Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi group! For years now I've been occasionally coming across such forums, dreaming, thinking that "expat" sounded so alluring and exciting. And now, here I am, job offer in hand, salary starting with a £, and waiting to start waiting for my visa.

It all seems so confusing, and has been a bit nerve wracking as it's been seeming like I've been the one who's had to explain to the company hiring me/sponsoring me how it all works. This seems to be the first time they've done this process. And my basis of knowledge on the matter is just from the internet, meanwhile it seems they like to change UK visa rules every few months or so!

So, first question is with this foreboding sounding "annual limit" on Tier 2 general visas - is it on the visa itself? Or the Certificate of Sponsorship? And seeing as how this limit is from April to April, I'd like to think that this limit won't get eaten up *quite* too soon... right?...

A couple things that do make me feel less nervous about the visa process is that I am on the occupation shortage list (Mechanical Engineer in the Aerospace Sector, yeah!), and this is a small UK branch of the big global corporation I currently work for, and they've enlisted the help of "the world's leading immigration law firm", which I guess is what my corporation usually uses for such things. But on the flip side, big corporation-->lots of people involved-->lots of red tape-->slow processes-->and me wondering "what's going on?!" much of the time. I was told the company hiring me has submitted all they needed to, and info about me, to the immigration firm, and I should be contacted by the immigration firm around the end of the month for further instruction.

Also, I was wondering how the Indefinite Leave to Remain thing works. The last time I sat down and researched, I could have sworn it was that you could get a Tier 2 General Visa for 3 years, extend it for 2 more, and then apply for ILR. Though what I'm looking at and reading now seems different. How does it work? Or is that something they changed or did away with, too?

And regarding more logistical matters, does anyone have or know of a good "expat checklist"? And/or a rough timeline of when you should be doing what? I'm a terrible procrastinator, and also still kind of in awe and disbelief that this is really happening. But I know there's probably a lot I'll need to do and sort out before hopping across the pond. And want to at least start thinking about it.

And also, based on timeframes people are seeing these days, if I send in my info to this immigration firm to apply for my work visa, say, at the end of this month (as I'd kind of have to since I'm traveling to Germany and won't be able to send in my passport until after 5/29), are there any estimates on when I would likely have my visa?

I feel like a pregnant woman - I want to rejoice and tell everybody and celebrate, but also I'm still paranoid that it's still early and something could go wrong and I don't want to jinx things!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,151 Posts
Hi group! For years now I've been occasionally coming across such forums, dreaming, thinking that "expat" sounded so alluring and exciting. And now, here I am, job offer in hand, salary starting with a £, and waiting to start waiting for my visa.

It all seems so confusing, and has been a bit nerve wracking as it's been seeming like I've been the one who's had to explain to the company hiring me/sponsoring me how it all works. This seems to be the first time they've done this process. And my basis of knowledge on the matter is just from the internet, meanwhile it seems they like to change UK visa rules every few months or so!

So, first question is with this foreboding sounding "annual limit" on Tier 2 general visas - is it on the visa itself? Or the Certificate of Sponsorship? And seeing as how this limit is from April to April, I'd like to think that this limit won't get eaten up *quite* too soon... right?...
Welcome to the forum!
The annual limit to April 2013 has been set at 20,700, unchanged and remains so till 2014. Last year, because of recession, only about half the allocated visas were taken up, and I don't think it will change markedly this time around.
You find about it on UK Border Agency | Annual Tier 2 limit announcement

A couple things that do make me feel less nervous about the visa process is that I am on the occupation shortage list (Mechanical Engineer in the Aerospace Sector, yeah!), and this is a small UK branch of the big global corporation I currently work for, and they've enlisted the help of "the world's leading immigration law firm", which I guess is what my corporation usually uses for such things. But on the flip side, big corporation-->lots of people involved-->lots of red tape-->slow processes-->and me wondering "what's going on?!" much of the time. I was told the company hiring me has submitted all they needed to, and info about me, to the immigration firm, and I should be contacted by the immigration firm around the end of the month for further instruction.
If your company and legal firm are handling your visa, I'll just let them deal with it until it's time for you to sign the application. Do check what they have put down, as you, not they, are legally responsible for accuracy.

Also, I was wondering how the Indefinite Leave to Remain thing works. The last time I sat down and researched, I could have sworn it was that you could get a Tier 2 General Visa for 3 years, extend it for 2 more, and then apply for ILR. Though what I'm looking at and reading now seems different. How does it work? Or is that something they changed or did away with, too?
It's still the same, so settlement (ILR) after 5 years, but criteria are being tightened and you need to be earning more to be eligible for settlement.
UK Border Agency | Settlement

And regarding more logistical matters, does anyone have or know of a good "expat checklist"? And/or a rough timeline of when you should be doing what? I'm a terrible procrastinator, and also still kind of in awe and disbelief that this is really happening. But I know there's probably a lot I'll need to do and sort out before hopping across the pond. And want to at least start thinking about it.
  • I'd say get your visa sorted first, which gives you a timeframe for travel and settling in.
  • Get temporary accommodation for the first few weeks and start looking for somewhere more permanent, unless your company offers relocation service. Find out what they are prepared to offer (e.g. the service of a relocator). You may have to pay 6 months' rent in advance, unless you can put forward a guarantor based in UK.
  • Open UK bank account. This can take time as you need original documents bearing your UK address and usually details of your UK job. Some have opened an off-shore account with UK bank prior to move and just transferred to onshore account after arrival.
  • Apply for National Insurance Number (notionally similar to SS#) by contacting Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643.
  • Register with a GP (doctor) for free NHS care. Your company may offer private medical insurance, but it's still usual to have your own GP.

And also, based on timeframes people are seeing these days, if I send in my info to this immigration firm to apply for my work visa, say, at the end of this month (as I'd kind of have to since I'm traveling to Germany and won't be able to send in my passport until after 5/29), are there any estimates on when I would likely have my visa?
Current timeframe for application is 12 business days on average. Including getting biometrics done and sending off supporting documents, allow 3-4 weeks for the whole process.

I feel like a pregnant woman - I want to rejoice and tell everybody and celebrate, but also I'm still paranoid that it's still early and something could go wrong and I don't want to jinx things!
Don't worry about it. 1000s of foreign workers move to UK each year and most don't have a problem.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top