The UK drives thousands of migrants every year from across the world for purposes of education, work, and settlement. UK immigration is a chance for you to benefit from the best opportunities to enhance your knowledge, career, and well-being.

The UK is the second-largest economy in Europe and the fifth in the world as of Dec 2021. With its own currency unlike other European countries that joined the European Union accepting the Euro, the UK shows off its economic strength even after Brexit.

If you are planning UK immigration or migrating on a UK work visa, it would be quite helpful for you to learn more about the pathways to migrate to this amazing nation.

About the UK

Great Britain is the country that has impacted world history for a long period of time, spanning centuries. The country chose to stand apart from the European Union and separated economically and politically through a process called Brexit.

As an economic force in its own right, the UK is building on its strength and maintaining its influence over aspiring immigrants who are trying to migrate to the UK. They are attempting to arrive in the country on the UK work visa or other visas that come under the purview of the UK skilled migration.

Why settle in the UK?

Here are some reasons UK immigration is a highly rewarding move to make:

  • The language barrier is absent in the UK for immigrants.
  • The UK is one of the most economically developed countries in Europe.
  • The country gives lots of opportunities for the UK work visa holders to get employed, helps them establish start-ups and even present opportunity in freelancing.
  • Public healthcare is almost free in the UK.
  • The country offers a great work-life balance.
  • The UK requires immigrants more than ever. The country needs those who arrive through UK skilled migration pathways to make their valuable contribution to help the country stabilize and progress in the coming days.

Prominent cities in the UK

  • York: This city bustles with eateries, restaurants, and cafes, and not to forget some of the best pubs in the country.
  • Bath: It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the UK.
  • Belfast: This city is well-known for its art scene and vibrant culture.
  • Cambridge: Cambridge can rightly be quipped as a “university town”. It’s a center of educational institutions in the UK.
  • Manchester: This is a highly hospitable city for travelers.
  • Glasgow: Another beautiful city in the UK that maintains its 19th century grandeur and charm even in this modern period.
  • Liverpool: Another city that offers a heartful experience.
  • Edinburgh: A city well-known for its festivals and varied architecture.
  • London: The capital city of the UK, it’s a happening city that’s wholesome with opportunities to experience the best in life in the UK including work, study, and stay.

UK immigration pathways

Let’s explore the major UK immigration pathways that are available for you to take so that you can move there. Before that, you must learn that the UK has a points-based system that grades you on the basis of various factors like education, work experience, and age.

The UK Skilled Worker visa

With a UK Skilled Worker visa, you can arrive and stay in the UK to be employed in a job deemed eligible. This was earlier the Tier 2 (General) Work visa.


To apply for this visa meant for UK skilled migration you have to:

  • work for an employer in the UK who’s been approved by the Home Office
  • possess a ‘certificate of sponsorship’, the issuance of which is done by your employer containing information about the role offered to you in the UK
  • be in an occupation that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary that’s decided for the type of work you are into

With this visa, you can stay in the UK for up to 5 years. After that, you can extend it or update your visa once it expires or if you change your employer or job.

After 5 years you may apply for permanent settlement in the UK. It’s also called “indefinite leave to remain”.  If that’s granted to you, you can live, study, and work there indefinitely. If you are eligible, you can submit an application for benefits.

You are allowed to apply for a visa up to 3 months prior to the day you are scheduled to work in the UK. Once you apply for a visa, it will take 3 weeks in case you are outside the UK and 8 weeks if you are inside the UK.

What you can do with the visa

You can

  • study
  • work in a job deemed eligible
  • take on extra work in certain circumstances
  • bring your eligible partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • do voluntary work
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) in case you have resided in the UK for 5 years and meet the other criteria for eligibility
What you can’t do with the visa
  • change employer or jobs unless you apply to update your visa
  • apply for most benefits (public funds) or the State Pension
The UK Global Talent visa

This visa is meant for you if you are a leader/potential leader in one of the following fields:

  • academia or research
  • digital technology
  • arts and culture

To apply for this visa, you have to be at least 18 years old.

It’s necessary that you must have an endorsement from the UK if you want to apply for this visa. The endorsement will prove that you are a leader/potential leader.

You can live and work in the UK on this visa for up to 5 years. Then, to stay longer, you have to extend it for 1 to 5 years. After 3 years in the UK, you could apply for indefinite leave to remain. That way you can settle in the UK.

After applying for the visa online, you will have to wait for a decision for 3 weeks if you are outside the UK or 8 weeks if you are in the UK.

You have to pay the following:

  • £608 to apply for the visa
  • £608 for partner/children added in your visa application
  • £624 per year as healthcare surcharge

Know your eligibility for UK immigration. Use the UK points calculator.

How Y-Axis can help you

Y-Axis guides/counsels you for UK immigration.

What are the visa options for migrating to the UK for work?

If you are a skilled professional, you can come to the UK under the UK Skilled Worker visa program. If your occupation is listed in the shortage occupation list, you can arrive in the UK on a long-term basis. Popular professions in the occupation list belong to the Finance, Engineering, and IT fields.

There are 2 main routes available to overseas job seekers who want to work in the UK:

  • Migration for highly skilled workers
  • Intra-Company Transfer meant for workers working under multinational companies, highly skilled and being transferred to the UK branch.

From January 1, 2021, the Tier 2 (General) visa has been replaced with the Skilled Worker visa.

With this UK visa, skilled workers from other countries can be selected based on the shortage occupation list. They will be eligible to get an offer letter without the labor market test and stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

Do we need to take the IELTS exam to migrate to UK?

The IELTS exam is not required. You may be required to pass a secure English language test [SELT] to establish your understanding of the English language while applying for a visa or citizenship in the UK. This is because different paths for UK immigration need varying levels of competence in the English language. There are two types of examinations.

The level of test required, known as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages [CEFR], will vary depending on the immigration route.

How can I move to the UK to work?

Generally, there are 2 main ways of moving to the UK for work. You can either secure a valid job offer by a UK employer or get an intra-company transfer.

Can I move to the UK without a job?

Under UK immigration, the Youth Mobility Scheme Visa allows you to live and work in the UK for up to 2 years if you are aged between 18 and 30 years, and are from certain countries which include Australia. Other eligibility requirements will also have to be met by the individual.

Other UK visas that don’t require a job offer in the UK include the Global Talent visa, Investor’s visa, Innovator visa, and Start-Up visa.

What is the Global Talent visa in UK immigration?

An individual might apply for a Global Talent visa for the UK if they are a leader or potential leader in any of the 3 fields namely academia/research, digital technology, arts, and culture. You can apply for this UK visa if you have successfully applied for an endorsement that proves you are a leader or potential leader in your specific field.

No endorsement is required if an individual has won an eligible award.

What are the benefits of the Global Talent visa?

Here are the benefits of a Global Talent visa:

  • No minimum salary requirement
  • No ILETS requirement
  • Ability to move anywhere in the UK
  • Dependents are included if certain requirements are met
  • Can change job or organization
  • Can seek Indefinite Right to Remain (ILR) – also called UK PR – after staying in the UK for 3 years
If I'm not eligible for the Global Talent visa, which visa should I apply for?

If you are ineligible for the Global Talent visa, there are other pathways available for you to work in the UK. E.g., the Skilled Worker visa.

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