One of the biggest issues for most people moving to the UK is the visa. As the legislation changes almost on a daily basis, it seems hard to keep track of every new amendment. Here I will try to explain everything in simple terms, however there will be categorized posts going into much more details about the different visa types and work related issues that might arise.
In general terms the UK sees incoming migrants as:
- Holders of a UK passport, residence permit or visa
- EU and EEA member states (excluding Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Estonia)
- Bulgarian and Romanian (A2 countries)
- Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Estonian (A 8 countries)
- Non – EU
If you fall within one of the first two categories you are a lucky person and there is nothing to worry about. You have the right to enter, live and work in the UK. However if you fall under one of the other 3 categories, you need to apply for the relevant documentation depending on your country of origin. As the immigration law has become tougher and tougher in the past one year, some people might find it extremely difficult to obtain a working permit, especially if coming outside of the EU.
There are special circumstances for each group, however, no matter if you are married to a British citizen or an EU citizen, if you fall under one of the last 3 categories you will always need to go through an application process for obtaining a residence permit card/visa/ dependent visa which will serve as an evidence for your legal status in the UK.
Please check the respective posts for more detailed explanation of each type of visa: yellow card, blue card, right to remain, HSMP, residence permit, citizenship.
N.B There are many places online where you will read that if you are married to a UK citizen or an EU citizen, you automatically have freedom of movement and freedom of work within the UK. This is incorrect – you still need to apply for the respective document which proves your status as a legal spouse/partner of the respective person. Companies will not accept to hire you until you do not have a proof of your immigration status.