The centuries-old history and traditions of British society are known throughout the world. For centuries Great Britain has played a key role in international politics, actively developing parliamentary democracy and raising the level of scientific and technological progress. The country has a strong and stable economy, with the financial services market taking center stage. Social standards and living standards in the UK are also at a high level.

Residence permit in the United Kingdom

Sufficient financial resources most often contribute to the influx of wealthy foreigners to British lands and is the basis for obtaining a residence permit. However, not only investments give a chance to immigrate to the UK. The reasons for a long stay with the registration of official status can be education in one of the British universities, employment or reunification with relatives. Further, we will talk more about it and answer the question how to get a residence permit in the UK in 2024.

How to get a residence permit in the UK

The total number of foreigners living permanently in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been steadily increasing over the past decades. For example, between 2005 and 2015, the number of foreign-born residents of England and Wales increased by over 65%. And in total, there are over 3 million foreign-born citizens living in the UK. That's a higher percentage than, say, Germany or France, and comparable to the US.

Obtaining a residence permit in the UK for foreigners depends on the specific purpose of the move and fulfillment of a number of requirements. There is a wide range of migration programs in the country that allow you to obtain an entry visa, which is, in fact, a residence permit. As a rule, the term of validity of the residence permit is 5 years, after which it is possible to obtain permanent status (ILR), and then British citizenship.

Before you start practical visa application to Great Britain, you should carefully familiarize yourself with the conditions and requirements for foreigners, actually, on the fulfillment of which depends on the possibility of immigration. For example, a distinctive feature of the British migration policy is the so-called points-based system.

That is, for most visas, especially work visas, there are special criteria, in case of fulfillment of which a foreigner receives a fixed number of points. If the total is sufficient, usually about 95-100 points, you can safely apply for a visa.

What points are awarded for a visa to the UK?

  • age

  • qualification

  • English language skills

  • financial security

  • work experience in the UK

  • previous salary level

Conditions and points may vary depending on the visa category.

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit in the UK

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit in the UK

As mentioned above British laws provide for an extensive range of visas for obtaining a residence permit. Let's highlight the main types:

  • Entrepreneur

  • Investor

  • Representative of a foreign company

  • Skilled professional

  • Seasonal worker

  • Talent in science, art, medicine or engineering

  • Athlete or coach

  • Religious worker

  • Student


  1. Studying in UK universities will cost a tidy sum, on average 12,500-17,000 pounds per year. At the same time, education is very high quality and diplomas are quoted all over the world.

  2. In employment you will have to compete with many Europeans, so the best chances to find a vacancy are with highly qualified specialists and owners of scarce professions.

  3. For business immigration to the UK with the help of an entrepreneur visa requires a minimum of 50 thousand pounds, in some cases 200 thousand pounds. Investor visa requires at least 2 million pounds.

In this article, we will take a closer look at such an option of registration of a residence permit in the UK, as family reunification.

Residence permit in the UK for the purpose of family reunification

Family members and close relatives of British citizens, as well as permanent residents, have the right to move to the UK and obtain a residence permit. The following categories of people can do so:

  • spouses, cohabitants and partners;

  • children under 18 years of age;

  • parents over the age of 65, in case of dependency and sufficient financial security of the British resident not requiring state support;

  • unmarried children over the age of 18 if the parents (UK residents) are married or intend to marry in the near future. Dependency and financial security requirements are the same as for parents over 65;

In exceptional cases, other relatives – brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews and so on. There are life circumstances in which these categories of persons are unable to live independently in another country.

Requirements for spouses (cohabitants/partners) to apply for residence permit in the UK:

  1. Age 18 and over.

  2. Registered marriage (civil partnership is acceptable) or seeking to formalize the relationship within the next 6 months.

  3. A firm intention to live together in the future.

  4. Any previous relationships or marriages must be permanently broken.

  5. Evidence of the authenticity of the relationship, for example, shared financial commitments, joint photos and so on.

  6. No criminal record for serious crimes and threat to public order.

  7. Proof of financial security sufficient for all family members to live in the UK. This can be a permanent job, own business, impressive funds in the bank account and so on. The amount for spouses should be at least 18,600 pounds per year. If moving with a child, 22,400 pounds, plus 2,400 pounds for each additional child or dependent.

  8. English Language Proficiency. The candidate must prove language skills with a relevant certificate (CEFR) at least at A1 level in speaking and listening. Exceptions are foreigners from English-speaking countries, graduates of British universities, persons over 65 years of age or with health problems that do not allow mastering the language.

Application processing time is up to 2 months. Depending on the method of application, the cost is 1,033 or 1,523 pounds. Initially, the residence permit is issued for 2 years and 6 months, after which it is extended for another 2 years and 4 months. Further, it is possible to obtain permanent residence or citizenship.

The application procedure and documents for obtaining a residence permit (visa) in the UK is carried out through the official British portal – GOV.UK. Here you can find the most detailed information about all categories of visas and other aspects of British immigration. In addition, practical help and assistance will be provided by the British visa center.

It is advisable to apply no later than 3 months before the date of your intended trip. At the visa center you will have to pass an interview and provide biometric data – a color photo and fingerprints.

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