Trumpeting to Victory
Donald Trump is to become the 45th President of the United States when he is sworn in to office on 20th January 2017. He is the first person to hold the office who has never served in Government or the military.
The political outsider who secured victory thanks to a campaign based on xenophobia and fear is now the leader of what is arguably the most powerful nation on earth.
How could such a thing happen?
Hunger for change
Like Brexit in the UK, Trump’s victory illustrates the massive desire for change permeating from white, working class families, who have seen their living standards stagnate at best, destroyed at worst.
Immigration played a huge factor in Trump’s victory. Like Britain’s own Nigel Farage, Trump tapped into the fear, frustration and suspicion people have when they see their cultural environment change and jobs disappear, and placed the blame for this squarely on Immigration.
Now many Americans are worried about the future and are making enquiries to Immigration solicitors to obtain the best advice regarding moving to another country.
According to reports this morning, Canada’s Immigration website crashed due to demand, New Zealand was receiving unprecedented interest from Americans looking to relocate and US citizens in Britain were contacting some of the best Immigration solicitors in the country to ascertain their Immigration status and in particular, whether they have a right to remain in the UK.
Immigration rules for American citizens considering moving to Britain
Thanks to a tax treaty between the UK and the US, American citizens do not face the problem of double taxation if they choose to move to Britain. However, the large amount of paperwork and accountancy fees involved in submitting tax returns (which are still required to be sent annually) means that many American expats living on the UK have chosen to become British citizens once they become eligible.
There are many visa routes open to American citizens wishing to make the move across the pond. These include:
Tier 2 Visas
Tier 2 visas including the Tier 2 (General) Visa, which allows those with a job offer from an UK organisation who hold a UK Sponsor Licence, the ability to work in the country for up to five years. Also under the Tier 2 group is the Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) Visa. If you are working for a multi-national company who have offices on both sides of the Atlantic and can arrange a transfer to the UK branch, then as long as the UK entity has a Sponsor Licence and pays an appropriate salary then it may be possible for you to transfer.
Tier 4 Student Visas
Britain boasts some of the greatest Universities in the world. If you wish to study in the UK, you must obtain an offer for a place on a course from a Higher Education Institution (HEI) that holds a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence. You must also have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course.
The Tier 1 (entrepreneur) Visa is for people who have either £50,000 or £200,000 to invest in a new start-up or an existing organisation where they plan to join the Board and manage the organisation. The application process is extremely robust; applicants must pass the ‘genuine entrepreneur test’ and demonstrate that they have a viable business plan.
High-net-worth individuals can enter Britain on a Tier 1 (investor) Visa. You must have £2 million in funds which is available to be invested in UK government bonds, share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies.
Applying for any of these visas can be a complex process and it is considered best practice to seek the advice of an experienced Immigration solicitor when making an application, especially for investor and Entrepreneur Visas which involve large amounts of capital.
Staying for good
Depending on the type of visa you enter Britain on, after a period of time (generally five years), you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also known as settlement). Special conditions for settlement apply depending on the type of visa you hold. For example, Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants who have a Tier 2 (General) Visa must meet the minimum salary threshold of £35,000 for their application to be considered.
An experienced Immigration lawyer can provide you with clear, concise information about the best options available to you for securing Indefinite Leave to Remain, and British Citizenship should you choose to apply.
None of us know what America, or in fact the globe will look like over the coming years as Donald Trump starts to enact his manifesto for “real change”. For those that are concerned, it is comforting to know that there are options regarding where you want to raise your family and live your life.
OTS Solicitors has a strong reputation for being one of the best Immigration law firms in the UK and we have years of experience advising US Citizens on various visas that will allow them to work and/or study in Britain. You can make an appointment with one of our experienced Immigration solicitors by phoning our London office on 0207 936 9960. We can to arrange Skype calls if you are currently based in the USA.
Our expert Immigration lawyers look forward to hearing more about how we can assist you with your application.