uk visa types

If you are planning to visit, reside with your spouse, or apply for British Citizenship in the UK, our dedicated team of experts are here to help. Because immigration law in the UK is subject to sudden changes, we recommended seeking sound legal advice and learning more about the various different visa types. Doing so can put you in a much better position to successfully apply for UK visa. In the event your visa application is refused, you will need to find a knowledgeable solicitor with a background in contesting UK visa refusals.

If you are currently residing outside of the UK, you will need a valid UK visa to visit and work. At Legal Cost Finance, our legal experts are well versed in UK visa applications, from Spouse visas to Tier 2 General and Tier 1 Investor visas. We are committed to assisting you through every step of the UK visa process. The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) and Home Office have set different types of requirements and documentation for each visa category. If you are unsure about what visa to apply for, hopefully this guide will make things a little clearer. If you still need further clarification, then don’t hestitate to contact our experts on 020 3376 1888 today.

happy couple

Spouse Visa

If you are a British citizen or have obtained indefinite leave to remain (ILR, permanent residence) your partner or family member can apply for a UK visa. In the case that the individual lives outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and wants to live in the UK for six months or more, they will need to apply for a ‘Family of a Settled Person’ visa. The applicant for a Family of a Settled Person visa must be able to meet the following requirements, regarding their relationship to you, finances and English language proficiency:

  • The couple must be 18 years old or over
  • The validity of the marriage is recognised under UK Law
  • The marriage is genuine and subsisting
  • The couple must meet the minimum level of income of £18,600 per annum (subject to increase if there are children involved)
  • The applying partner must demonstrate a basic command of English, equivalent to a Level A1 in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), or have an academic qualification that was taught in English.
hands ring

Fiancé/Proposed Civil Partner visa

If you are a couple in the UK and you intend to get married within the next six months, then you can apply for a UK fiancé visa. After the marriage ceremony, you can apply for a spouse visa within the UK before the expiry of your current visa. A fiancé visa also requires you to prove that your relationship is genuine, that you are financially stable and are proficient in English.

Applying for a fiancé visa can be a complicated process, one that may need the legal insight of a talented solicitor. With one of our convenient payment plans, you can get access to a legal loan that allows exactly that. You can also rest assured knowing that Legal Cost Finance will pay your lawyer’s legal fees in full and on time. For more information on how we can help you, contact our experts today on 020 3367 1888.

construction worker female

Work Visa

UK companies looking to bring in a foreign qualified worker can do so by applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa. This visa is designed specifically for skilled workers, who can then be employed in the UK by the companies who issue, or want to apply for, a certificate of sponsorship (COS).

Tier 2 (General)

A UK based company will need to secure a Tier 2 sponsorship licence before they can bring in a foreign national. Once they’ve been granted the licence, the visa applicant will have to prove that they meet the following requirements:

  • They have a written offer from a UK based company
  • They possess a certificate of sponsorship
  • An appropriate salary for the job has been offered
  • They have a reasonable amount of savings in their bank account
  • Are proficient in the English language.

(Intra-Company) visa

International companies intending to transfer their employees to the UK from overseas will need to apply for a Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) visa. In order for them to do this, they will need to unequivocally prove that the position cannot be filled by a local resident in the UK workforce. There are three types of intra-company transfer visas: 

  • Long term staff – available for applicants that have worked for more than 12 months in the company.
  • Short term staff – for applicants who have a certificate of sponsorship (COS) signed on or before the 5th day of the month. Certificates signed after the 5th day will be help until the next month’s allocation date.
  • Graduate trainee – designed for applicants in specialist trainee roles who have worked with their international employer for at least 3 months overseas.

Acquiring a Tier 2 visa in the UK can be a complicated and lengthy process, one that often requires expert legal insight from an experienced solicitor. Naturally, getting such a solicitor will cost you, so if you’re concerned about the legal fees involved you may want to consider one of our convenient payment plans. Call our experts now on 020 3376 1888 and we’ll help you start a payment plan.


Investor visa

According to economy rankings from Doing Business, the UK ranks 7th in the world for ease in conducting business, making it one of the world’s most appealing countries to invest in. Cities like London still represent the pinnacle for many businesses and there are a plethora of exciting avenues to pursue in other parts of the country too.  Investing in the UK also grants you the possibility to live and work in the UK with a Tier 1 Investor Visa. In order to secure a Tier 1 (Investor) visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have at least £2,000,000
  • You’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  • Opened a UK bank account for the purpose of investment in the UK
  • Provide evidence that the money belongs to either your husband, wife, unmarried or same sex partner
  • Your money is held in one or more regulated financial institutions in the UK or overseas.

Acquiring a Tier 1 (Investor) visa gives you permission to remain in the UK for the maximum of 3 years and 4 months. Throughout this time, you might want to start accelerating your route to UK settlement, as well as for your dependents. By investing the minimum of £2,000,000, you will be able to apply for settlement after a continued residence in the UK of five years. If you want to further accelerate your application, then an investment of £5,000,000 will make you eligible for settlement after 3 years. You can reduce this even further with an investment of £10,000,000, which shortens the settlement eligibility period to just 2 years.

During each 12-month qualifying period, you can be absent from the UK for up to 180 days, without jeopardising your settlement application. You may apply for a British passport after you have obtained settlement.

Processing applications can be incur significant costs, including the legal fees needed for a solicitor. You might be worried about paying large sums up front from your own pocket, in which case you should consider one of our convenient payment plans. Our payment plans give you access to a comprehensive legal loan that allows you to get top legal representation. Contact our team today on 020 3367 1888 and we’ll guide you through the process step by step.


Entrepreneur visa

Tier 1 Entrepreneur 200,000 investment funds

Are you an entrepreneur looking to establish or take over a business in the UK? If so, you will need to apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa. Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that you have a sound business plan to legitimise your visa application. Some of the key requirements for the visa are:

  • You have at least £200,000 to invest in a business
  • You’re at least 16 years old
  • Can financially support yourself and your family during your stat in the UK
  • You’ve passed an approved English language test with a minimum level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) or have an academic qualification that was taught in English and is fully recognised by UK NARIC

As an investor with at least £200,000 available to invest, you must prove that the money is:

  • Your own
  • Made accessible to the applicant through your spouse, investor or business partner
  • In a joint bank account with your spouse or partner who is not applying for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

Getting a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa allows you and your family to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), once you’ve been settled in the UK for 5 years. You should note that there are certain conditions related to business profits and operations, which can allow you, the applicant, to ‘fast track’ your settlement application. This means you can qualify for ILR after 3 years.

If you intend to take over or create a business in the UK, you will need legal representation from a knowledgeable solicitor. They will help you cut costs and save valuable processing time, which can go a long way in easing any worries you may be having over a decision to invest in the UK. With a legal loan from Legal Cost Finance, you can access proper legal representation without having to pay large sums up front from your own pockets. Start with a payment plan today, or for more information, call our team of finance specialists on 020 3376 1888.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur 50,000 investment funds

If either a venture capital firm, a UK government department, or a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition offer you £50,000 in investment funds to secure a business proposal, you can apply for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa to establish your own company. To help this process and move your application forward, you will have to seek legal advice and financial support. Our legal loans can help with that by giving you the tools to acquire proper legal representation, so if you intend to invest in the UK you should contact our experts today for more information. They can explain the ins and outs of each of our convenient payment plans, ensuring your investment in the UK goes smoothly and without hiccups. Get your business up and running today with Legal Cost Finance.


Student visa

Are you a student looking to further your education in the UK? If so, you will need to apply for a student visa. 

Tier 4 (General) Student visa

 A Tier 4 (General) student visa can be obtained from your home country. In order to study in the UK, it is essential you meet the following requirements:

  • Be aged 16 or over
  • Have an offer for a place on a course
  • Have an acceptable level of English proficiency
  • Have enough money to support yourself and pay for the course
  • Are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Tier 4 (Child) student visa

Parents wanting their child to study at an independent school in the UK can acquire a Tier 4 (Child) student visa if their child is between the ages of 4-17. They must also be able to demonstrate that their child has:

  • An unconditional offer from an institution that is licensed to sponsor your child
  • Financial support for the course and their living costs

As a parent, you can also join your child in the UK by applying for a Parent of a Tier 4 (Child) student visa. With this visa, you are allowed to stay in the UK for 6-12 months. Our experts are available to talk whenever you need them, so don’t hesitate to call on 020 3376 1888 and they’ll provide impartial advice and information.


Standard Visitor visa

If you want to visit the UK and you currently live outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can apply of a Standard Visitor visa. You should apply for one if you are:

  • Travelling to the UK for leisure, possibly for a holiday or to see family and friends
  • Visiting to conduct business, either to take part in a conference, conduct academic research, attend meetings or training courses
  • Taking part in a sporting or creative event
  • Accessing private medical treatment.

The Standard Visitor visa has replaced several separate visa applications, including the Family Visitor visa, Business Visitor visa, and the Private Medical Treatment visa. If you’re not sure exactly what visa you are applying for, then you should contact our experts on 020 3376 1888 and they’ll help point you in the right direction.

EEA immigration

Residents of countries currently in the European Union (EU) have the right to work, study, establish a business and live in the UK without any immigration restrictions. If these residents have family nationals not living within the EU, who are looking to the join them in the UK, then they will need to apply for an EEA Family Permit. This permit allows the applicant to stay in the UK for up to 6 months at a time.

EEA Family Permit

If you are a visa national, you will need to apply for an EEA Family Permit issued for a period of 6 months before travelling to the UK. Once in the UK you can apply for EU residence card. 

Residence Cards

Staying in the UK under and EEA Family Permit allows you to apply for an EU Residence Card, which lets you say in the UK for up to 5 years. Be aware however, your residence card will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You and your family can still apply for settled status in order to remain in the UK. The scheme will fully open by March 2019. If you already have a residence card and it expires before March 2019, you can reapply for another.

Permanent Residence/Settlement

You can apply for Permanent Residence status if you have been living in the UK for more than 5 years, allowing you to continue working and living in the country. Once you have obtained Permanent Residence, you may begin the process of applying for British citizenship. Additional requirements for Permanent Residence include:

  • You must be in work
  • You are studying
  • You are self-employed
  • You can display self-sufficiency
  • You actively seeking work

You can’t apply for Permanent Residence online if you’re reliant on a family member for financial support and you’re either a student or self-sufficient. What you’ll need to do is fill in an EEA (PR) form and send it to the address enclosed on the form, as well as the £65 fee and supporting documents listed on the form.

UK Ancestry visa

Under a UK Ancestry visa, commonwealth citizens with ancestral ties to the UK are allowed to migrate to the country. Providing you can show proof of your ability to work and your intent to seek employment, you may apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) within the granted 5-year period. To be considered for a UK Ancestry visa, you will need to demonstrate that you:

  • Are over the age of 17
  • Are currently a Commonwealth citizen
  • Have a grandparent born in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or a grandparent born before March 1922 in what is now the Republic of Ireland
  • Can demonstrate proof of adoption
  • Are born within or outside of marriage in the UK

If you meet any of these requirements, your next step will be to work with a talented legal advisor. You can get access to an individual like this with one of our convenient payment plans, which give you an easily repayable legal loan. We will guarantee that your lawyer’s fees are paid in full and on time. For more information, contact our finance experts on 020 3376 1888.

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