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!  As of Dec 2020 it also falls under the general term ‘Permission’, which can refer to a visa applied for outside the UK to enter, within the UK to stay, or permanent residency (‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’)

Q. How can I work in the UK?
A. There are several routes under the Points Based System – highly skilled workers, Skilled Worker visas for those with a job offer and T5 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 ([intlink id=”412715″ type=”page”]Tier 4[/intlink] 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 live in the UK, even as the partner of a British Citizen – you must go back to your home country to apply.

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. 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 the Republic of Ireland (Eire) which is a separate country with its own immigration laws.

About Nikki de Prey

de Prey Consulting is an immigration consultancy based in Edinburgh, UK. Nikki advises clients on the variety of visa applications for entering or remaining in the UK. For more information read about her background in About dPC.