Immigrating To UK From Australia: Visas Permits & More

If you want to immigrate to the UK from Australia, there are several UK visa options you can choose from. You must meet the requirements for the visa type that best suits your situation to avoid a refusal.

Contact one of our friendly immigration lawyers at Total Law for guidance on how to immigrate to UK from Australia, including the various eligibility requirements, or other services we offer. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or complete our online contact form for a quick response.

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    Immigrating To UK From Australia: An Overview

    Australia was a colony of Britain and over the years both countries have maintained the same cultural heritage, such as having English as their de facto language and having legal systems that are based on common law. Besides that, both countries cooperate across a wide range of security, intelligence, trade, foreign policy, economic issues and defence.

    As of 2021, there were about 87,000 Australian citizens living in the United Kingdom. The 2021 census showed that there were about 967,390 resident Australian population born in the United Kingdom. There were about 416,260 Australians who visited the UK in 2022.

    Even to this day, some of the reasons Australian citizens immigrate to the UK are to further their education, experience life in the UK, advance their careers in the UK job market and more.

    Australian citizens do not need a visa to enter the UK and stay for less than 6 months. However, if you intend to stay in the UK for more than 6 months you must obtain a UK visa that best suits your circumstance.

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    Immigrating To The UK From Australia (Visas & Residencies)

    Australian citizens who want to immigrate to the UK must obtain one of the UK visas to be allowed into the country. The visa you will apply for must suit your situation and purpose of travel. Below are the various UK visas you can choose from:

    Spouse Visa

    The UK Spouse visa otherwise known as a UK Marriage visa is designed for Australian citizens who want to join their partners in the United Kingdom. This visa is under the UK Family visa category. To qualify for this visa, your partner (sponsor) must either be settled in the UK or be a British citizen.

    Besides that, you must prove in your application that you’re in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your UK-based partner. When you obtain the UK Spouse visa, you will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 2 years and 6 months.

    After staying in the country for up to 5 years you may become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and apply for British citizenship after 1 year of holding ILR.

    Ancestry Visa

    The UK Ancestry visa is designed for Australian citizens and other Commonwealth nationals who have at least a grandparent who was born in the United Kingdom. With this visa, you will be allowed to live, work and study in the country.

    This visa allows its holder to enter the UK and stay for up to 5 years. When this visa validity period expires, you can extend it for an additional 5 years or seek ILR to remain in the country indefinitely.

    After staying in the country on the ILR for 1 year, you can apply for British citizenship provided you meet its requirements. Note that for this visa, you cannot claim UK Ancestry via stepparents.

    Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

    If you are an Australian resident who wants to live and work in the UK you can also obtain the Youth Mobility Scheme visa. To apply for this visa you must be between 18 to 30 years old or 18 to 30 years depending on your country of origin. This visa is only valid for up to 2 years.

    However, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand citizens are the only people allowed to apply for an extension of this visa to an additional 1 year and this can occur only once.

    You will be allowed to become self-employed or establish a business in the UK on this visa, provided you do not have employees, your equipment is not valued at more than £5,000 and your premises are rented. Before the expiration of this visa, you can switch to the UK Skilled Worker visa which offers a route to permanent residency in the UK.

    Dependant Visa

    This visa is designed for Australian citizens who want to join their immediate family member who resides in the UK. You may qualify for a UK Dependant visa if you are dependent on a family member who currently holds an Ancestry, Business, Work, or Student visa. You are only considered a dependent of your UK-based family member (sponsor) if you are either their child or spouse/partner.

    Note that not all UK Work visas and Student visas holders are qualified to bring their dependents to the country. For this reason, we recommend you contact our team of immigration lawyers at Total Law to help assess your situation and know the best option for you. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online for a quick response.

    UK Work Visas

    Australian citizens who want to enter the UK for Work purposes for a specific period can obtain a UK Work visa that suits their situation. Below are some of the UK Work visas:

    Skilled Worker Visa

    The UK Skilled Worker visa allows Australian citizens and other foreign nationals to enter the UK and work for licensed employers. This visa is long-term and it allows its holder to stay in the UK for up to 5 years, however, this depends on how long your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) will last.

    Note that you can only maintain the validity of this visa if you remain in the same role your sponsoring employer offered to you (contained in your CoS). However, if you intend to change your job role or employer, you must seek a new Skilled Worker visa. You will be allowed to extend your visa before it expires and once you have stayed in the UK for up to 5 years, you may qualify to apply for ILR and British citizenship after 1 year.

    Graduate Work Visa

    This visa allows Australian citizens to remain in the UK after completing their course study. The UK Graduate Work visa is valid for up to 2 years, or 3 years if you have a PhD or doctoral qualifications.

    The right time to apply for this visa is after your University has notified the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) that you have completed your degree successfully.

    The holder of this visa is allowed to switch jobs, work flexibly and advance their careers. If you’re a doctoral student, you will be permitted to work at any skill level for up to 2 or 3 years in the UK.

    You cannot extend the UK Graduate visa, alternatively, you can switch it to another visa. International students typically switch to the UK Skilled Worker visa, provided they meet its requirements; this could be a good option for you.

    Seasonal Worker Visa

    If you are an Australian citizen, and you have a job offer in the UK to come and work in the horticulture sector, the UK Seasonal Worker visa will suit your situation. The job you will do with this visa is only limited to picking vegetables and fruits.

    It does not include jobs such as driving heavy trucks to transport food, pork butchery or poultry work. It typically takes about 3 weeks to process this visa, but getting a decision may last longer, although it will depend on your unique circumstances.

    Once your Seasonal Worker visa is ready, you will be permitted to enter the UK even up to 2 weeks before your visa starts counting. When you obtain this visa, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months. You can neither extend this visa nor switch to another one once you have completed your stay in the country.

    Our experienced immigration team can help with visas and permits for Australians wanting to move to the UK. Contact Us

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      UK Business Visas

      If you are an Australian citizen or a non-Australian national resident in Australia, you must obtain a UK Business visa to be allowed into the country for business purposes. Below are some of the UK Business visas you can obtain largely determined by the kind of business you want to run in the UK and how long you wish to stay:

      Innovator Founder Visa

      If you are an Australian entrepreneur and you want to immigrate to the UK and set up a business there, you must obtain the UK Innovator Founder visa. Before you obtain this visa, the UK immigration authorities require you to prove that your proposed business is innovative, scalable, and viable. The business you want to establish in the UK must be unique in the market and not what is already obtainable.

      As a part of the requirements needed for this visa, an endorsing body must approve a comprehensive business plan you have designed for the business. Also, you must prove that you created or contributed to the business idea. This visa is valid for up to 3 years, and after running your business for 3 years in the UK, you can qualify for ILR or you can extend it for an additional 3 years.

      Global Talent Visa

      This visa is designed for Australian citizens who are potential leaders (exceptional promise) or current leaders (exceptional talent) in the fields of research and academia, digital technology, arts and culture. Before you are issued the Global Talent visa, you need to have applied for endorsement from a UK-recognised endorsing body to confirm that you are a potential leader or a current leader in your field.

      Alternatively, if you can show that you’ve won a qualifying award in your field, you can seek the visa without an endorsement. When you obtain this visa, you will be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom for up to 5 years even without a job offer or sponsor. During those allowable years, you can stay in the UK and work as a company director, self-employed person, or as an employee.

      You will be permitted to extend this visa and remain in the country as long as you want without consulting the UK immigration authorities. It can be extended to any duration within 1 to 5 years.

      Alternatively, you can qualify to apply for permanent settlement in the UK living in the country for 3 years as a leader in your field, or apply for permanent settlement in the country after living for 5 years as a potential leader.

      Business Visitor Visa

      If you’re a non-Australian citizen resident in Australia, you may obtain a UK Business Visitor visa to enter the country and engage in short-term business-related activities that are unpaid.

      This visa is typically valid for up to 6 months (for short-stay). You can apply for it 3 months before your expected entry date, and receive a decision within 3 to 7 weeks depending on where you’re applying from.

      With this visa, you will not be allowed to engage in paid work as a self-employed person or for a company in the UK. However, in a different case scenario, you may be paid as a professional in your line of work by a UK company after being allowed into the country for a permitted paid engagement.

      You must meet various eligibility requirements for this visa before it’s issued to you. Some of the various unpaid business-related activities you can carry out include, attending business meetings, arranging deals, signing trade contracts or agreements, attending trade fairs, and more.

      Visa Application Process

      Australian citizens who want to obtain any of the above-mentioned UK visas either to visit or immigrate to the UK must apply following some steps. Note that because these visas serve different purposes, their requirements and supporting documents differ including their length of stay. Below are the major steps you must take when applying for a UK visa:

      Check if You Need a UK Visa

      Before you apply for a UK visa, you must know whether you need a visa to enter the UK as an Australian citizen or resident. The reason is that as an Australian citizen, you do not need a visa to enter the UK if your stay will not exceed 6 months. However, if you intend to remain in the UK for more than 6 months, you must choose a Visa type that suits your purpose of travel.

      Choose a Visa Type

      If you wish to stay in the UK for more than 6 months, you must apply for one of the UK visas from Australia that best suits your situation. The reason is that there are various UK visas designed to serve a specific aim of entering the UK. If you are not sure of the right visa type to choose, you need to seek expert guidance from one of our immigration lawyers at Total Law to help you select the visa that fits you. You can call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online for immediate help.

      Fill Out the Application Form

      Once you’ve chosen the appropriate visa, you must then complete your visa application form with the correct information. Avoid the falsification of information or errors and omissions in your visa application form as they may cause a refusal or delay in the processing of your visa application.

      Gather the Required Documents

      You will be required to provide mandatory documents to support your visa application. Note that the documents you will submit largely depend on the type of UK visa you’re applying for. For example, the documents you will be asked to provide for Business visas won’t be the same as the ones needed for Work visas.

      Fix Your Visa Appointment

      You must fix a visa appointment with your nearest VFS Global visa application centre online. After completing the online appointment, you must print out a confirmation email that will be sent to you and bring same to the visa application centre you’ve selected.

      Attend the Visa Interview

      You must attend your UK visa interview with all your required documents. Ensure you bring the original copies of your documents if required. At the interview, you will be required to provide a digital scan of your fingerprints and photographs (biometric information).

      Besides that, the UK immigration authorities may ask you several questions to ensure that the details included in your documents and application form align with the answers you provide. Australian citizens applying for a UK visa, including children are required to be at the visa application centre in person. However, an adult must accompany children who are under 18 years old and help them out where necessary.

      Pay Required Fees

      You must pay all required fees to complete your application. These fees include your visa processing, consular, translation fees (if necessary), and any other fees required for the visa type you’re applying for.

      Pick Up Your Visa Packet

      After applying for your visa, your application will be processed and a decision will be made on your visa application. If your visa application is successful, you will be told where and when to come and pick up your visa packet.

      For tailored assistance with moving to the UK, speak with our immigration lawyers today. Contact Us

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        Residency & Citizenship Routes

        Australian citizens who want to stay in the UK for the foreseeable future must choose a Visa type that offers a path to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Note that ILR is also known as permanent residence. The UK government allows holders of the ILR status to remain in the country permanently, provided they continue meeting their conditions of stay and other requirements.

        Certain UK visas such as Business, Work and Family visas offer a path to ILR after their holder has lived in the UK for up to 5 years. Whereas some other visas that don’t offer ILR have options to switch to those that offer it. Once you have settled in the UK officially, you will be allowed to bring your partner and dependent children (if any) to come and join you in the UK.

        After obtaining ILR status, you will enjoy most incentives that UK citizens are entitled to. When you remain in the UK for an additional 1 year on ILR status, you may qualify to apply for British citizenship, provided you meet all the requirements. Once you become a UK citizen, you will have the right to vote and be voted for, the right to access public funds, be registered in the national health service to obtain free healthcare and more.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        If you want to immigrate to the UK from Australia you may not know the specific UK visa that best aligns with your travel purpose. Besides that, you may not know the complete documents and requirements you must meet. Because of this, the whole application process may become overwhelming for you.

        This is why it’s ideal to seek expert guidance from our team of immigration lawyers at Total Law to help assess your situation and know which visa type best fits you and the requirements you must meet. Our immigration lawyers can also apply for the UK visa on your behalf. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online if you have any questions about UK immigration from Australia or other services we offer.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  It’s cheaper to live in the UK than in Australia. However, Australia pays a higher minimum wage (AUD 20.33 hourly) than the UK (£8.91 hourly).

                  Australian citizens can stay in the UK for up to 6 months visa-free. However, you can stay in the UK beyond 6 months on a visa that suits your stay duration and even remain indefinitely in the country, provided you meet all the requirements.