Why You Need a UK Immigration Solicitor When You Are Moving From the US to the UK banner


Why You Need a UK Immigration Solicitor When You Are Moving From the US to the UK

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You would think that relocating from the US to the UK would be easy, wouldn't you? After all, the US and the UK speak the same language, are reportedly said to have a ‘special relationship’ and the two countries share many of the same values. In this blog, our Immigration lawyers explain how it helps to have a UK Immigration solicitor on your side if you are planning to move to the UK from the US.

UK Online and London-Based US to UK Immigration Solicitors 

For US to UK immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

The UK immigration scene

From reading some of the UK newspapers you may be of the view that anyone can come to the UK to live and work and that the UK operates an ‘open door policy.’ We do not or rather the Home Office (the UK government department responsible for visas and immigration decisions) doesn’t. There are complex immigration rules for most types of UK family, student, work or business visas. However great your CV is, or however committed you are to reuniting with your husband or wife and living in the same country as your spouse on a Spouse Visa, your application to the Home Office will be refused unless you follow the stringent UK immigration rules.

Some US citizens assume that there is a special channel or quick route for US to UK immigration. Perhaps as a mark of our historical connections (thinking of the Mayfair) or because the UK needs the brains of tech graduates from California, bankers from New York or wives from Cape Cod wanting to join their husbands in London.  Immigration solicitors say to think again and that the complexity of UK immigration rules means US to UK visa applicants are best off using a specialist Immigration solicitor as it reduces the stress associated with applying for a visa from the Home Office.

The UK points-based immigration system

The UK operates a points-based immigration system. Since Brexit and the end of free movement for EU nationals, there is one set of immigration rules applicable to you, whether you are planning to move to the UK from the US, Middle East, India, or elsewhere. The only concessions you get as a US citizen are:

  • The US is a non-visa nation so you don’t need a Visitor Visa or Tourist Visa if you are planning a trip to the UK from the US and your visit is for less than 6 months and you are not planning to work while you are in the UK
  • You don’t have to sit an English language test as part of the immigration rules if you need a visa. This is because as a US citizen, you automatically meet the English language requirement under the immigration rules. This concession isn’t limited to visa applications from US nationals. It applies to anyone applying for a visa from a majority speaking English country provided that their country is on the Home Office list of ‘approved’ countries.

Every visa applicant must meet a points criterion if they are applying for a Work Permit Visa or Family Visa. This means the Home Office assesses their visa application on points. With some visa applications getting points in some categories is mandatory whilst in other types of visa applications you can gain extra points for some criteria. If you think that you need a math qualification to work out the UK points-based immigration system then that is a view shared by many UK Immigration solicitors.

How OTS Solicitors can help with US to UK visas

At OTS Solicitors we specialise in individual and business immigration and have experience in handling US to UK visa applications.  We can help with all types of UK visa applications including:

  • Family Visas – Spouse Visas, Unmarried Partner Visas, Civil Partner Visas, Dependant Visas, Adult Dependent Relative Visas
  • Study Visas – Student Visas, Child Student Visas
  • Work Visas – Skilled Worker Visas, Health and Care Worker Visas, Graduate Visas, High Potential Individual Visas
  • Global Business Mobility Visas – UK Expansion Worker Visas, Senior, Specialist Worker Visas, Secondment Worker Visa
  • Business Visas – the Innovator Founder Visa, Scale-up Visa, the Global Talent Visa

Our expertise is recognised in the 2024 edition of Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession where we are ranked for our individual immigration work and Hans Sok Appadu (head of the business immigration team) is ranked for business immigration services.

Whilst we understand that you want the best immigration advice, we also realise that you want your immigration advice delivered efficiently so you get your visa as quickly as possible. We do all that by providing friendly and approachable immigration advice that is tailored to your needs.

For example, you may think that it will be easier to get a Graduate Visa than a Skilled Worker Visa. You are right but if you want to settle in the UK, it may be best to get a job with a sponsoring employer and apply for a Skilled Worker Visa as then you will be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain sooner than if you had obtained a Graduate visa and later switched to a different route. Looking at what you want to achieve is an important part of our immigration advice services for US nationals to make sure that you get the best immigration legal advice for your circumstances and goals.

UK Online and London-Based US to UK Immigration Solicitors 

For US to UK immigration law advice call London-based OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.

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