- Moving to UK from Germany for work
- Requirements for Skilled Workers Visa
- UK points-based system
- How can I join my family member in the UK?
- Other UK family visas
- Can I study in the UK as a German citizen?
- Tier 1 visas
- Application process for UK visas
- How we can help
- EU settlement scheme
- Frequently asked questions
How to Move to the UK from Germany
As Britain has now left the European Union, EU nationals need to apply for a visa if they want to move to the UK. If you want to move from Germany to the UK (or stay for longer than six months), you will need to apply for an immigration permission.
You can move to the UK from Germany to work, study or to reunite with family members, provided you meet the requirements for the visa.
The UK offers a relatively similar way of life to the one you might find in Germany, making it an attractive option for Germans.
How to Move to the UK from Germany to Work
The UK is an attractive place to work for many EU citizens. London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds are just some of the cities in the UK where you will find high economic activity and many job opportunities.
If you want to move from Germany to the UK to work, you will need to apply for one of the UK work visas.
The UK’s new Skilled Workers Visa is designed for those who hold appropriate skills in skilled professions. In order to be eligible, you must have been offered a job by a UK company which holds a sponsorship licence.
There are other UK work visas too for those in specific circumstances and jobs:
- Tier 2 (T2) Intra-company Transfer Visa: This is for those who have been offered a position in the UK branch of a multinational company
- Tier 2 (T2) Intra-company Graduate Trainee Visa: This visa is for those who want to transfer to the UK as part of a graduate training program
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa: For those who have been offered a position in a UK faith-based community
- Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa: For professional sportspeople
There is also the opportunity for applicants to become eligible for a UK Expansion Worker Visa. To be eligible, the candidate must be a pre-existing employee of an overseas company seeking business expansion in the United Kingdom, and must have been working overseas in that business for at least 1 year.
What are the Requirements for the Skilled Workers Visa?
For most German citizens who are looking to work in the UK, the Skilled Workers Visa will be the UK work visa of choice.
The main requirements for a Skilled Workers Visa are as follows:
- You must score at least 70 points on the points-based system
- You must have been offered a job by a UK employer which holds a sponsorship licence
- Your prospective employer must give you your unique certificate of sponsorship number (You need to include this number in your application)
- The job offer must be a ‘genuine vacancy’ and at the appropriate skill level
- You must have been offered a minimum salary in line with your job role
- You must be able to prove that you can understand and communicate in English to at least the level of B1 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- You must have the financial means to support yourself (and any family members/dependents who will be joining you) whilst you are in the UK
What Do I Need to Know About the Points-based System?
In 2020, the UK’s immigration system went through its biggest shake-up in many years. One of the biggest changes involved the creation of a point-based system. The points-based system is used as a measure of eligibility for applicants of certain visas. The Skilled Workers Visa is one of those visas.
To be eligible for the Skilled Workers Visa, you must score 70 points on the points-based system. There are 50 points which are known as mandatory, meaning you must score these 50 points. These points are as follows:
- 20 points: Offer of a job from a UK company with a sponsorship licence
- 20 points: Job which is at the appropriate skill level for the role
- 10 points: English language ability which is at least at the level of B1
You can accrue further points through your salary, qualifications and job skill. These additional points are known as tradeable points.
Generally, the most simple way you can reach the 70-point threshold is through having a salary of at least £25,600 or at least the going rate for your profession (whichever is higher). This will give you an additional 20 points.
The tradeable points are as follows:
- Salary of at least £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is highest) (0 points)
- Salary of at least £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is highest) (10 points)
- Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is highest) (20 points)
- Job in a shortage occupation (10 points)
- PhD in a subject relevant to the job (10 points)
- PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job (20 points)
How Can I Join my Family Member in the UK?
If you have family members in the UK, you might be able to join them in the UK through the process of reunification. You could be eligible for a UK Family Visa if your family member is a British or Irish citizen, or has settled status in the country and you are one of the following:
- A spouse/civil partner
- A long-term unmarried partner
- A child who is under 18
- A parent
- A relative who requires long-term care from UK-resident family member
The UK Spouse Visa is one of the most popular UK visas. If you are married to/in a civil partnership with your British-resident family member, you could be eligible for the visa.
With a Spouse Visa, you will be free to live and study in the UK without any restrictions. The Spouse Visa is valid for 30 months, and you can apply for a Spouse Visa extension which is valid for a further 30 months.
The main requirements for a Spouse Visa are as follows:
- You must be in a ‘genuine and subsisting’ relationship with your British-resident partner. (You will need to provide evidence to prove this)
- You must have a marriage/civil partnership certificate which is recognised in the UK
- You must have met your partner at least once in-person, and be able to prove this
- You need to be able to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself. You must have a combined annual income of at least £18,600. If you have any children/dependents who will be joining you in the application, you must have an additional £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 per child for every other child
- You must have suitable accommodation to live in with your family whilst you are in the UK
- You must be able to prove that you can understand and communicate in English. You can prove this through either an English degree either taught or researched in English (you will just need your degree certificate if you attained your degree from a UK university. If you attended a non-UK university then you will need a copy of your degree certificate and an AQUALS from Ecctis that confirms your degree is the equivalent of a UK degree).
What are the Other UK Family Visas?
As alluded to, there are other immigration permissions within the UK Family Visa category. If you are the long-term unmarried partner of a British or Irish citizen or person with settled status in the UK, you can apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. There are certain visas that allow for you to move to the UK with a dependent (for example a child under 18, or someone you care for).
You can also apply for a Family Visa on the basis of providing care for your child. Your child must be under 18-years-old and a British or Irish citizen or person with settled status.
Children of a parent who is a British or Irish citizen or has settled status in the UK can apply to join their parent in the UK. If the child was born in the UK and is under 18-years-old, they will usually receive the same immigration permission as their parent. They can also join their parent in the UK if they are over 18 in certain circumstances.
If the child was born in Germany (or elsewhere) they must not be married or living an independent life if they are under 18. If they are over 18, they must not be living an independent life and must have got permission to stay in the UK when they were under 18.
You can also apply to join your family member in the UK if you require significant long-term care from them. Again, your family member must be a British or Irish citizen or a person with settled status in the UK. You could be eligible if you are the parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter of the British resident.
Can I Study in the UK as a German Citizen?
UK is a country with a rich educational history and tradition, including some of the oldest and most celebrated universities in the world. The UK is home to an average of over 485,000 international students in any given year, including around 13,000 from Germany for the previous years before Covid-19.
In the post-Brexit environment, the Erasmus scheme is no longer in operation in the UK. This means that German students will need to apply for the UK Student Visa to study in the UK.
You will need to score 50 points on the points-based system to be eligible for the UK Student Visa. It is relatively straightforward to meet the 50-point threshold.
- 50 points: Been offered a place on a course at an approved educational provider and received a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
- 10 points: Able to demonstrate that you can financially support yourself during your time in the UK
- 10 points: Able to prove that your English language ability is at least at the level of B2 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (unless exempt)
The Student Visa fee is £348, making it one of the cheapest of all the UK visas. You will also need to pay the immigration health surcharge whilst you study in the UK. As a student, you will receive a 20% discount on the surcharge, which means you will pay £470 annually for the health surcharge.
For instance, you could spend two years in the UK with the Youth Mobility Scheme and then decide to switch to a Study visa, unmarried partner visa, Spouse visa, etc. Talk to one of our immigration team for more information on this pathway.
What are the Tier 1 Visas?
If you want to invest and/or start a business in the UK, you can apply for one of the UK Tier 1 visas. The Tier 1 visas are as follows:
The Innovator Visa is for experienced businesspeople who wish to start a business in the UK. You must have at least £50,000 to invest in your business and the business idea must have been endorsed by an approving body. You need to be able to show that your business idea is new, innovative and viable.
With the Innovator Visa, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after three years of UK residency, depending on the level of business activity.
Start up Visa
The Start-up Visa is for new entrepreneurs who wish to start a business in the UK. Your business idea needs to be endorsed by an approving body, but you do not need to have a certain level of investment funds available to you.
What Do I Need to Know About the UK Visa Application Process?
Usually, you will need to apply online for a UK visa. With most visas, you can begin the application process up to three months before you plan to arrive in the UK. For certain visas, such as the Student Visa, you can apply up to six months before you plan to arrive in the UK.
For any UK visa/immigration application, you will need to provide certain information and documents to prove your identity and your eligibility for that visa/immigration permission. There’s a chance that you will be able to keep your passport while your visa is being processed. Processing times will vary depending on the type of visa you have opted for. Find out more about your visa on our page specific website.
The specific documents which you will need to provide depends on the visa and your particular circumstances. That being said, if you want to move to the UK from Germany, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your passport/travel document
- Evidence demonstrating that you meet minimum financial requirements to support yourself (and any family members/dependents) in the UK
- Test certificate from an approved test provider indicating your level of English/a unique number (unless exempt)
- Certificate of sponsorship (for Work Visa applications)
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (for Student Visa applications)
- Marriage and birth certificates (for Family Visa applications)
You may be asked to verify certain documents as part of your application, but this is not always the case.
If you opted for a Health and Care visa, then you may be eligible to live and work in the UK for less than another applicant would on any other type of visa route. You and your dependants will also be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge which costs £624 per year (or £470 per year for applicants under 18 at the time of application or on the Youth Mobility Scheme or Study visa). This payment would total at £3,120 overall if you were on a 5 year visa route.
One of the requirements for any information which you submit is that it must be in English or Welsh. If your information/documents are in German (or any other language), they must be translated by an accredited translator. You need to include the translated versions and the original in your portfolio of evidence.
An important thing to note is that whatever visa pathway you are on, a criminal conviction is more than likely to negatively impact your eligibility to naturalise as a British citizen. However, you may be able to extend your leave as a compromise. Speak to one of our advisors today to discuss your circumstances and next steps forward.
Can the Immigration Advice Service Help me with My Application?
The Immigration Advice Service offers expert support with UK visa/immigration applications with our industry-leading application package. We offer application assistance in all areas of UK immigration law.
With this service, one of our experienced immigration lawyers will work with you through the entire application process. They will take the time to understand your own unique circumstances and will help you to prepare your portfolio of evidence, ensuring it contains all required information and documents and adheres to all necessary Home Office administrative standards.
Once your portfolio of evidence is ready to be submitted, we will complete your application form before submitting your full application to the Home Office. We will also write a letter of recommendation to accompany your application, highlighting the merits of your case.
We will liaise with the Home Office throughout the processing stage and will keep you informed of your application’s progress.
With our application package, you can rest assured that your application will have the greatest possible chance of success.
To find out more about our application package and how we can help you to secure your move from Germany to the UK, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.
Can I Still Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
Although UK has now left the European Union, you might still be able to apply to join the EU Settlement Scheme if you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020. If eligible, you will be able to live in the UK under the same conditions as you did before Britain left the European Union.
Also, if you have a German/EU family member who was living in the UK before 31st December 2020, you usually be able to join them in the UK through applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The following family members are eligible:
- Spouse/civil partner
- Long-term partner
Also, if you were living in the UK by December 31st 2020 and you have a child, they will also be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30th June 2021. You can only apply to join the scheme if you (or your family member) was living in the UK by 31st December 2020.
Last modified on February 14th, 2023 at 5:49 pm
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Generally speaking, you can apply for settled status in the UK after you have spent five years lawfully living in the UK. This includes those who have been living in the UK under a Skilled Worker Visa, Health and Care Visa or other work visa, as well as Family Visas.
You might be eligible sooner if you have been living in the UK under certain immigration permissions, such as the Innovator Visa or Investor Visa.
This immigration permission is known as Indefinite Leave to Remain. You can stay in the UK without any restrictions as a holder of Indefinite Leave to Remain. After one year of UK residency under Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can apply for British citizenship.
The main requirements for a Student Visa are as follows:
- You must have received an unconditional offer from an approved sponsoring institution
- You must score 70 points on the points-based system
- Must have received a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
- The course must be at an appropriate level of study and lead to an approved qualification
- You must have the relevant academic qualifications required to take the course
- Must genuinely intent to study in the UK
- Must be able to prove that you can financially support yourself (and any dependents) whilst you are in the UK. The amount you need depends on what you are studying and where you are studying
- Need to be able to demonstrate that you can speak, write, read and understand English to the level of B2 as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
You must prove that you have certain financial means to be eligible for the Student visa.
You need to demonstrate that you have:
- £1,334 per month (for up to nine months) if your course is in London
- £1,023 per month (for up to nine months) if your course is outside of London
The financial requirements for those applying on the Doctorate Extension Scheme are as follows:
- £2,668 per month (for up to nine months) if your course is in London
- £2,046 per month (for up to nine months) if your course is outside of London
Also, if any family members (dependents) will be joining you in the UK, you must have:
- £845 per month (for up to nine months) for courses in London for each family member
- £680 per month (for up to nine months) for courses outside London for each family member
From the summer of 2021, all overseas nationals who have graduated from an undergraduate degree (or higher) will be able to apply for the new Graduate Visa. With this visa, you will be able to stay in the UK for up to two years to work and look for work. If you are a PhD graduate, you will be able to stay for up to three years.
You can emigrate to the UK from Germany through the process of family reunification. Your British-resident partner must be a British citizen, Irish citizen or person with settled status in the UK.
You might be able to join them as a:
- Spouse/civil partner
- Unmarried partner
- Relative who requires long-term care from British-resident partner
It is also possible for you to join a family member in the UK if they are living in the UK under leave to remain. This includes UK work visa holders and Student Visa holders. Spouses/civil partners and children are usually eligible for this immigration route.
The specific rules around family reunification depend on the route you are taking. If you are looking for more information about UK Family Visas and the family reunification process, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.
The UK visa application fees are:
- Route to settlement (this includes Spouse Visas and other Family Visas): £1,523
- Tier 1 Investor Visa: £1,623
- Tier 1 Innovator Visa: £1,021
- Start-up Visa: £363
- Skilled Worker Visa for three years of less: £610
- Skilled Worker Visa for over three years: £1,623
- Skilled Worker Visa for three years in shortage occupation: £464
- Skilled Worker Visa for over three years in shortage occupation: £928
- Skilled Worker Health and Care Visa for three years: £232
- Skilled Worker Health and Care Visa for over three years: £464
- Intra-company Transfer Visa, T2 Minister of Religion and T2 Sportsperson for three years: £610
- Intra-company Transfer Visa, T2 Minister of Religion and T2 Sportsperson for over three years: £1,220
- Intra-company Graduate Trainee: £482
- Student Visa: £348
As a German national, you might be able to get a £55 discount on your visa application fee depending on the visa you apply for. The UK announced this discount for nationals of a select group of countries, and Germany is included in this scheme.
You will also need to pay an annual immigration health surcharge. The standard rate for the immigration health surcharge is £624 per year. However, you might not need to pay as much, depending on your circumstances.
Whilst you may have a good level of English, you will need to be able to demonstrate that your English ability is up to a certain standard to be eligible for most long-term UK visas.
You do not need to prove your English language ability if:
- Already proved your level of English with another UK visa application
- Hold a degree level qualification or higher which was taught in English
- You have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English
Also, you are exempt if you:
- Are aged 65 or over
- Have a long-term physical or mental condition
- Are a victim of domestic violence whose partner is a British citizen or has settlement status in the UK
- Are an adult dependant aged between 18 and 64
- Are a partner or spouse of a person who has died who was a British citizen or had settlement status in the UK
Otherwise, you will need to pass a SELT English language test from an approved provider to prove your level of English. The specific level you need to have depends on your visa/immigration permission.
You can take the English language test at the following German test centres:
- LanguageCert, Berlin: Berlin
- PSI, TLS-Berlin: Berlin
- PSI, TLS-Dusseldorf: Dusseldorf
- Pearson, Pearson Professional Centers – Frankfurt: Frankfurt
The UK Health and Care Visa is a new immigration permission which is designed to enable a more efficient immigration route for healthcare professionals who want to work in the UK.
To be eligible for this visa, you must be a qualified doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional or an adult social care professional, and you must have been offered a job in the UK in the NHS, an NHS supplier or adult social care.
As a German citizen, you will be eligible for a £55 discount on the Health and Care Visa. This means that your fee will be £177 for a visa of up to three years and £409 for a visa of more than three years. Both you and any dependents will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge.
You can apply for permanent residence in the UK after you have spent five years living in the UK under a Health and Care Visa.
The visa valid is for at least five years, after which you can apply for permanent residency in the UK.
As a German national, you will not need to apply for a visa if you only plan to visit the UK for period of up to six months.
However, if you want to stay for longer than six months, you will be subject to immigration conditions.
The Immigration Advice Service is one of the leading immigration law firms in the whole of the United Kingdom with a wealth of experience in the field. We can help you to move to the UK from Germany and begin a new and exciting life here.
We provide expert assistance in all areas of UK immigration law, including UK Work Visas, Family Visas, Student Visas and Tier 1 visas.
Our specialist application package is designed to support you through the entire application process for a UK visa. With our experience and knowledge of the UK immigration system, we will formulate your application to the very highest standards, ensuring it meets all requirements and adheres to all necessary standards.
To find out more about how we can help you to secure your UK visa and emigrate to the UK, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.