- Moving from Spain to the UK for Work
- UK points-based system
- Other UK work visas
- UK Investor Visa
- UK Family Visas
- UK visa application process
- Can I Study in the UK as a Spanish Citizen?
- Can I still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
- When can I apply for permanent residency in the UK?
- Frequently asked questions
Moving from Spain to UK
As of January 1st 2021, all new arrivals to the UK from the EU/EEA are required to live under UK immigration conditions. If you are looking to move to the UK from Spain, you will need to apply for a visa.
As a Spanish citizen, you can move to the UK to work, study or reunite with family. On this page we will explain the different ways you can emigrate to the UK as a Spanish citizen post-Brexit.
Moving from Spain to the UK for Work
Spanish citizens can move to the UK to work if they meet certain requirements. For most of those moving from Spain to the UK for work, the new Skilled Worker Visa will be the most suitable option.
The main requirements to be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa in the UK are as follows:
- You must have been offered a job by a UK employer which holds a sponsorship licence. (If the employer does not have a sponsorship licence, they cannot legally employ you)
- You must score at least 70 points on the points-based system
- You must have been given a certificate of sponsorship from the employer
- The job offer must be a ‘genuine vacancy’ and at an appropriate skill level
- The job must offer a certain minimum salary, which differs depending on the job role
- You must be able to prove that your English language ability is to at least the level of B1
- You must have enough money to support yourself (and any family members) whilst you are in the UK
- You may also need to provide a criminal record certificate
Your UK employer will need to undertake various duties in order to legally sponsor you.
Most importantly, they must hold a sponsorship licence and provide you with your unique certificate of sponsorship number, which you will need to quote in your UK Work Visa application.
The UK Points-Based System
Under the new UK immigration system, anyone who wishes to work in the UK under a Skilled Worker Visa will need to score at least 70 points on the points-based system.
There are mandatory points and tradeable points in the system. You can accrue points through your level of education, as well as if your job is in a shortage occupation role.
The mandatory points are:
- Offer of a job from a UK company with a sponsorship licence (20 points)
- Job at the appropriate skill level (20 points)
- English-language ability at the level of at least B1 (10 points)
Your job role must meet the conditions above for you to be eligible for the UK Skilled Worker Visa. It is important to keep in mind that the rules differ slightly for those who wish to work in healthcare or education.
If the job is offering a salary of at least £25,600 per year/the going rate for the job (whichever is higher), you will score another 20 points, giving you 70 points in total. However, it is not a requirement to have a salary of at least £25,600. You can score the additional 20 points through other measures.
- 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
Are There Any Other UK Work Visas?
In addition to the Skilled Workers Visa there are three other standard UK work visas. These visas are:
- Senior or Specialist Worker Visa: If you have been offered a position in the UK branch of a multi-national company, you could be eligible for this visa. You must be paid at least £41,500 or the ‘going rate’ for the job in order to be eligible
- Tier 2 Intra-company Graduate Trainee Visa: This visa is for those who are looking to transfer to the UK as part of a graduate training programme
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa: You could be eligible for this visa if you have been offered a position in a faith-based community in the UK
- Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa: This is for professional, internationally-recognised sportspeople
Each of the UK Work Visas have different requirements. To find out more about any of the visas, please do not hesitate to call us on 0333 305 9375.
What are the Tier 1 Visas?
The UK Tier 1 Visas are the Investor Visa, Innovator Visa and Start-up Visa. The Tier 1 visas are for those who wish to invest/start their own business in the UK. You will need to fulfil a number of requirements to be eligible for one of the Tier 1 Visas.
If you would like more information about any of the Tier 1 visas, including the full requirements, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.
UK Investor Visa
This is for those who have a large amount of money to invest in the UK. To be eligible for this visa, you need at least £2,000,000 to invest in active and trading businesses in the UK.
The Investor Visa offers particularly attractive benefits, and you could be eligible for settled status in the UK far sooner than those on other immigration permissions.
You will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain after:
- Two years if £10 million has been invested
- Three years if £5 million has been invested
- Five years if £2 million has been invested
UK Innovator Visa
The Innovator Visa is for experienced businesspeople who have at least £50,000 to invest and a business idea which has been endorsed by an authorised body. The business idea must be new, innovative and viable.
In some cases, you will be able to apply for settlement after three years of residency in the UK.
This is for those at the beginning of their entrepreneur journeys. Your business idea must have been endorsed by an authorised body. However, you do not need to have a specific amount of minimum funds to apply for the Start-up Visa.
What are the Family Visas in the UK?
As a Spanish citizen, you might be able to move to the UK on the basis of your relationship to a family member through the process of family reunificaiton. Your family member must be a British or Irish citizen, or have settled status in the UK, such as Indefinite Leave to Remain, or be registered on the EU Settled Scheme.
The following family members could be eligible for a UK Family Visa:
- Spouse/civil partner
- Long-term unmarried partner
- Fiance/proposed civil partner
- A relative who will receive long-term care from their UK family member
The most common of the UK Family Visas is the Spouse Visa. This is a particularly sought-after UK visa, offering holders the chance to work and study in the UK without any restrictions. You will need to meet a number of requirements to be eligible for the Spouse Visa. You also must provide substantial evidence in your Spouse Visa application.
The main requirements for a UK Spouse Visa are as follows:
- You must have a recognised marriage/civil partnership certificate
- You must be able to provide evidence which demonstrates that you are in a ‘genuine and subsisting relationship’ with your UK partner
- You need to have met your UK partner in-person
- You must be able to prove that it is not a marriage of convenience, which means it hasn’t been conducted for fraudulent purposes
- You must have adequate accommodation to live in in the UK
- You must be able to understand and communicate in English to a certain level
- You must have combined annual income with your partner of at least £18,600. If any children will be joining you as dependents, this sum increases by £3,800 for the first child and £2,400 per child for every other child
You might be able to apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa if you have been in a genuine relationship with your partner for at least two years. You will need to meet similar conditions as Spouse Visa applicants and provide substantial evidence to prove your eligibility too.
With the Fiance Visa/proposed Civil Partner Visa, you can only stay in the UK for up to six months. However, this visa offers a relatively smooth transition to the aforementioned Spouse Visa.
Other family reunification routes:
- As the parent of a child in the UK to care for them. Your child must be under 18 on the date you apply and must not be living an independent life
- As a child who is under 18 and will be joining their parent/legal guardian in the UK
- For those who need long-term care from a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son or daughter who is living permanently in the UK
What is the Application Process for UK Visas?
UK visa applications are generally all conducted online. You can usually begin the application process up to three months before you plan to arrive in the UK (and earlier in some cases).
You will need to provide certain information and documents with all UK visa applications. The exact information which you need to provide depends on the visa you are applying for and your exact circumstances.
If you want to work in the UK, study or reunite with family, you will usually need to provide the following information:
- Your passport
- Evidence which demonstrates you meet certain financial requirements to support yourself in the UK
- A test certificate from an approved test provider indicating your level of English (or a unique number)
- Marriage and birth certificates (for Family Visa applications)
- Certificate of sponsorship (for Work Visa applications)
- Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (for Student Visa applications)
In addition to this, you will need to provide information specifically relating to your visa. For example, if you are applying for a Spouse Visa, you will need to provide evidence which demonstrates that your relationship is genuine. As a Skilled Worker Visa applicant, you will need to provide evidence of the position being a ‘genuine vacancy, for instance.
You may be asked to verify certain documents when you submit your portfolio of evidence. However, this is not always the case.
One of the main things to be aware of is that any document which you provide which is in Spanish (or any language other than English or Welsh), must be translated by an accredited translator. You will need to include both the copies and the original documents in your portfolio of evidence.
As mentioned, the specific required documents for UK visa applications depends on the specific visa. Here at the Immigration Advice Service, we can help you to prepare your portfolio of evidence.
Our experienced immigration lawyers will assist you with gathering all your required documentation to prove your eligibility for your chosen visa, ensuring that everything meets all necessary administrative standards.
They will take the time to understand your unique circumstances and formulate a plan of action to secure your UK visa and begin a new and exciting life in the UK.
Once your portfolio of evidence is ready for submission, your UK immigration lawyer will complete your application form and submit the full application. They will also write a letter of recommendation to highlight the merits of your case.
Can I Study in the UK as a Spanish Citizen?
With some of the most famous universities in the world and a rich heritage of education, the UK has always been a popular destination for international students.
When the United Kingdom left the European Union, it also left the Erasmus scheme. This means that Spanish citizens will need to apply for a UK Student Visa in order to study in the UK.
You must have received an unconditional offer from an approved UK educational establishment to be eligible for the Student Visa.
You will need to have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from the university to start your Student Visa application.
Here are the main requirements for the UK Student Visa:
- You must have an unconditional offer from an approved sponsoring institution, and receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from them
- You must be taking a course which leads to an approved qualification and at an appropriate level of study
- Must have the relevant academic qualifications needed to take the course
- You will need to prove 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 genuinely intend to study in the UK
- You must be able to financially support yourself in the UK
As with the Skilled Worker Visa, you will need to score 70 points on the point-based system too. The minimum points-threshold is met through:
- Receiving a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies: 50 points
- Proof you meet the minimum financial means needed: 10 points
- Your English language ability is at the level of B2: 10 points
UK Student Visa Fee and Application
The Student Visa is one of the least expensive of all the UK visas. The total fee for a UK Student Visa for a Spanish student is £348.
However, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge. As a student, you will receive a 20% discount on this which means you will have to pay £470 per year for the UK immigration health surcharge.
Also, you need to keep translation fees in mind. If any of your Student Visa application documents are not in English, they must be translated.
You should receive a decision on your Student Visa application within three weeks of submitting it.
As with most long-term UK visa applications, you will need to prove your identity too. Most people should be able to do this through the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app (you need a biometric passport and compatible smartphone to do this).
Otherwise, you will need to go to a Visa Application Centre to give your fingerprints and a photo (biometric information).
What are the Financial Requirements for the UK Student Visa?
As mentioned, you need to prove that you have certain financial means if you want to study in the UK as a Spanish citizen. The amount depends on where you will be studying and what you will be studying.
You must prove 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
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
Can I Still Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme in the UK?
If you were living in the UK by 31st December 2020, you could be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. Through applying to join the EU Settlement Scheme, you will essentially be able to live under the same conditions as you did before Britain left the EU.
If you have a family member such as a spouse/civil partner, long-term partner, parent or child who was living in the UK by 31st December 2020, you will usually be able to join them in the UK through applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.
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 for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30th June 2021. You must have been living in the UK by 31st December 2020 to be eligible.
When Can I Apply for Permanent Residency in the UK?
This depends on the UK visa/immigration permission you have been living under. Typically, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after you have spent five years living in the UK. This includes those who are in the UK under a Skilled Worker Visa, a Tier 2 Visa and a Spouse Visa or other family visa. However, if you have been living in the UK under an Investor Visa or Innovator Visa, you could be eligible sooner.
The main requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain are:
- Must not have spent more than 180 days outside the UK in a 12-month period
- Must have lived in the UK according to your immigration conditions
- Must achieve a pass in the Life in the UK test
After you have spent one year living in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain, you can apply for British Citizenship and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship.
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The UK visa application fees are as follows:
- 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
The UK recently announced that citizens of a select group of countries (primarily EU countries) will receive a £55 discount on their UK visa application fee for at least some visas. Spanish citizens are included in this new scheme.
As well as these fees, it’s important to keep in mind that Spanish citizens will need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge. The standard rate is £624 per year, though you might not need to pay as much, depending on your circumstances.
As a Spanish citizen, you will need to prove that you can understand and communicate in English to a certain level, which differs depending on the visa you are applying for. Usually, you will need to prove a level of B1 or B2.
You will need to show that your English language ability is proficient in speaking, writing, listening and reading.
Usually, you will need to pass a SELT test from an approved provider to prove your level of English. You can take approved English language tests in Spain.
The approved test centres in Spain are:
- IELTS SELT Consortium at BC Madrid
- LanguageCert at Madrid
- Pearson at Pearson Professional Centers-Madrid
- PSI at TLS – Madrid
You will not need to take an English language test if:
- You have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English
- Hold a degree level qualification or higher which was taught in English
- Already proved your level of English with another UK visa application
If you have been given a long-term visa to stay in the UK, you can usually include direct family members in your application as dependents.
- A spouse/civil partner
- Long-term unmarried partner
- Child under 18
- Dependent child over 18
You will need to pay the same application fee as your own for any family member who will be joining you as a dependent. You will also need to prove that you have more financial means to support yourself and your family in the UK.
The new UK Health and Care Visa is a cheaper and more efficient immigration permission for healthcare professionals to work in the UK.
You will be able to apply to live and work in the UK at a cheaper rate, and you and your family will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge too.
For Spanish citizens, a Health and Care Visa for up to three years costs £177 and £409 for more than three years.
To be eligible for this visa, you must be a qualified doctor, nurse, healthcare professional or adult social care professional and been offered a job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.
The visa is valid for five years, after which you can apply for permanent residency.
The Immigration Advice Service is a leading immigration law firm with a wealth of experience in the field. We provide expert immigration legal advice and application assistance in all areas of immigration law.
If you are looking to move to the UK from Spain, we can help to make your dream a reality. With our application package, we will help you to formulate your UK visa application to the very highest standard, maximising your chances of securing your UK visa.
One of our experienced immigration lawyers will work with you, taking the time to understand your own unique circumstances. They will assist you in preparing your crucial portfolio of evidence, ensuring that it contains all necessary information.
We will also complete your application form and submit your full application to the Home Office, accompanied by a letter of recommendation highlighting the merits of your case. We will liaise with the Home Office throughout the application processing stage, keeping you informed of your application’s progress.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you to emigrate to the UK form Spain, please call us now on 0333 305 9375.