The UK is known for its multiculturalism and the country has around 9.5 million non-native people within its boundaries (roughly 14.5 million of its population). Though the UK is the most crowded country in Europe with the population density falling on the higher side, the country is known for its low unemployment rate of less than 5%. While the quality of life is no second to any of the popular immigration destinations such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada, it is still one of the easiest of places you can reach out to.
Being the 5th largest economy of the world, it is a multi-cultural society which is tolerant to people from all parts across the globe. While it can be quite expensive to pay your electricity and gas bills in London, cost of living can be quite comparable to other popular cities the world over. Free medical care and free and compulsory state schooling is another plus.
Ways to Migrate to the UK
European citizens were once free to work in the UK without a specific work visa, but post BREXIT, situations have changed and both Europeans and Indians, as of now, are having somewhat equal employment opportunities.
There are multiple visa options available to migrate to the UK depending on your prospects in the country and the extent of stay. Work Visa in the UK in general is of two types; Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas. Like most countries, the UK depends on a point-based assessment to determine your eligibility.
1. Tier 1 or Entrepreneur Visa
This is for people who are interested in starting a new business or buying an existing business in the UK. It is further divided into Innovator Visa and Start-up Visa. The candidates should meet the English language proficiency requirement, furnish a source of funds to support themselves and must be a minimum of 18 years old.
You should invest a minimum of £50,000 in the new business and should complete other requirements specified in particular for the same. Moreover, your business idea is subjected to endorsement from an approval body.
2. Tier 2 or General Work Visa
This one is for people who have skilled work experience. If your job profile is set to meet the labor shortage requirement of the country, then you stand a chance to get a tier 2 Visa offer from the UK. This was earlier known as the skilled worker visa. Only those who have been offered a job in a highly skilled sector in the UK can apply for this and the approval is subjected to a point-based assessment.
If you are applying from India you should have a valid job offer or a job in the occupation list. This appears to be quite difficult but isn’t impossible if your profile ranks high in the point system. You can expect a time delay of 3 weeks if you are applying from outside the UK.
3. Tier 5 or Young Professionals Scheme
The migration deal or MoU was signed in May 2021 with the intent of helping Indian young professionals between the age of 18 and 30 who hold a degree or diploma with an employment offer migrate to the UK for a temporary period. You should be able to show sufficient financial resources, but the scheme is confined to 3000 professionals and 2 years of stay.
This is similar to the existing tier 5 youth Mobility program or working holiday visa popular for people from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan etc.
4. Student visa – The easiest & popular way!
All these visa routes require appropriate skill levels and it is evident that the UK is promoting only short stays which are solely based on economic reasons. That’s why a student visa is still the most popular means of reaching your dream destination.
The UK is home to some of the oldest and the most prestigious institutions popular for higher education all around the globe. It is estimated that more than a quarter lakh students are getting admissions into the UK universities every year and the count is on the rise.
Being the most feasible option for entering into the borders of the UK, we endorse student visas so that you reach your destination without much headache.
UK Student Visa
To be a student in the UK universities, you should hold a Tier 4 visa, but if you are yet to be enrolled into one, then you will be issued a prospective student visa instead. If your study duration is less than six months, you will need to apply for a student visitor visa.
A student visa or Tier 4 visa application can cost you around £255 which is meagre compared to a tier 1 visa expenses. There are some added advantages for a student in a UK university. It is highly likely that you stand a chance to get university scholarships, considering your previous study merits.
You are entitled to work for 20 hours a week during your course modules and full time during holidays and semester breaks. You will have exposure to internship programs as part of your course syllabus which can offer you a cutting edge for getting a permanent job in the country.
Moreover, you can take along your children or your partner to the UK if you wish, given you are taking a course of more than one year duration. But remember if you are under 18 or studying a course below degree level, you are not permitted to bring your partner or family who will be financially dependent on you.
The UK was once not an attractive option for students as their stay back period was limited. But as of summer 2021, students graduating or post graduating can stay in the country for 2 more years, no matter what their area of specialization.
The case is different for PhD students, who can stay 3 more years after completing their research. You can apply for a graduate route visa to be eligible for this additional stay back time.
Keep in mind that your stay back period won’t be included in your student visa. You will have to apply for a visa renewal in that case.
The stay back period is almost unconditional. You need not have to find an employer to sponsor you for a job or to complete any minimum salary requirements. You are free to find any employer for a job that will determine your career ahead. The flexibility of this new visa program is appreciated as you need not be under one boss, you can switch your jobs whenever you wish to.
Steps to Get Admission in Universities in The UK
1. Select the course and university of your choice
It is your call. You should identify the course you are interested in and identify the course you are most interested in. Once you have your application accepted at the University, a formal acceptance letter will be sent to you which is needed for visa application.
2. Visa documentation
As discussed. you will be applying for a tier 4 visa. It is advisable to file the application well in advance, say before 3 months of program commencing, so that you get to planning for some contingencies. It is likely that you will get your visa processed within 30 days of application.
It costs you around £350 for student visa fee which you can pay online or at the visa application center nearby or via bank transfer.
3. Visa processing
Make sure that you are applying for your visa on the dedicated online platform and book an appointment at a visa application centre in India. You will be prompted to furnish your biometrics in case you should, for security reasons.
Your visa interview will follow and if qualified, your Tier 4 visa with a validity of your course duration plus an additional month will be awarded, provided you are having sufficient money to support yourself during studies and an unconditional offer letter form your concerned University.
Support money is roughly £1265 per month in London and £1015 per month outside London throughout your course period. You can source it from your bank account or an external one.
4. Other requirements
You need not prove your language proficiency to study in an international university in the United Kingdom. Still, be sure that you are confident with the language so that you won’t struggle while your classes are on.
Indian students need to carry out a medical test before entering the borders. The list of hospitals where you can get one will be listed on the official website. You shouldn’t have to set up a restricted bank account as well. You can withdraw the show money you have deposited in your bank as proof of support.
You don’t have to worry about health insurance as well. No rule states that you should be covered under a valid health insurance to get to the country.
Checklist for a UK student Visa
- Completed visa application form
- Valid travel documents that is passport
- Passport-sized photograph
- Proof of support or show money
- Parental consent if you are below 18 years of age
- Proof of visa application fee payment
- Self assessment form in case if you have applied offline
- Immigration health surcharge fee payment proof if applicable
Keep an eye on the updates in the official website for immigration and for more details.