at post-graduate level or above. Students (general) are permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the validity of their visa. Working for longer hours will be a breach of condition of stay and will result in the visa being revoked.
These visas are for students who wish to come to the UK for less than 6 months as part of their higher education. This visa allows the applicant to reside and study temporarily in the UK.
Student visitors are prohibited from working in the UK during their course of study.
If you need to come to the UK to prepare or complete the application process for your course e.g. to come for an interview, then you can apply for a Prospective Student’s visa. You can then switch to either a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) visa once you have finalised the details of your course with your sponsor.
Tier 4 (Child)
The Tier 4 (Child) visa is for children between 4 and 17 who wish to come to the UK to be educated. To apply they must have the 40 points required for all Tier 4 applications. The application must also show:
– they shall be cared for by a responsible adult whilst they are in the UK
– they have a parent or guardian in their home country
Children aged between 4 and 15 years old must be coming to the UK to attend an independent fee-paying school
This visa is for children under 18 who wish to come to the UK to study for a short period of time. To apply they must have the 40 points required for all Tier 4 applications. The application must also show:
– their course is no longer than 6 months
– they shall be cared for by a responsible adult whilst they are in the UK
– they have a parent or guardian in their home country
5. Entering the UK as a visitor
EU nationals do not require a visitor’s visa in order to enter the UK as a tourist.
For applicants from outside the EU an application for a visitor’s visa needs to be made.
We can assist you in making your application for a visitor visa, which needs to be submitted three months prior to your intended date of travel to the UK. You would normally receive a decision within one month from the date of submission.
General visitors can stay in the UK for up to 6 months.
For visitors who wish to make a number of trips over a longer period, UK immigration rules permit that visitors can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months per visit with visas lasting 1,2, 5 or 10 years.
Visitors are prohibited from working (paid or unpaid), marrying/entering into a civil partnership, receiving medical treatment and receiving state benefits.
Tier 1 Investor Visa:
High net worth individuals who wish to invest in the UK can do so by making an application for a Tier 1 Investor visa. If you wish to make an application for this application you must establish the following:
– you have access to £2,000,000 which is held in a regulated institution
– the money is under your control and disposable in the UK.
You are not permitted to utilise loaned funds as evidence of your investment capital. As part of your application process the UK authorities will also check the source of your funds.
You must invest the total £2,000,000 funds in qualifying investments such as UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
You are not permitted to invest in companies engaged in property investment, property management or property development. Any investment must be made within the first three months of your arrival to ensure you are compliant with the rules.
6. Entering the UK for work purposes
For applicants who wish to enter the UK as Tier 2 or Tier 5 workers points shall be awarded to them on the Points Based System for:
– their knowledge of the English language (English language requirement)
– their ability to support yourself without the need to rely on state benefits (maintenance requirement)
– their qualifications
– their previous earnings
– their work experience in the UK