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How to migrate from Singapore to the UK in 2021?

Posted on December 28, 2020
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Migrate from Singapore to UK

The United Kingdom is one of the top destinations for those wishing to migrate from Singapore. Most of them migrate to the UK for job opportunities and with the UK introducing the Skilled Worker Visa which will come into effect from January 2021, professionals from Singapore can hope to find job opportunities to migrate to the UK.

The UK offers good quality of life and a multicultural environment. Beside this it has a stable economy and has world class universities for higher education.

Visa options for migration

 There are various visa options to immigrate to the UK:

  • Tier 1 Visa for highly skilled immigrants through a points-based system
  • Tier 2 Visa for skilled workers who are sponsored by an employer in the UK
  • Tier 5 Provisional Work Visa through the Youth Mobility Scheme
  • Tier 4 UK Study Visa

Eligibility requirements

  • You must have the required scores in the English Language proficiency test which can be either IELTS or TOEFL.
  • You must not be from a country that belongs to the EU or EEA.
  • If you intend to come to the UK for study or work, you should have the required documents, work experience certificates etc.
  • You must have the required funds to support yourself during the initial days of your stay.
  • You must have the character and health certificates required for your visa.

Points-based system for immigration

The government of UK announced the launch of a points-based immigration system which will come into effect from January 2021. The main features of the points-based migration include:

  • Immigration candidates for both EU and non-EU nations will be treated the same way
  • Highly skilled workers, skilled workers and students wanting to come to the UK must follow the points-based system
  • A job offer is mandatory for skilled workers
  • Salary threshold will now be 26,000 pounds per year, reduced from 30,000 pounds required earlier
  • Applicants must prove that they can speak English (A-level or equivalent)
  • Highly skilled workers will need to be endorsed by a UK body, however they do not need a job offer
  • Students will also come under the points- based system to study in the UK and must show proof of an admission letter from an educational institute, English proficiency and funds.
  • 70 points is the minimum score required to be eligible for a visa

A job offer and the ability to speak English will get the applicant 50 points. The additional 20 points required to qualify for the visa can be gained through any of the following qualifications:

  • Having a job offer that pays you 26,000 pounds or above per year will give you 20 points
  • 10 points for a relevant PhD or 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject
  • 20 points for an offer for a job where there is a skill shortage
Category       Maximum points
Job offer 20 points
Job at appropriate skill level 20 points
English speaking skills 10 points
Salary of 26,000 and above or relevant PhD in a STEM subject 10 + 10 = 20 points
Total 70 points

 How can you migrate to the UK?

 You can migrate to the UK:

  • With a job offer to work in the country
  • By going there as a student
  • By getting married or engaged to a UK citizen or permanent resident
  • As an entrepreneur setting up a business
  • As an investor

Migrating to the UK for work

As we mentioned earlier most of the immigrants from Singapore come to the UK for work. The new Skilled Worker visa will be beneficial for them. Skilled professionals can come to the UK under the Tier 2 visa program. If their occupation is listed in the Tier 2 shortage occupation list, they can come to the UK on a long-term basis. Popular professions in the occupation list belong to the IT, finance, engineering fields.

There are two main routes available to overseas job seekers wishing to work in the UK:

  1. Tier 2 (General) for highly skilled workers.
  2. Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) for highly skilled workers from multinational companies who are being transferred to the UK branch.

From January 1 2021, the Tier 2 (General) visa will be replaced with the Skilled worker visa.

The Skilled Worker visa will cover more people-The UK Skilled Worker visa was introduced to bring in highly skilled overseas workers into the UK labor market and subsequently take up permanent residence in the UK.

With this visa, skilled workers from other countries can be selected based on the shortage occupation list and they will be eligible to get an offer letter without the labor market test and stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

The skill level threshold will be lower-At present job roles that require a Degree or Master’s qualification are eligible for sponsorship (RQF level 6 roles) but with the Skilled Worker visa, sponsorship will be available to even lower-skilled workers (RQF level 3).

Baseline minimum salary requirement will be lower-Since the skill threshold has been lowered, the baseline salary requirements will be reduced. The employer will have to pay a minimum salary of 25,600 pounds or the ‘going rate’ for the position, whichever is higher.

Flexibility to acquire the required points-The Skilled Worker visa is based on a points system; so, you can use the various points criteria to your advantage to get the required number of points to apply for this visa. You need 70 points to qualify for this visa.

Eligibility requirements for the Skilled Worker visa

  • You must have a score of 70 points to qualify in the defined parameters like specific skills, qualifications, salaries and professions.
  • You need to have a Minimum Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with 2 years of skilled work experience from the eligible occupations list
  • You must have a job offer from an employer who is a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • You must meet the English Language requirement at B1 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • You should also meet the general salary threshold of £25,600, or the specific salary requirement for the occupation or the ‘going rate’.

Benefits of the Skilled worker visa

  • Visa holders can bring dependents on the visa
  • Spouse is allowed to work on the visa
  • No cap on the number of people who can move to the UK on the visa
  • Minimum salary requirement has been reduced to £25600 from threshold of £30000
  • Fast Track Visas will be provided for healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses
  • No requirement for the Resident Labor Market Test for employers

Migrating to the UK to set up a business

The Tier 1 visa offers two categories for setting up a business in the UK:

Tier 1 Innovator Visa

Tier 1 Startup Visa

Tier 1 Innovator Visa-This visa category is open to experienced businesspersons and intends to encourage them to set up innovative businesses in the UK. The investor must make a minimum investment of 50,000 pounds and the business must be endorsed by an endorsing body.

You will be eligible for this visa if you:

  • Are not a citizen of the EEA and Switzerland
  • Wish to set up a business in the UK
  • Have an innovative and scalable business idea

Features of the innovator visa

  • You can stay for up to three years if you enter the country on the Innovator Visa or are already staying there on another valid visa
  • The visa can be extended for another three years and you can continue extending it several times
  • After five years of staying on this visa, you are eligible to stay indefinitely in the country

Tier 1 Startup Visa

 This visa category exclusively caters to entrepreneurs with high potential who are starting a business for the first time.

The application for this visa can be submitted three months before your intended date of travel to the UK. Other eligibility requirements include:

  • You are not a citizen of the EEA and Switzerland
  • You wish to set up a business in the UK
  • Business idea must be endorsed by a higher education institute in the UK or a business organization that supports UK entrepreneurs
  • No requirement for an initial investment
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicant must fulfil English language requirements
  • Applicants must have enough funds to support their stay in the UK

Features of the Startup visa

  • You can stay for up to two years on this visa and can bring your spouse or partner and unmarried children under the age of 18 to stay with you
  • You can do work outside your business for funding your stay
  • You cannot extend your visa after two years, but you can apply for the innovator visa to extend your stay and develop your business.

Migrating to the UK for higher studies

You can move to the UK on a Tier 4 visa in case they are opting for a full study program. However, if you opt for English language courses or other training courses, you are eligible to apply for a short-term study visa.

Post-study options for international students
  • International students in the UK on a valid Tier 4 visa are permitted to stay in the UK after their course if they have a job offer with the required annual salary
  • They can switch from a Tier 4 Visa to a Tier 2 General Visa with a validity of five years to stay in the UK
  • The post-study work experience of students will help them qualify for permanent residence in the UK

To choose the right visa option which will help you to migrate from Singapore to the UK in 2021, take the help of an immigration consultant who will provide you with the right guidance.

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