Every year, an increasing number of American citizens are drawn to the UK to start a new life abroad. If you are a US citizen considering to move to the UK to work, study, or settle with your family, you should first understand the British immigration system works.
Here you will find a comprehensive explanation of how US citizens can apply for a UK work visa, including the eligibility criteria and the required documents.
UK Work Visas for US citizens
Eligible American citizens can apply for a visa to work in the UK. However, a UK-based sponsor is always required. Besides, international workers must meet specific eligibility requirements, which may vary based on their circumstances.
Skilled US workers who wish to move to the UK can apply for a Tier 2 visa, which includes the following sub-categories:
- Tier 2 (General) Visa, for skilled American workers
- Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa, for those who are being transferred to the UK branch of their business
- Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
- Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa
UK Working Visas requirements for US citizens
The following are the UK visas eligibility requirements for American citizens who wish to work in this country:
- Hold a valid certificate of sponsorship, released by an accredited UK-based employer
- Demonstrate that your salary will be appropriate for your job
- Have enough personal savings to support yourself once in the UK
- All your travel documents to demonstrate your travel history over the last 5 years
- A copy of your criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for at least 12 months in the last ten years.
Can an American citizen invest in the UK?
American citizens who wish to invest in the UK can apply for a Tier 1 Investor Vias.
To be eligible, they must be able to invest at least £2,000,000 in the UK. The funds must be held in a regulated financial institution and free to spend in the United Kingdom, although they can still be in the US when you submit your application.
How to apply for a UK visa from the US
You can submit your Tier 2 visa application from the US three months before your employment start date. The application can be submitted online, although it is recommended to seek the advice of a UK immigration lawyer.
Once your application is processed, you will need to book an appointment at a local UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). Here, you will have your fingerprints, photograph and signature collected for your Biometric certificate.