Q. What is UK Entry Clearance?
A. It is a UK government term for permission to enter the UK, generally a visa – nothing more fancy than that!

Q. How can I work in the UK?
A. There are several routes under the Points Based System – Tier 1 for high value workers, Tier 2 for those with a job offer and Tier 5 for various temporary workers. See ‘UK visas’ for full details.

Q. If I visit the UK can I then apply for a different visa without having to leave the UK?
A. No. If you are a visitor the Home Office will not accept an application to change your visa status to anything else – you must leave the UK to apply.

Q. I want to study in the UK – do I need to have a place at a school/college/university confirmed before I can get a visa?
A. Yes – the educational establishment that offers you a place will need to issue you with a ‘Certificate of Acceptance for Studies’, and without this you cannot obtain a student visa (Tier 4 under the Points Based System).

Q. My partner is British – can I enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to stay with him/her?
A. No – if you are a visitor the Home Office will not accept an application to settle in the UK, even as the partner of a British Citizen – you must go back to your home country to apply.

Q. My partner is British and we want to move to the UK – I don’t understand all the options for visas…
A. See our ‘Top Tips’ for ‘Marrying a Brit – 5 things to know about visas’ (these top tips apply for unmarried partners and civil partners as well as fiancé(e)s and spouses).

Q. I want to visit my girlfriend/boyfriend in the UK – can I go for 6 months and work?
A. No, in order to work in the UK you must have a visa that allows you to do so (unless you are a member of an EEA country that has no work restrictions in the UK). As a visitor you must be able to fully finance your stay from resources you bring with you or from people you are visiting in the UK.

Q. I want to live in Scotland/Wales/Ireland – do they have separate visas?
A. The ‘UK’ actually stands for ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’. Great Britain includes Scotland, Wales and England. So in short, the answer is no – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have the same visas, and a visa for the UK is valid for all of them. Note: this does not include southern Ireland (Eire) which is a separate country with its own immigration laws.