United Kingdom Immigration Policy
Besides the Family Reunion visa, the UK immigration policy is mainly categorised as:
(1) Entrepreneurial visa (Tier 1)
(2) Innovator visa
(3) Start-up visa
Investor visa (Tier 1)
The applicant must have access to £2 million in investment funds to apply. They can apply to settle in the UK after 5 years if they invest £2 million in UK government bonds or corporate bonds in UK registered companies. They can apply to settle in the UK after 3 years if they invest £5 million, and after 2 years if they invest £10 million.
After completion of the relevant required investment period, the investor will need to pass a Life in the UK Test and also a English proficiency test before applying for British citizenship.
– Must have £50,000 in investment funds to set up a new business.
– After acquiring the Innovator visa for 5 years, the applicant needs to pass a Life in the UK Test and also a English proficiency test before applying for British citizenship.
– Non-European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland residents.
– No minimum funds required to start a new business.
– Qualify to apply for an Innovator visa after 2 years.
Both the Innovator visa and the Start-Up visa require a minimum academic qualification equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree. As an alternative, the applicant has to pass an approved English language test within Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) with at least B2 level. The proposed business ideas must be innovative, viable, and with growth potential. The applicant must have had £945 in their bank account for 90 consecutive days as proof of their financial status before they can apply.
Recently, the UK government has announced a new immigration route for BNO holders (BNO Measures). BNO holders now have the right to live, work or study in the UK for a period of 5 years instead of the previous 6 months’ allowance. During this period, they are free to live, study or work. After staying in the UK for 5 consecutive years, they can then apply for “settled status”. They can apply for citizenship one year after obtaining the settled status. The UK immigration rules are constantly updated as it is an area of ongoing development, so it is important to check vigilantly for updates.
Living in the UK
The population in the UK is predominantly British, with other groups forming around 8% of the population. The country’s diverse culture and trademark British etiquette make most newcomers feel welcome. The strong cultural atmosphere provides an ideal learning environment for students. Among the top 10 universities in the world, Oxford University, Cambridge University and University of Edinburgh. Moreover, Hong Kong used to be a British colony so immigrants from Hong Kong often feel a certain sense of belonging in the UK.
In terms of convenience in daily life, the UK is second to none with all daily necessities at one’s fingertips. Although cost of living is not cheap with London being one of the most expensive cities to live in, living out of city centres in second or third tier zones can still be very affordable. For example, in Essex county (northeast of London), a 1500 sq. ft. townhouse close to the beach would cost around £180,000. The UK is a country rich in history and culture, best suited to those who are after quality of life.