Unfortunately, moving to another country is a tedious process. This is true, no matter if you’re moving to London or any other country on the globe. The task is more than just preparing a document and buying a plane ticket. It’s also necessary for you to know the existing immigration laws in the country you’re moving to.
Now, laws vary from country to country. Hence, if you’re going to move to London, you need to follow the rules and regulations set by the UK Government.
Since the full list can get too complex, you should consider working with immigration lawyers in London. They know the law a lot better than outsiders, so you can rest assured that you can put your trust in them.
Going back, below is a summarized list of the immigration laws that you must remember when moving to London.
#1: If you’re moving to London from non-EU or non-EFTA countries, you need a UK BRP.
You can’t immediately go on to the application process for citizenship and permanent residence. A visa is also not the only thing that you should have for preparation.
Instead, you first have to file a stay for more than 6 months and avail of your own UK BRP. This stands for a biometric residence permit, which contains the following important personal details:
- Date and Place of Birth
- Immigration Status
- Social Rights
Note that the BRP will serve as your initial identity card. It also doubles as a proof of residence while you’re not yet officially recognized for a permanent one.
For those inside the UK, you can head to a post office, the UKVCAS, or the VISA and Citizenship Application Services. Meanwhile, if you’re outside the country, you can get this from any VISA application center.
#2: You can only apply for permanent settlement after a certain amount of time.
There is a thing called “reckonable residence,” which is a standard for approving applications for citizenship and immigration. This refers to the total amount of time that you have spent inside the country.
For the UK, you need to collect 5 to 10 years’ worth of continuous stay. Only then can you apply for permanent residence. Alternatively, you should refer to the maximum of extensions you can get for your VISA. This will be the same amount of reckonable residence that you’ll need to have.
#3: Immigration will require a specific kind of visa.
This is a no-brainer, but to prepare for immigration, you’ll need a visa to assist your stay. This will depend on your initial purpose of visit. Mainly, you can choose from:
- Family Visa
- Work/Business Visa
- Student Visa
You will need to choose a more specific visa once you figure out the right type for your needs. You should also consider if you’re planning a short or long-term stay. However, since we’re talking about immigration, it’s best to choose from the available long-term visas.
#4: All necessary government registrations should be done within the first week of your arrival.
The UK Government specifies that as soon as you arrive, you should process all of the necessary registrations in one week. These include:
- Police Registration
- National Insurance Number
- UK Sim Card
- Utility-Related Documents
- General Practitioner
Without these, you won’t be able to fully make the most out of your long-term stay in the UK. You should also expect things to get a little troublesome in the long run.
EU or EFTA citizens should also further register their EU resident documents for the newly-approved settlement scheme. Note, though, that this isn’t necessary anymore according to the latest changes.
There are some exceptions to the one-week limit of registration. You will be immediately notified if you’re one of the categories through a letter.
#5: You need to possess general requirements before the application can be approved.
Apart from documents, you will also be assessed through a number of factors to prove that you can handle your long-term stay in the UK. Below is a list that you can refer to:
- Ability to read, write, and understand English
- Proof of sufficient funds for living maintenance
- Fully-paid fees for NHS services (additional costs for skilled workers)
Along with these, you should also be aware of restrictions like the exception to government benefits like the public fund and other supplementary work.
The list above doesn’t have every single detail about UK’s immigration laws, but it’s a good way to start if you’re just beginning to work your way around legal needs. Nevertheless, we can’t emphasize how essential it is to know the laws. Ignorance of these can not only lead to a failed immigration process but also possible fines and imprisonment.