Immigration / immigration
There are no immigration regulations in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for EU citizens, Swiss citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein and Iceland. There is also no obligation to report. Despite Brexit, the provisions will remain unchanged until December 31, 2020.
If you are going to stay in the UK for more than three months, you must be employed, a student or be able to show that you can support yourself and your family. You do not need a work permit for this. There is an exception for citizens from Bulgaria and Romania. You are allowed to enter the country, but you need a work permit.
Naturalization – Settlement Permit and UK Citizenship
If you have lived in the UK for a long time, you can apply for settlement status or UK citizenship.
Settlement Permit (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR)
With the settlement permit you have the status of ‘permanent residence’, which means that you can stay, work and move in the UK indefinitely. The following requirements must be met:
- 10-year legal residence (* permanent residence)
- Visa compliance
- Passing the Life in UK test (**)
- sufficient knowledge of English (**)
** If the last two requirements are not met, an application for an extension is possible.
The 10-year period begins upon arrival with a valid visa or permission to stay in the UK.
* Permanent residence is the amount of time you have been in the UK with no gaps. You can leave the UK for 180 days in a row or for 540 days in total during that period of uninterrupted residence.
In order not to risk losing your settlement permit, you are not allowed to leave the UK for more than 2 years at a time.
Citizenship can be applied for in different ways depending on the situation. If you meet several requirements for the application, you can choose which way to go.
1. You are married or in a civil partnership to a UK citizen
If so, you must have lived in the UK for the past 3 years and have either a permanent residence permit or a permanent resident document.
2. You are in possession of an indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
The ILR can usually be applied for after 5 years in the UK. To apply for UK citizenship using the ILR, you must have lived in the UK for 12 more months after receiving the ILR.
3. You have permanent residence status
If you or a family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will usually automatically be granted permanent residence after living in the UK for 5 years. To apply for permanent citizenship, you must normally have lived in the UK for 12 months after obtaining permanent residence. You will also need a permanent residence permit showing that you have lived in the UK for 5 years. This can be any period of 5 years.
4. You are in possession of a permit to stay in the UK after Brexit
If you and your family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can apply for such a permit after staying in the UK for five years, which normally requires you to have lived in the UK for 12 months after receiving the permit.
To settle in the UK as a retiree, you need an income higher than that of a social security recipient. You must also provide evidence of suitable living space, health and accident insurance and a valid identity card or passport.
Immigration, Travel and Other Visa
The UK has a variety of different types of visas.
Relocation to England or Great Britain
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United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Embassy in Germany
“British Embassy, England, UK”
Tel.: 030/204 57-0
57-574 [email protected]
Embassy in Switzerland
3000 Berne 15
Tel.: 031/359 77 00
Fax: 031/359 77 01
Embassy in Austria
Tel.: (+43 / 1) 716 13 – 0
Fax: (+43/1) 71613 – 5900
German Embassy in England
23 Belgrave Square
Tel.: +44 20 7824 1300
FAX: +44 20 7824 1449
Swiss Embassy in England
Embassy of Switzerland
16-18 Montagu Place
London W1H 2BQ
Tel.: +44 20 7616 6000
Fax: +44 20 7724 7001
Austrian Embassy in England
18, Belgrave Mews West
London SW1X 8HU
Tel.: (+44/20) 7344 3250
Fax: (+44/20) 7344 0292
British-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
16 Buckingham Gate
LONDON SW1E 6LB
Tel.: +44 20 7976 4100
Fax: +44 20 7976 4101