Moving to the UK from Canada

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The UK is home to the third largest community in the Canadian diaspora. Up to 90,000 Canadians currently live in the UK, with many more undergoing the process of moving from Canada to UK each year.

At IAS, we provide assistance and advice if you are a Canadian moving to the UK. Our UK visa experts can assist you with your application from the beginning to the end. Whether you are working, investing, or studying, there is a visa for you. If you’re seeking a visa for your Canadian partner or are looking to live with a British family member, we can provide tailored advice just for you.

How can IAS help?

We have compiled the following advice for those Canadians that are interested in moving to the UK from Canada by answering some questions we have already received. However, if you’re seriously thinking about moving to England and require UK immigration advice, get in touch with our team of specialist immigration lawyers by calling 0333 363 8577 or making an enquiry online.

FAQs

I’m a Canadian moving to the UK, what are my options?

If you are a looking to begin the process of moving from Canada to UK for longer than six months, you will need a visa relevant to your current situation.

In order to turn your visa application into a success, you will need to fill out your application carefully and honestly with knowledge of the UK’s immigration rules. You will need to provide your reasons for moving and other criteria based on which visa is most suited to you. Your application needs careful consideration with the proper immigration advice.

Generally, you will be able to move to the UK as long as you meet the correct visa requirements. To assist you further, we have summarised the most common visa categories below, and there is more in-depth information surrounding each visa type on our website.

Am I eligible for a Working Visa?

There is a vast variety of visas for Canadians seeking work in the UK. Yet each visa requires different criteria and documents.

Tier 1 Visas are great for high-value migrants such as investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders. These visas do not require you to have a job offer in the UK but still have some very strict requirements.

A Tier 2 (General) Visa requires proof that you are a skilled worker who has been offered a job from a recognised workplace for a permanent (longer than six months) contract. The workplace should hold a UK Sponsor Licence.

A Tier 5 Temporary Visa allows you to work in the UK as a skilled worker for a period of six months or less. The workplace should also hold a UK Sponsor Licence.

For this reason, your individual situation and skills determine which working visa you require. To decide which visa category best suits your circumstances, contact one of our immigration experts who can assist you with no-obligation advice.

Am I eligible for a Spouse Visa?

If you’re a Canadian national wishing to join your husband, wife, or partner who is a British citizen, you will need to apply for a Spouse Visa or Partner Visa before travelling. These visa types give you a lot more flexibility, as you can work freely in the UK during your residency – unlike most other visas. You can stay in the UK for up to 30 months, from which you can then extend your visa for another 30 months. After these 60 months, you will then be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) should you want permanent residency.

Spouse Visas are infamously difficult to get and are more likely to be refused than any other. So, if you are moving to the UK from Canada using a Spouse Visa, you must be able to prove your relationship is genuine. The criteria are as follows:

  • You must prove that you are legally married and that you have a genuine relationship with your spouse in the eyes of the UK government.
  • You must demonstrate your intention to live together.
  • You must be able to financially support yourself without access to any government funding.
  • Your British partner must make £18,600 per year as a minimum requirement, which then increases per dependent child that you may be bringing with you.

What is an Unmarried Partner Visa?

If you’re looking to join your British boyfriend or girlfriend who lives in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa. This visa lasts for 30-33 months depending on your application.

Obtaining this type of visa is also notoriously difficult. It comes with further complications as there is no blood relation or binding law that puts you and your partner together on paper. The criteria are as follows:

  • You both must be over 18 years old
  • You must be able to prove that your relationship is legitimate and genuine by providing substantial evidence.
  • You must prove that any previous relationships – married or unmarried – have ended.
  • You must be either engaged, intending to embark in a civil partnership, or have been living together for at least 2 years.
  • If you are planning to marry or enter a civil partnership, you must provide proof that you plan to do so within the first six months of arriving to the UK.
  • You must also live with your British partner throughout your stay in the UK.
  • You need to demonstrate that your British partner earns a minimum of £18,600 per year – which again increases should you be bringing any of your own children with you.

Can I apply for a UK Family Visa as a Canadian citizen?

If you have a British family member currently living in the UK that you wish to live with, or a relative residing there under permanent settlement status, then you may be eligible to apply for a Family of a Settled Person Visa. This visa allows you to move to the UK for 6 months up to 33 months, with the possibility to extend your visa further. You can also work and study in the UK using your UK Family Visa. However, the requirements outlined in the application process are strict and are as follows:

  • You have to be over 18.
  • You must be able to prove that the relationship to your family member is genuine and legally recognised by the Home Office.
  • You need to prove that you will remain living with your family member throughout your stay.
  • Your British family member must also have sufficient space for you both to live.

If you’re not working, you will need to show that you will be financially supported and accommodated without help from the UK government.

If one of your grandparents were born in the UK, you may also be eligible to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa.

Am I eligible for a Student Visa?

If you’re a Canadian moving to the UK to study, you should look to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa.

Before applying for this visa, you must:

  • Already have an offer from a certified university that holds a Tier 4 Sponsorship Licence.
  • Show evidence that you have enough money in your savings to support yourself and pay for your course.

Keep in mind that you are only permitted to work in paid employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week as not to disturb your studies.

Will I be affected by Brexit?

No, moving from England to Canada will not be impacted by Britain’s departure from the EU. Brexit will only come into effect for European Citizens following from 2019/20.

What services does IAS offer?

As one of the largest immigration advice firms in the UK, the lawyers at IAS are well-equipped and experienced in making visa applications for Canadians moving to the UK.

Our application services include:

  • Advising you in-depth on your options for entry to the UK (the advice session can be conducted over the phone or via Skype);
  • identifying the correct route for you and ensuring you meet the criteria;
  • informing you of the relevant documentation required and how to collect it;
  • completing and submitting your application forms for you;
  • maintaining contact with the Home Office/UK authorities throughout the application process.

If you require assistance or advice on any of the visa categories above, get in touch with one of our expert advisers online or by calling 0333 363 8577 to discuss your options.

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