Moving from China to the United Kingdom
Chinese citizens make up a significant proportion of the UK’s migrant population. There are many reasons why Chinese citizens would like to move from China to the UK, including the chance to study at world-class educational institutions, begin a new career, start a business, or even begin a life together here with a British partner.
No matter why you would like to move from China to the UK, you will need a UK visa to do so. Luckily, there are many visa options available to Chinese citizens. The type of visa that you will need will depend on why you are moving to Britain and your specific circumstances.
Studying in the UK as a Chinese citizen
Chinese students make up the largest proportion of the UK’s international student population. Every year thousands of Chinese citizens come to the United Kingdom to become students here. The UK is home to many world-class education institutions, this combined with the lively student culture in cities across the country, makes it an appealing place for international students.
Chinese citizens who wish to study here will need to use the Student Route to apply for a UK student visa. The student visa will allow you to live in the United Kingdom for the duration of your studies.
To be eligible, you will need an offer to study on a course at a registered UK educational facility. You will also need to demonstrate your knowledge of the English language (this can be done by passing an English language test approved by the UK government) and prove that you can financially support yourself whilst in Britain. You can apply up to 6 months before you leave China.
If you are under 18 then you will need permission from your parents and will prove this in your application.
Chinese students must also provide their tuberculosis test results as part of their visa application.
Moving from China to join a partner in the UK
Being away from a loved one can be tough, if your partner is in the United Kingdom then you may be able to move from China to join them here.
There are several different types of partner visas available to Chinese citizens, they include:
- Spouse Visa – if you are married to, or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen or settled person in Great Britain, then you could be eligible for this visa. It allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 months, can be extended, and is also a route to Indefinite Leave to Remain.
- Unmarried Partner visa – if you are in a serious and long-term relationship with a British citizen or settled person then you could be eligible for this visa, you will need to prove that your relationship is genuine and subsisting. This visa is also valid for up to 30 months.
- Fiance Visa – if you plan to marry your British partner whilst in the country then you could be eligible for a Fiance Visa. It is valid for six months, after this you can switch to a Spouse Visa once you have married your partner.
Our lawyers can help you to begin your life together with your partner in the UK. They can support you with a partner visa application and can also assess your eligibility.
Migrating from China to work in the UK
There are many opportunities available for Chinese nationals who wish to work here, and many UK sectors rely on the work that Chinese immigrants do. You will need to apply for a work visa to be able to move from China to work in the UK.
The Skilled Worker Visa is open to anyone with a job offer for an eligible skilled role in the UK. Several requirements must be met, including meeting the relevant salary threshold, proving your knowledge of the English language and passing the Resident Labour Market Test. The company employing you must also be registered as an official sponsor company.
Something important to note is that any Chinese documents that you intend to submit with your application will need to be translated into English first.
Business and investment opportunities for Chinese nationals
Chinese businesses in the UK are thriving, with research showing increasing revenue growth from the thousands of Chinese-owned businesses that the UK is currently home to. As well as this, the UK’s exit from the EU means that the UK government is likely to attempt to build more investment channels with China.
If you are looking to start a new business in the UK, or to invest in British business, then there are several visa options available:
- The Investor Visa – open to anyone who intends to invest £2,000,000 or more in the UK. You must be over the age of 18 and prove that you have the funds available. This visa will allow you to remain in the UK for 3 years and four months, and can be extended for another 2 years. It can also be a route to settlement depending on the amount of money you can invest.
- The Innovator Visa – open to those planning to start an innovative business in the UK, the business plan must be approved by an endorsing body, and there are several other requirements you must meet. This visa will allow you to remain in the UK for 3 years, and there is no limit on the number of times it can be extended.
Hong Kong BN(O) Visa
Following the passing of a new security law in Hong Kong by Beijing, tensions in the region have been increasing. Because of this, the British government has recently introduced a new immigration route that will allow many Hong Kong residents to move to the United Kingdom.
Applications for the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) visa will open on the 31st January 2021. To be eligible, you must have a British National (Overseas) passport.
If you’re applying from outside the UK, you and your family members must normally live in Hong Kong. If you’re already here, you must normally live in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, or Hong Kong.
The visa will allow BN(O) citizens and their close family members to live, work or study in the United Kingdom for up to 30 months. They will also have access to health care in the UK. After this the visa can be extended. Applicants will also be able to apply for a residence permit for settlement after spending 5 years here on this visa.
If you do not have BN(O) status, then you may be eligible to apply for asylum in the UK if you are fearing persecution whilst in Hong Kong. Our lawyers can give you more information about asylum and assess your eligibility.
How can IAS help?
Moving from China to the United Kingdom is a life-changing event and can seem overwhelming, no one should go through it alone. Here at IAS, we want to make sure that your move goes smoothly, but we know that the British immigration system is complex. This is why our lawyers are dedicated to supporting you through your immigration journey from start to finish.
During an advice session with one of our excellent lawyers, they will speak to you about your circumstances and why you would like to move to Britain, with this information they can assess your eligibility for the various visas and will let you know which would be the most viable option for you.
Once you have chosen which visa to apply for, your dedicated caseworker will be there to guide you throughout the application process. They can fill in your application form on your behalf and help you to gather a substantial portfolio of evidence.
Applying for a visa from China can make the process even more complex than usual. Although based in the United Kingdom, with offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham, our lawyers can help you no matter where you are as they can offer all of their services remotely. They can arrange an appointment for you over the phone or via Skype call. As well as this, they can liaise with the Home Office on your behalf, checking in on your application and ensuring there are no delays.
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Applications for the Hong Kong BN(O) Visa open on the 31st January 2021. Once open, you will be able to apply using the online form available on the gov.uk website. You will need to fill in the application form and will also be required to submit documents to prove that you have BN(O) status and that you meet the eligibility criteria.
Because this is a new visa, applications may be particularly complex. Our lawyers have the knowledge to be able to guide you through the process. For more information about how they can help you, get in touch now on 0333 305 9375.
Chinese citizens must have a visa to visit the UK from China. The standard visitor visa will allow you to stay in the UK for up to 6 months, you can use it for leisure purposes or to visit friends or family. If you plan to travel with a tour group from China then there is another visa option available to Chinese residents.
The ADS Visa allows you to enter the UK for up to 30 days as part of a tour group. To qualify for this visa you must enter the country as part of a tour group and stay with the group for the whole of your visit. Your tour must also be organised by an ADS licensed Chinese tour operator.
Once you have filled in the online form for this visa, your tour guide will organise an appointment for your group at a Chinese visa office.
Whilst at the Chinese visa office, you will have some of your documents checked and will need to biometric information taken.
For more information about visitor visas for Chinese nationals, contact our lawyers today on 0333 305 9375.
Our lawyers can help people all over the world with their immigration issues. So, If you’re currently living in China out lawyers will still be able to help you. No matter where you are in China, our lawyers will be able to reach you, so whether you are in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan or anywhere else, we can still help.
This is whilst based in cities across the UK, our lawyers also offer all of their services remotely over the phone or via skype call. Whether you are interested in migration to the UK, or would even like to apply for a residence permit or British citizenship, our lawyers offer a number of services to help guide you through the process.
Book an appointment with one of our immigration experts today by calling 0333 305 9375.