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New Year, New U(K) – What are your options if your 2019 resolution is to relocate?

It’s January 2019, and while many New Year’s resolutions will already have been broken, do you remain steadfast in your plan to move to the UK this year?

The options for UK visas are varied, and depend on your skills and experience, what you hope to do in the UK, and where you come from. This blog looks at some of the available routes, and key details you will need to know.

EU nationals

For now, the UK remains part of the EU, and with that comes Free Movement rights for UK citizens across Europe, and for European citizens in the UK. Although the UK currently plans to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, rights for EU citizens will not change overnight, and there is a published settled status scheme which sets out how EU nationals can relocate to the UK until December 2020.  You can read more about the scheme in our previous blog post, or contact one of our experts to discuss your plans.


Those wishing to the come to the UK to study require the sponsorship of an approved UK education provider. Students need to demonstrate that they have the academic ability to learn in the UK (eg they can speak sufficient English to complete the course), and that they have sufficient funding to support themselves here.  We published top tips for students in a previous blog post, and our experts are ready to give up to date advice.

Temporary workers

There are multiple options for those who wish to complete temporary work in the UK, including the youth mobility route for young adults (you can read about how this allows work as nannies and au pairs here), and the short-term route for entertainers and artists.  Temporary options also include business visitors, but permitted activities in that route are restricted, and specialist advice is advisable.

Permanent workers

Individuals wanting to work in the UK full-time require specific sponsorship from a UK company, approved to support visa applications in that way. This is a tricky route to navigate, with skills and salary requirements to negotiate, as well as a cap on the overall number of workers permitted.  An example of how the route works can be seen in our previous blog post about sponsored chefs, but if you would like to discuss your options, contact one of our experts today.

Self-employment and exceptional talent

Entrepreneurs, investors and exceptional talent applicants have their own immigration routes dependent on available funding, business plans or specialist endorsement. Big changes are planned to many of these routes, and you can read our commentary on the December 2018 Immigration White Paper here.  Our experts can assist with applications in all of these categories and more, and can advise on the best fit for you.

Family members

If you would like to move to the UK to join a loved one, there are specific requirements to meet. You can read our previous articles about partner visas here, although requirements and fees are constantly changing (note that the costs are now higher), and you should speak to an expert before making an application.  If you are hoping to relocate to join a different family member, to retire in the UK near to your children for example, then the adult dependant relative route might be for you.  You can see our commentary on the limitations of this option here; contact one of our experts to discuss your individual circumstances.


If your plans are less permanent, and you simply like to travel to the UK for a holiday, then a visit visa might be all you need. Unhappily, even this short-term route can cause issues for applicants, and we previously highlighted some of the pitfalls here.  To minimise your chances of refusal, contact us today to take specialist advice.

To make your relocation plans come true, speak to our of our experts by calling 0161 234 6800 (Manchester and London) or 0151 305 9600 (Liverpool) or by completing our contact form.