How to migrate from South Africa to UK in 2022?
Posted on September 29, 2021
If you are in South Africa and are looking at options to migrate to the UK, then you must choose the right visa option. The UK is a popular migration destination owing reasons like a good quality of life, better employment opportunities and higher education options.
Here are details of visa options for migrating to the UK.
Migrating to the UK for work
Under the revised immigration system, the Tier 2 (general) visa category has been replaced with the Skilled Worker visa.
There are two main migration routes available under this visa:
- Tier 2 (General) for highly skilled workers.
- Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) for highly skilled workers from multinational companies who are being transferred to the UK branch.
With the Tier 2 visa, skilled workers from other countries are selected based on a shortage occupation list and receive an offer letter without having to pass a labor market test, allowing them to stay in the UK for up to five years.
Eligibility requirements for the Skilled Worker visa
- Score of 70 points to qualify in the defined parameters like specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions.
- Minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with 2 years of skilled work experience from the eligible occupations list
- A job offer from an employer who is a Home Office licensed sponsor
- Meet the English Language requirement at B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- Meet the general salary threshold of £25,600, or the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.
- Certificate of sponsorship from your UK employer.
The table below explains how your points will be calculated:
|Job offer||20 points|
|Job at appropriate skill level||20 points|
|English speaking skills||10 points|
|Salary of 26,000 and above or relevant PhD in a STEM subject||10 + 10 = 20 points|
Benefits of the Skilled worker visa
- Visa holders can bring dependents on the visa
- Spouse is allowed to work on the visa
- No cap on the number of people who can move to the UK on the visa
- Minimum salary requirement has been reduced to £25600 from threshold of £30000
- Fast Track Visas will be provided for healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses
- No requirement for the Resident Labor Market Test for employers
Moving to the UK on a spouse visa
If you are in a relationship with a British citizen or someone with indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or settled status, you can apply for a UK spouse visa or partner visa.
You and your partner must be over the age of 18 and either in a legally recognized civil partnership or marriage, in a relationship and living together for at least two years, or preparing to marry or become civil partners within six months of coming to the UK.
These partner visas have a validity of two and a half years, after which it can be extended for another two and a half years.
Migrating as a student
If you want to pursue a complete study program in the UK, you can apply for a Tier 4 visa. You can apply for a short-term study visa if you choose to take English language classes or other training courses.
International students have a variety of post-study alternatives.
International students in the UK on a valid Tier 4 visa are allowed to stay in the country after completing their studies if they have a job offer that pays the required annual wage.
To stay in the UK, they can move from a Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa with a five-year validity period.
Students’ post-study work experience will assist them to apply for permanent residence in the UK in the future.
Migrating on a UK ancestry visa
If a South African citizen has a British grandparent, they can apply for an Ancestry visa and move to the United Kingdom. Eligibility requirements for this visa require that the applicant is:
- A citizen of South Africa
- Is over 17 years of age
- Has a grandparent who was born in the UK
- Can work or intends to work in the UK
- Having accommodation arrangements for himself and family members in the UK
Individuals will be able to reside in the UK for up to five years with this visa. If they meet some further requirements after five years, they will be eligible for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which will allow them to live permanently in the UK.
An ancestral visa holder’s partner and children are allowed to accompany them to the UK.
Migrating to the UK to set up a business
There are two visa options to set up business in the UK
Tier 1 Innovator Visa
Tier 1 Startup Visa
Tier 1 Innovator Visa- This visa category is for experienced businesspeople who want to start innovative enterprises in the United Kingdom. This requires m minimum investment of 50,000 pounds , and sponsorship by an endorsing body.
Features of the innovator visa
- You can stay in the UK for up to three years if you enter on an Innovator Visa or are already in the country on another valid visa.
- You can extend the visa for another three years, and you can do it many times.
- You can stay in the country indefinitely after five years on this visa.
Tier 1 Startup Visa
This visa category is reserved for high-potential entrepreneurs who are beginning a business for the first time.
Features of the Startup visa
This visa allows you to stay for up to two years and bring your spouse or partner, as well as unmarried children under the age of 18, with you.
You can fund your stay by working outside of your business.
After two years, you cannot extend your visa, but you can apply for an innovator visa to extend your stay and grow your firm.
In order to select the right visa option which will help you to migrate from South Africa to the UK in 2022, take the help of an immigration consultant who will provide you with the right guidance.