Overview of Immigration to UK From Mexico
Mexicans represent a relatively small proportion of the UK immigration population. In the census held by the Office for National Statistics in the year 2011, only 9,771 Mexican-born residents were registered to be living in the UK.
In addition to this, approximately 40% of all Mexicans in the UK are students, while only about 13% are working in the UK.
The UK presents a significant change in culture and environment for Mexicans crossing the Atlantic, which may be indicated in the relatively low immigration numbers recorded.
However, there are still various draws and benefits in moving to the UK from Mexico, such as the diverse population of London and new landscapes and cultures to explore in the home nations. There are also several organisations dedicated to supporting Mexicans in the UK to help adjust to life in the UK.
There are also a wide range of UK visa options available to Mexicans, including ones that lead to permanent settlement in the form of indefinite leave to remain.
UK Student Visas for Mexicans
Student visas are some of the most popular visas for Mexican nationals looking to come to the UK. They’re a useful way to experience what life is like in the UK for a short period of time without having to commit to long-term residency.
To be eligible for a UK Student visa, you must be 16 or over and have been offered a place on a course in an educational institution that’s able to sponsor foreign students.
In addition, you must prove that you can speak, read and write English to a minimum standard. This may involve taking a certified English test from an approved provider.
You must also pay the immigration health surcharge when you apply, which will allow you to access NHS services while in the UK.
You may also be allowed to work on your Student visa, though this will depend on what you’re studying and whether you’re working in or out of term time.
Note that you must apply for your visa from Mexico no more than 6 months before the start date of your course, and you must not travel to the UK until your visa is approved.
Before your course finishes, you may apply for a Graduate visa in order to continue living and working in the UK for up to 2 years, if you wish.
UK Graduate Visa for Mexicans
After completing their studies, many Mexican students may wish to stay in the UK rather than going back to Mexico.
If this applies to you, then you may be eligible for a Graduate visa.
This visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 2 or 3 years after completing an educational course.
You must be in the UK on a Student visa and have studied a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree or other eligible course to be eligible for this visa. In addition, your education provider must have notified the Home Office that you’ve successfully completed your course.
A Graduate visa will allow you to stay and work in the UK for up to 2 or 3 years.
You won’t be able to extend your Graduate visa past its initial eligibility, but you may be able to switch to another type of UK visa such as a work visa or Family visa, if you’re eligible.
UK Work Visas for Mexicans
If you’re a Mexican national looking to come to the UK to work or set up a business, there are a wide range of dedicated visas that will allow you to do so.
It’s important to remember that any kind of employment in the UK, including full-time, part-time, self-employment or volunteering positions, will all require obtaining a dedicated visa first.
The Skilled Worker visa is the UK’s general work visa for foreign workers of many different professions. It allows individuals to come and work in many different job types in the UK, as long as they are being sponsored by a Home Office-approved sponsor.
You will also need to fulfil minimum English language requirements and salary requirements to be eligible for this visa.
Other work and business visas available are more specific in their scope, such as only focusing on one or a few types of work. These include the following:
- Scale-Up Worker visa
- Health and Care Worker visa
- Senior or Specialist Worker visa
- International Sportsperson visa
- Minister of Religion visa
- Innovator visa
- Start-up visa
You will need to carefully research which visa type is the best for your own personal circumstances. Alternatively, reach out to one of our legal experts on (+44) 333 4149244, or contact us online for detailed guidance for your own immigration case.
Permanent UK Settlement for Mexicans
If you wish to become permanently settled in the UK, you will have to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
ILR allows you to live, work and study in the UK for as long as you like, without having to renew or extend your status.
The option to apply for indefinite leave to remain will only become available to you once you’ve stayed in the UK for a minimum period of time. The exact length of this period will depend on what UK visa you have.
For example, most Skilled Worker visa applicants will be able to apply for ILR after 5 years. Meanwhile, some visas such as the Innovator visa will allow you to apply for ILR after only 3 years.
It’s important to keep in mind that the requirements for ILR will also vary depending on your visa. Broadly speaking though, you will be required to have adhered to the conditions of your visa for the whole time you’ve been in the UK, up until the point when your ILR application is approved.
For example, if you’re applying for ILR while on an Innovator visa, you must seek a new endorsement that confirms you’ve successfully met the requirements for growing your business.
Most ILR applicants will also have to pay an application fee and pass the Life in the UK Test in order to become eligible.
How Can IAS Help?
Moving from Mexico to the UK can be a significant and daunting change for many.
However, the number of people moving to the UK is rising all the time, and the UK remains a popular destination for many migrants to start a new life in.
There are a number of factors and considerations to take into account, with perhaps the most important being that you can secure your UK immigration and visa details before travelling.
If you’re a Mexican national looking to move to the UK, IAS can help.
We offer complete and comprehensive immigration advice for foreign nationals looking to come to the UK. Our team of expert and experienced lawyers have the tools and skills you need to help make the transition between Mexico and the UK a smooth one, while also ensuring that your needs and concerns are addressed.
Whether you’re a prospective student looking to come and study in the UK, a foreign worker looking for employment and a suitable visa category, or just need general advice on how to navigate the UK immigration system, we can help.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:46 am
Need help with an immigration issue? Book a one-to-one advice session with one of our legal caseworkers.
We can complete your visa application on your behalf, taking the stress and hassle out of the process.
Fast Track Package
Need to submit an application quickly? We can help you complete and send it off in as little as 24 hours.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal with our legal support and guidance.
The Advice Package
With our Advice Package, you can book a one-to-one session with one of our legal team and receive bespoke advice tailored for your situation. We will review your case and give you expert advice on how best to proceed with your immigration matter. Reach out to a member of our team and book your session today.
The Application Package
Our Application Package is designed to help relieve the stress of immigration applications. One of our legal caseworkers will help you throughout the entire process, including establishing your eligibility for your chosen route, completing your application form to the highest standards and organising your documents. We will then submit it and monitor its status on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our premium Fast Track Package is ideal if you need to submit an application quickly, such as if you need to meet a tight deadline. Our lawyers will work closely with you to see that your application is completed to the highest standards and ensure you get your application in on time, helping to take the stress and pressure off you.
The Appeal Package
Visa appeals can be a stressful process, especially if you’re relying on a specific visa to be approved. Our legal team can help you navigate the whole process and maximise your chances of a successful appeal, working alongside you to reach a favourable result. We can also represent you in immigration-related hearings and tribunals.
The main way to apply for a UK visa is to do so online through the Gov.uk website.
As part of the application process, you will have to provide your personal information and upload a range of supporting documents.
You may also have to attend a local visa application centre in order to give additional information, such as your biometrics.
There are three UK visa application centres located in Mexico:
- Mexico City
Both Mexico and the UK allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship, which means that you will be able to apply for British citizenship as a Mexican national.
You’ll only be eligible to apply for British citizenship after spending at least 5 years in the UK, with at least one of this time being with indefinite leave to remain.
After this time, you’ll be able to apply online to become a fully naturalised British citizen.
In order to be eligible, you’ll need to have passed the Life in the UK Test, meet the minimum English language requirements, and also be of good character.
You also should not have:
- Spent more than 450 days outside the UK during the 5 years before your application
- Spent more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
- Broken any UK immigration laws
See our page on British citizenship for more info.
There are a wide range of groups, organisations and societies dedicated to the Mexican expat community in the UK. These include the following:
- MexSoc UK
- Exatec UK
- The British Mexican Society
- Mexico Amigo
- Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain