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What are UK Visa Options? [Your Ultimate Guide]

    Several visa options are available if you want to start a new life or business in the UK. In this article, we will detail the types of visas you may be eligible for and the requirements for each.

    The current options for high net worth individuals are the Start-Up Visa, the Innovator Visa, the Global Talent Visa, the Skilled Worker Visa,  and the UK Ancestry Visa. Some of these visas require an investment, while others are granted based on family ties or in-demand skills in the United Kingdom.

    In the year ending in June 2022, the UK issued 216,450 visas for skilled workers. We at High Net Worth Immigration are specialists in visa procurement for individuals such as yourself. Once you decide which visa is best for you, we can assist you in securing your place as a UK resident.

    UK Investor Visa Options

    If you are an established entrepreneur or an investor, you might be interested in the Star-Up or the Innovator Visa options.

    Take a look at the requirements below.

    1. Start-Up Visa


    The UK’s Start-Up Visa is for those who wish to create a new business. Applicants need a detailed business plan and prove that the business is entirely new, as you cannot join an existing business. You must also display innovative ideas and that the business is viable with the potential to scale.

    The Start-Up Visa is temporary, and its renewal depends on the continued success of your business. The initial period granted is two years, after which Start-Up Visa holders can apply to move onto an Innovator Visa if the start-up is successful.

    The processing time for the Start-Up Visa is three weeks if you are applying from outside the UK and eight weeks for internal applicants. The fees for this visa are £378 for applicants outside the UK and £508 for those applying to switch visas from within the UK. All dependents are liable for the same fees, plus a healthcare surcharge of £624 per annum.

    Start-Up Visa Requirements 

    Candidates are required:

    • To prove a B2 level of proficiency in English
    • To achieve endorsement from a UK university or an approved body
    • To spend the majority of their time in the UK
    • To be at least 18 years of age
    • To have savings to support themselves while initially in the UK (£1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.)

    2. The Innovator Visa


    The UK’s Innovator Visa is the best option for experienced business people who want to create a new business in the UK. Like with the Start-Up Visa, those hoping to secure an Innovator Visa must create an entirely new company that fills a gap in the current market and has the potential to expand.

    The Innovator Visa is initially granted for three years, after which you can apply for another three years. There is no limit on renewals, but after five years, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

    The processing time for the Innovator Visa is three weeks from outside the UK and eight weeks for internal applications. The current fees for this visa are £1036 for applicants outside the UK and £1,292 for those within the UK. All dependents are liable for the same costs, plus a healthcare surcharge of £624 per annum. 

    Innovator Visa Requirements

    Candidates are required:
    • To make a minimum investment of £50,000
    • To prove a B2 level of proficiency in English
    • To achieve endorsement from an approved body
    • To be at least 18 years of age
    • To have savings to support themselves while initially in the UK (£1,270 in your bank account for 28 consecutive days before you apply.)

    UK Work Visa Options

    Another path to the United Kingdom’s residency is via employment. The Global Talent Visa and the Skilled Worker Visa are the two most common visas.

    1. The Global Talent Visa 

    The UK’s Global Talent Visa is for those who are already established in or show great promise in a particular field, including science, tech, and arts. You must attain an endorsement from a recognized source or apply without endorsement if you have won an applicable award.

    It is a temporary visa of up to five years which then can be renewed an infinite number of times, provided applicants continue to meet the requirements. You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after three or five years, depending on your chosen field.

    The processing time is three weeks if you’re outside the UK and eight weeks if you’re inside the country. The total cost of the visa is £623. Each eligible dependent costs £623, and each person must pay a healthcare surcharge of £624.

    Global Talent Visa Requirements

    Candidates are required:

    • To show proof of international recognition through previous awards OR achieve endorsement from an eligible UK body, including the Royal Society, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and Arts Council England.

    2. The Skilled Worker Visa 


    The Skilled Worker Visa is available to those who have been offered a job, including an offer of sponsorship, by a UK-based company. 

    The job must be in an eligible industry and meet the minimum salary requirement. This is usually set at £25,600, but you can qualify with a lower salary in certain circumstances.

    The visa is issued for up to 5 years, after which you can extend it unlimited times. You must update your visa before it expires.

    After five years on a Skilled Worker Visa, you can apply for ILR. The opportunity for unlimited visa renewals and to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain makes this visa one of the most attractive for those who wish to settle in the UK long term.

    Applicants can apply for their visa up to three months before the start date of their work contract. The processing time is three weeks for those outside the UK and eight weeks for those within the country.

    The Skilled Worker visa fee depends on your job category and ranges between £624 and £1,432, with a healthcare surcharge of £624.

    Skilled Worker Visa Requirements

    Candidates are required:

    • To obtain a job offer in a role that is listed on the Standard Occupation Code (SOC) index
    • To get a job that meets the minimum skill level of RQF3, or an equivalent of at least A-Levels
    • To prove a B1 level of proficiency in English
    • To meet the minimum salary requirements for their industry or job area
    • To have a minimum of £1270 in savings on arrival.


    UK Family Visa Option

    Finally, if you have ancestral ties with the United Kingdom, you may be eligible for the UK’s family visa route as outlined below.

    The UK Ancestry Visa 

    The UK Ancestry Visa is a route to UK residency for those who have eligible familial connections. You must have a grandparent born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man OR a grandparent born before 31 March 1922 on the island of Ireland.

    You can also apply if you are a Commonwealth citizen of a British overseas territory. A more comprehensive list of who is eligible can be found here.

    Once granted, recipients can work and/or study in the UK for up to 5 years, after which the visa can be extended for another five years, or visa holders can apply for ILR.

    You can apply for an ancestry visa no earlier than three months before travelling to the UK. However, you should get a decision from the UK Visas and Immigration Office within three weeks of applying. Furthermore, the dependents can travel with you on this visa.

    UK Ancestry Visa Requirements 

    Candidates are required:

    • To be 17 or older
    • To have enough savings to support themselves and all dependents initially
    • To find employment after arriving
    • To provide proof of an applicable familial connection.


    Engage Experts for Your UK Visa 

    We at High Net Worth Immigration can help you make the best choice for you and your loved ones. Using our in-depth knowledge of all things visa-related, we can match you and your area of expertise to the ideal residency plan.

    Contact us today to find out how we can guide you on the next steps of your journey.free-immigration-consultation

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    Vicky Katsarova

    A citizen of the world in every sense of the phrase, Vicky has done her fair share of traveling. Born and raised in Bulgaria, she spent 10 years living and working in Abu Dhabi before settling down with her family in Nova Scotia, Canada. And it’s only fitting for the CEO and founder of High Net Worth Immigration to be an avid globetrotter—her extensive travels have given her deeper insight and understanding into her clients’ needs.