Emigrating from Ireland to the UK
If you plan on emigrating to the UK from Ireland for a period longer than 6 months, you may need to seek entry permission and a UK visa. However, this is largely dependent upon your individual circumstances, for example, if you have Irish Citizenship you are able to live, work and study in the UK without needing a visa at all.
It is important to note that only Irish nationals are able to benefit from the ‘Common Travel Area’ arrangements, meaning that UK and Ireland share benefits with one another for its citizens. As a result, if you originate from overseas but live permanently in Ireland, you will be required to apply for a visa to enter the UK.
At the Immigration Advice Service, our immigration lawyers are well versed in all areas of Irish and UK immigration law. We have offices spread all across Ireland and the UK including London, Manchester and Birmingham. No matter your query or urgency, we can help you with all your visa and immigration needs.
Emigrating to the UK as an Irish Citizen
The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a designated travel zone between the Republic of Ireland, the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Citizens of these regions within the CTA therefore have an automatic right in UK immigration law, enjoying certain privileges and a special immigration status.
What this means is that Irish citizens are automatically treated as though they have permanent immigration permission to remain in the UK from the day they move to the country. As an Irish national, you are able to travel freely and without friction across the CTA without being subjected to passport or immigration control. Regardless of the Brexit rules, the CTA will still stand.
However, non-British and non-Irish family members of Irish citizens may need to seek a visa if they wish to enter the UK. Even if you live permanently in Ireland, you may be subjected to the UK’s points-based immigration system if you want to live, work, join family members or study in the UK. This includes if you are in Ireland under an Employment Permit, Long Stay D Visa, Short Stay C Visa, or any other type of Irish immigration visa.
Rights of an Irish Citizen in the UK
Since the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement secures Irish citizens the right to reside in the UK, you will not need a visa or entry permission in order to be considered a fully settled resident. Whether you come to the UK to work, study, live, marry or join family members, you will not be subjected to UK immigration rules.
In addition, Irish citizens have access to public funds such as benefits, pensions, social housing, the NHS and other welfare support systems in the UK. Irish nationals in the country can even vote in local and national general elections. In the UK, however, Irish citizens may not be able to participate in EU elections.
If you intend to study in a UK university, you may need to check if you are eligible for UK student loans and to verify what type of tuition fees you may face as this varies on your individual circumstances and place of study. Generally speaking, Irish citizens are not required to apply for a Tier 4 Student Visa.
In order to reap the rewards of the CTA arrangement, you can enter the UK using your Irish passport. If you do not have an Irish passport, the IAS can help you apply for one before you emigrate to the UK.
If you need advice on how the CTA affects your immigration status in the UK, contact IAS on (+353) 061 518 025 for further information as you may be entitled to more rights in the country.
The UK Immigration System
If you do not qualify to enter the UK via the Common Travel Area, you will be subjected to UK immigration requirements instead. This includes if you originate from overseas, including the European Union.
The UK has an immigration points-based-system meaning that you will need to score a certain amount of points to be considered for a visa.
Although each UK visa has its own set of requirements and criteria, you will generally need to pass the following to gain a significant portion of points:
- Having a Sponsor – either an employer who has a Sponsor Licence or a UK/Irish family member, such as a Spouse, Fiance or Unmarried Partner
- Meeting the financial requirements – whether your own income if coming to the UK under a Work Visa or your partner/sponsor’s income if coming under a Family Visa
- Having a degree/qualification – having a PhD will generally generate more points
- English language capability – which may mean you need to sit an English Language test to demonstrate your understanding
It is important to note that you are able to meet every requirement of your desired UK Visa. Failure to do so will likely see your UK visa application refused.
Emigrating to the UK as a non-Irish National
Emigrating to the UK without Irish citizenship is a little more complex. In most circumstances, you will be required to seek entry permission and an appropriate visa, whether you are visiting, working, investing, studying or living with family members in the UK. You may even need a Visit Visa if you want to visit the UK for longer than 6 months.
If you originate from a country within the European Union, you will be subjected to the immigration rules as soon as 2021. If you already live in the UK, you may be able to apply via the EU Settlement Scheme to secure your status.
If you are married to an Irish or British citizen, or have family members in the UK, you also may be able to apply for Settled Status via this route. However, not only is this scheme due to expire but your Irish/UK partner must already be living in the UK for a certain amount of time in order to ‘sponsor’ you. Once this scheme expires, you will need to apply for a UK Visa.
If you are a long-term resident in Ireland but you do not yet qualify for Irish citizenship, emigrating to the UK may affect your ‘reckonable residence’ in the State and may mean you become ineligible for Irish citizenship.
As such, it is vital you seek expert immigration advice if you intend on coming to the UK. Contact our client care team on (+353) 061 518 025 to hear more about the types of UK visas.
Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Irish National
The main criteria to be wary of when seeking to join UK family members as a non-Irish national is that you need to be a family member of a settled person in the UK.
In order to live with your married partner in the UK, you should apply for a UK Spouse Visa. If you are engaged and wish to marry in the UK, you can seek a Fiance Visa instead. Alternatively, if you are in a relationship that is akin to marriage, you can apply for an Unmarried Partner Visa.
Generally speaking, the requirements for these visas include:
- Providing evidence of suitable accommodation
- Earning £18,600 or more to pass the financial requirement
- Meeting the Genuine Relationship criteria
- Passing an English language test
If you are successful, you are able to live and work in the UK for a period of 30 to 33 months providing you live with your UK partner.
It is vital that you seek expert immigration advice when you come to apply for a UK Family Visa as this aspect of UK immigration law is particularly difficult to navigate. Refusals are increasingly common as the UK Government combs through every application with particular scrutiny in a bid to crackdown on ‘sham marriages’ and ‘marriages of convenience’.
Contact IAS today for full application help and detailed advice on emigrating to the UK.
Emigrating from Ireland to the UK to Work
If you wish to emigrate from Ireland to the UK for work purposes, there are a few visa options available.
The most common avenue is the Tier 2 General Work Visa which could grant you up to five years Leave to Remain to work in the UK.
In order to score the 70 points necessary for the UK Work Visa, you must:
- Have a job offer from a UK employer with a valid Sponsor Licence
- Pass an English language skills test
- Provide evidence of savings for maintenance funds
- Be earning an appropriate salary for the job
- Pass the ‘genuine vacancy test’
However, you can also emigrate from Ireland under alternative work visa routes. These are:
- Tier 1 Graduate Visa
- Intra-Company Transfer Visa
- Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa
- Tier 5 Temporary Work Visa
- Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa
- Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
- Permitted Paid Engagement Visa
Each route comes with its own set of lengthy immigration requirements. Ring IAS today for detailed advice on emigrating and working in the UK. Our immigration lawyers can advise you on which work immigration route is best suited to your circumstances and can advise you on your next steps.
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If you are a non-Irish national who wishes to emigrate from Ireland to the UK for the purposes of study, then a Tier 4 Student Visa is best applied to you.
In order to be successful, you must already have an offer to study on an educational course in the UK and have the appropriate funds to pay for your course and living expenses.
You will be required to have your Student Visa approved and in place prior to entering the UK. We therefore advise that you apply in advance to allow for postal delays and processing times.
Contact IAS today to see how we can help you with your emigration plans to study in the UK on (+353) 061 518 025.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has seen a huge shakeup to the UK immigration rules. As such, most EEA citizens seeking entry into the UK will be subjected to the immigration rules and will lose their Freedom of Movement rights into the country.
However, for the time being, the UK offers the EU Settlement Scheme for Europeans wishing to enter, work and live in the country prior to the new immigration rules taking affect. This means that you EEA nationals are able to enter the country up until 2021 without being subjected to the visa rules, but will need to seek Pre-settled or Settled Status.
Non-British, non-EEA and non-Irish family members of Irish citizens are also able to apply for Settled Status via the EU Settlement Scheme providing that their ‘sponsor’ is a settled person in the UK and has been residing in the country prior to 31 December 2020.
As for Irish nationals themselves, the Common Travel Area protects their rights in UK immigration law. The CTA pre-dates the entry of the UK into the European Union, meaning the Republic of Ireland will not considered to be a ‘foreign country’ for the purpose of UK immigration law and that Irish citizens are automatically treated as though they are permanent residents in the UK. The CTA does not apply to non-Irish and non-UK family members.
Irish Citizens can apply for Settled Status via the EU Settlement Scheme, but this is not compulsory. However, it may be beneficial in the event that you want a family member to join you in the UK.
Anyone without British Citizenship could face deportation if they fail to adhere to UK laws and/or it is in the “public interest” to do so. Even those who have sought British Citizenship through naturalisation may be liable to deportation if they commit a particularly heinous crime.
However, generally speaking, the UK Government has outlined that Irish citizens shouldn’t be deported as they are not liable to meet the immigration rules. Irish nationals will only be deported in the event that they fail to adhere to UK laws.
If you are a non-Irish national who wishes to emigrate from the State into the UK, you must first secure a UK visa.
After continually residing in the UK for at least five years, you will then be eligible to switch onto the permanent immigration status, Indefinite Leave to Remain. Once you have lived in the UK with ILR status for a minimum of 12 months, you can then switch onto British Citizenship, granting you the same rights as a UK-born citizen in the country.
Our immigration lawyers are OISC accredited and are therefore experts in all areas of UK and Irish immigration law. We offer comprehensive packages to suit your individual needs.
For instance, you may need a trained pair of eyes to scan over your portfolio of documents in your visa application which we provide via our Document and Application Checking Service.
However, you may wish to seek advice on your entire application in which your IAS immigration lawyer will conduct a thorough Application Check, advising you and even filling out your forms for you.
You may alternatively wish to seek an Advice Session with an immigration professional, during which your session will be untimed and you can ask as many questions relating to your immigration query with your lawyer.
Our lawyers will even write a Letter of Recommendation to the Home Office and will liaise with the UK authorities throughout your case. By entrusting IAS with your immigration query, you will minimise the chances of a visa refusal and maximise your chances of success.
We have offices stationed all across the UK and Ireland, and our lawyers can meet you either face-to-face, on the phone or via video link.
Contact us today on (+353) 061 518 025 to see just how we can help you.
To prove that you are eligible to enter the UK via the CTA arrangement, you will need your Irish passport as identification.
The Irish authorities claim that the “Common Travel Area means that there are no passport controls in operation for Irish and UK citizens travelling between the two countries”, however, border control may “require you to have valid official photo-identification which shows your nationality” and that “it is advisable to travel with your passport”.
If you have Irish citizenship but don’t yet have your passport, contact IAS to see how we can help you secure your passport ID on (+353) 061 518 025.