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UK Visa for Indians: Moving to the UK from India

There are an abundance of opportunities for Indians who wish to move to, and settle in, the United Kingdom.

For more information about moving to the UK from India, including how you can obtain a visa, the application process, and help with settling in once you arrive, speak to one of our immigration advisers today. Call us on +44333 4149244, or contact us online.


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    At IAS, we understand that every case and client is unique, so we provide bespoke assessment and support to each client. With us, you get a dedicated immigration lawyer who is dedicated to ensuring your application is successful. Enjoy the following benefits with IAS:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    A personalised Letter of Representation to help compile a compelling case for approval

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    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Overview of Moving to the UK from India

    At over 1.4 million individuals, Indians make up the largest ethnic minority in the United Kingdom.

    The influence that Indian culture has had on the UK is also unmistakeable, with British food, film, TV and ways of life being heavily influenced by the UK and India’s historic political and social relationships.

    As it stands, the UK is still one of the most popular destinations for Indians to move to and settle in, not in the least because of the existing strength of Indian communities in the UK. This is particularly the case in areas such as London, Birmingham and the West Midlands, which have the largest proportion of Indians than anywhere else in the country.

    There are numerous ways that you will be able to come and live in the UK, most of which will involve applying for a visa. There are a number of visas to suit different needs, such as those for skilled workers, those who have British ancestry, or those who already have family residing in the UK.

    How Can I Settle in the UK?

    The main way you’ll be able to settle in the UK is through applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which is the UK’s term for permanent settlement. This will allow you to:

    • Live, work and study in the UK for as long as you want
    • Access NHS services for free
    • Access public funds and claim benefits
    • Sponsor family members to come to the UK and join you
    • Apply for British citizenship (after spending one year in the UK with ILR)

    In order to be eligible for ILR, you must first spend a certain amount of time in the UK with a valid UK visa and build up qualifying residence.

    This normally means that you can’t have spent more than 180 days outside of the UK in any 12 month period.

    In most cases, you will have to build up at least 5 years’ worth of qualifying residence in the UK before you can apply for ILR.

    Not all UK visas will allow you to stay in the UK for 5 years and apply for ILR. However, there are still many that will allow you to do so, such as the Skilled Worker visaAncestry visa, and Spouse visa or Family visa.

    After spending one year in the UK with ILR, you will also then have the option of applying for British citizenship, which will also give you the right to a British passport and the right to vote in all UK elections.

    UK Work Visas for Indians

    If your preference is to come to the UK and work in order to permanently settle, you may apply for one of the UK’s many work visas.

    The most popular of these is the Skilled Worker visa, which is the UK’s general work visa for skilled foreign workers. It covers a wide range of occupations, and allows you to come and live in the UK as long as you have a job offer from an approved employer.

    This employer will also act as your sponsor while you’re in the UK and issue you with a certificate of sponsorship If you happen to switch employers, or to a different occupation with the same employer, you will have to apply for another certificate of sponsorship.

    The Skilled Worker visa will require you to meet minimum English language requirements, as well having an eligible job that meets the minimum threshold in terms of salary.

    It will also allow you to settle permanently in the UK after 5 years.

    Other UK work visas include the Senior and Specialist Worker visa, which is for people who wish to work in a UK-based branch of their current employer, and the Scale-Up visa, which is for those who can help contribute to businesses experiencing rapid growth.

    For those specifically working in the health or care sectors, there is also the Health and Care Worker visa.

    UK Health and Care Worker visa for Indians

    The UK Health and Care Worker visa is specifically targeted at doctors, nurses, health professionals or adult social care professionals who wish to come and settle in the UK.

    This visa encompasses numerous health and care professions, including (but not limited to) the following:

    • Medical practitioners
    • Nurses
    • Midwifes
    • Pharmaceutical technicians
    • Social workers
    • Care workers and home carers

    The full list can be found on the Gov.uk website.

    To be eligible for this visa, you must have a job offer from an approved health and care sector employer, such as the NHS or an organisation that provides adult social care.

    Your job must also meet the minimum salary requirements, which will normally be £20,480 or the ‘going rate’ of the job – whichever is higher.

    You must also prove that you can speak English to a certain minimum standard to come to the UK on this visa.

    Similarly to the Skilled Worker visa, the Health and Care Worker visa will allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years. After you do so, you will no longer be tied to the job that you’ve been sponsored for, and you can take up any employment you like.

    Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from India.

    UK Ancestry Visa for Indians

    One unique route that some Indians may take advantage of to settle in the UK is the Ancestry visa.

    This is a visa specifically for Commonwealth nations and British Overseas nations. It allows those with one or more British grandparents to come and settle in the UK on the basis of having British ancestry.

    In order to qualify for this visa, you must be an Indian citizen and prove that one of your grandparents was born in one of the following circumstances:

    • In the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
    • Before 31 March 1922 in what is now Ireland
    • On a ship or aircraft that was either registered in the UK or belonged to the UK government

    You need to also prove that you intend to work in the UK, and that you meet the minimum financial requirements.

    If you can successfully prove that you meet all the requirements, you will be able to live, work and study in the UK, as well as the ability to bring your partner or child with you.

    After 5 years of being in the UK with the Ancestry visa, you may then apply for indefinite leave to remain.

    UK Family Visas for Indians

    One of the most popular immigration routes for Indians is to apply for a UK Family visa. This will allow you to settle with a family member who is already settled in the UK.

    To be eligible for this visa, your family member must be one of the following:

    • A British or Irish citizen
    • Someone with settled status in the UK, such as through indefinite leave to remain or through the EU Settlement Scheme
    • Someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK

    You may apply for a Family visa if you are related in any of the following ways to your UK-based family member:

    • Spouse, partner or unmarried partner
    • Parent
    • Child
    • Adult dependent relative

    In order to apply, you will normally have to meet the minimum financial requirements. This is to demonstrate that you won’t have to claim any benefits while in the UK. You may also have to prove your knowledge of English.

    A Family visa will allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 years in the UK.

    How Can IAS Help?

    India and the UK share a historically prosperous and mutually beneficial political and social relationship. The Indian community in the UK in particular is particularly notable for how well-established it is in the UK, and for how easy it is to Indians to integrate into British culture.

    If you require any additional assistance with your move to UK from India, including help with visas or the logistics of moving, then IAS can help.

    As well as providing complete legal immigration support for our clients, we also offer comprehensive concierge services to make migrating to the UK smooth and seamless.

    As part of our services, we can assist with the moving of furniture, belongings and pets, helping you look for places to stay in the UK, and bespoke, personalised services to help you settle into your new home.

    Our personalised services include helping you sign up with a local GP, helping you research local schools for your children, and helping to organise your utilities and council tax for your primary residence.

    For more information about the services we offer, and how we can help with your move to the UK, the European Economic Area, or anywhere else in the world, speak to one of our helpful advisers on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    You will be able to apply for British citizenship once you’ve spent at least one year in the UK on indefinite leave to remain.

    British citizenship means that you will have the right to reside in the UK indefinitely, spend as much time outside the UK as you want, and also vote and stand for public office.

    However, it’s important to remember that India does not allow its citizens to hold dual citizenship.

    This means that if you become a fully naturalised British citizen, you will also have to renounce your Indian passport and your Indian citizenship.

    In most cases, you will have to apply for a UK visa online through the Gov.uk website before you travel.

    Here, you will have to fill in the visa application form and provide a range of supporting documents in order to prove that you’re eligible for a visa. You will also have to pay the relevant application fees for your chosen visa.

    You may also have to attend a local visa application centre in order to give your biometrics information such as your fingerprints and a photograph.

    There are a number of visa application centres located throughout India, which means that you likely won’t have to travel too far to get to one.

    The UK visa application centres in India are as follows:

    Ahmedabad Goa Mumbai North
    Bengaluru Gurgaon Mumbai South
    Chandigarh Hyderabad New Delhi
    Chennai Jaipur Pune
    Cochin Jalandhar
    Coimbatore Kolkata

    UK visas vary greatly in terms of cost. However, as a general guide, below are the application fees for the visas already listed on this page, as well as the cost of applying for indefinite leave to remain:

    UK Visa or Settlement Permission Cost
    Indefinite leave to remain £2,404
    Skilled Worker visa Between £625 and £1,423
    Senior and Specialist Worker visa Between £625 and £1,423
    Scale-Up visa £715
    Health and Care Worker visa Between £247 and £479
    Ancestry visa £531
    Family visa Between £1,538 and £3,250
    British citizenship £1,330

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