Living in the UK as a non-UK citizen. Are you aware of the UK government’s latest policy statement concerning immigration? It’s a reminder that no matter how long you’ve lived in the UK as an immigrant, some terms and conditions guide your stay. And of course, these rules change with the government.
That said, returning to your country is imminent unless you know what to do. We’ll be examining the top six things you must bear in mind as long as you haven’t earned citizenship but wish to keep living in the UK.
1. Time Counts
Whatever visa of entry you have, the countdown to expiration begins. Do well to keep track of the expiry date of your stay as stipulated on your entry document. If your visa expires, you have only 30 days to leave the country or seek alternative legal means of stay.
Hence, you should apply for a visa renewal or extension before the one you hold expires. For example, as a student, you can switch to a graduate visa to extend your stay for two years after graduation. You can do this by online application.
If you are a worker, carry your sponsor along. They can assist you by issuing another certificate of sponsorship to begin processing the same visa you used for entry.
2. Remember the Points
The UK operates with a point-based system. It becomes pertinent to consider how your actions add up or reduce your points. One of such requirements is to stay employed. Being employed means having a stable source of income to care for yourself and your dependents.
Unless you have settled status, you have no right to public aid and welfare. Besides, you will have to tender your financial documents as proof that you can sustain yourself.
3. There is a Possibility of Permanent Residency
Depending on how long you’ve stayed and the type of visa you have, you can apply for indefinite leave to remain. If you can do that, you can count yourself settled.
Getting the status for permanent residence can make your stay a lot easier. The occasional hassles that come with renewing your visa come to an end. Moreover, you’ll have access to almost all of the benefits of being a UK citizen.
There are conditions to meet to get settled status. These include having a stable income or a full-time job, good moral conduct, and scaling the Knowledge of Life in the UK test.
Also, remember that you would have to pay the indefinite leave to remain fee and a few more charges. Consider finding a seasoned immigration lawyer to help you measure your chances and see you through the process.
Should your application for indefinite leave to remain fall through, it still doesn’t make you a citizen still. There are still conditions to fulfil so that you won’t lose the status. Among these requisites are staying off crime and less than two years of interrupted residency in the country.
4. You can Become a Citizen
After getting the indefinite leave to remain, the idea of becoming a citizen should appeal to you. There’ll be no restriction to your privileges. You can vote and even run for governmental office in the future.
Thankfully, the UK allows dual citizenship. That means you won’t have to renounce your country of origin to become a UK national. Meanwhile, you need to check to ascertain that your country permits the same.
You can apply to become a citizen a year after you’ve received your permanent residency.
5. Live Within the Law.
The UK remains one of the top immigrant-friendly countries. Notwithstanding, several regulations keep springing that would keep immigrants in the region on their toes. If you’ve had the privilege of entry, we strongly advise you to stay legal by every means.
Perhaps the last thing to remember is that though the UK is among the top ten immigrant-friendly countries, they rank equally high in judicial system efficiency.
6. Spend Wisely
As you would have discovered, there are lots of bills to pick up. Manage your finance through informed budgeting. Living well doesn’t have to be expensive.
Make your enquiries. There’ll be places you can go to for budget buys. By all means, have some savings. Who knows when it will come in handy?
Even though you are not a citizen in the UK, you have every opportunity of fulfilling your dreams, and knowing the steps to take is crucial. Principal among them is to avoid deportation by living right.
Lastly, there are lots of beautiful places to see. It doesn’t matter how long you intend to stay, do well to relish every moment.